Written & Directed By: Cary Murnion & Jonathan Milott
Cinematography By: Lyle Vincent
Editor: Joe Hobeck
Music By: Aesop Rock
Cast: Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow, Angelic Zambrana, Arturo Castro, Jeremie Harris
the story of twenty-year- old Lucy and war veteran Stupe. Texas is trying to secede from the U.S., and NYC is being used as a negotiation tool. Lucy meets Stupe after coming up from the subway into the military invasion of Brooklyn. Together they decide to cross the treacherous five blocks of Bushwick – littered with looters, local militias, the invading forces, and one crazy cousin – in order to get home and be reunited with Lucy’s grandmother.
This film coming from the director’s of the horror comedy COOTIES is again inventive and an Interesting spin on a typical genre piece. Though much more sobering then their usual films. –The entire movie is shot in one, seemingly uncut, camera take.
The film tries to set up an alternative universe where it seems like states have decided to succeed from the United States and try to take over and defeat different ones and In this scenario they have decided to wage war over Bushwick. Which they believe will be easily taken over only it is more racially diverse and the residents fight back.
The film tries to have the main characters seem like Long time New Yorkers, but they more then fit the model of gentrifiers. Who in this scenario the powers that be who are attacking think will be easy to convert.
The film also falls into the cliche where most of the minority characters who are residents of the neighborhood are portrayed mostly as bad guys and savages. None are really sympathetic or given an even rendering as characters. So that they almost seem as bad as the enemy soldiers who are trying to wipe out everybody.
Having one of the heroes of the film be someone who already has ptsd is an interesting take. This is mostly an action film but one that is more dramatic.
Dave Bautista makes a natural action hero, but at least here he is asked to stretch his acting muscles a bit more.
Brittany Snow replaced Jane Levy (DON’T BREATHE) in the film
The film obviously has a limited budget but makes you believe this residential neighborhood is a war zone. It Is mostly done by having the camera constantly be by the characters so that you fell like you are tagging along with them. So that you are part of the experience. The camera rarely moves away and keeps staying In Their point of view rather then allowing for an overview.
The film keeps moving so that you. Ever get a chance to get bored. It has a few wrong notes here and there that disrupt the follow. Though that seems more due to strange character choices. Especially in one scene where a character only seems scantily clad and seductive to add something sexy to the film. Which is pretty blacks and white and feels out of place in the middle of a film about survival.
Not only is it a gentrification action film but it fills itself with generalities that could be seen as basic but also feel a little pointed though obviously the filmmakers are not interested in that and neither is the audience and they believe by showing some minority victims that will cover up the fact that most of the other minority characters are gang members or violent looters. Instead of regular citizens taking Up arms in defense.
Though can we really blame the filmmakers? As it is their creativity limits it what they choose to see and what it is perceived in the neighborhood. As it seems that while most of the minorities are fighting back against an invasion they are also looting and gang members. The only innocent minority members seem to get killed by looters or in the battle. Which might be background or more a minor detail than the characters we are following but it is disturbing.
Just as the invading force thought that the population of the neighborhoods ethnic make-up would make it easier to take over. It seems they thought it was fully gentrified and by liberal hipsters.
The film so very violent and actually offers a few surprises. Though any native New Yorker will notice how the geography of the film Is off it is a minor nitpick.
As is the fact that this major political action is being taken and the main character and other are only awakened to it or know about it when it shows up In their Neighborhood leaving us to believe there was no mention. Of it ever before the day. So everyone is taken so much By surprise. Though it looks like to some it was expected by most.
It’s an interesting premise that works for the most part and despite some of it’s faults doesn’t fall apart or fail. It achieves what it aims for.