Apparently inspired by reports of former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s much hyped (but factually incorrect) musings on his state’s secession following the lection of President Obama, the film sees groups of red state paramilitary groups invade Brooklyn, New York in hopes of stirring up a civil war. “We are a united force with the goal of establishing an independent nation,” says one guerrilla soldier, “free from government tyranny and the right to live our lives the true American way.”
The story follows two sturdy survivalists, Stupe (Bautista), a janitor with a special set of skills and college student Lucy (Brittany Snow). Together they navigate through empty streets, dodging bullets from mercenaries with orders to shoot to kill. Sustaining injuries and making deals to stay alive, they try and piece together how civil war can break out in their neighbourhood.
The synopsis of “Bushwick” sounds more political than it actually is. This isn’t a cautionary tale or a social comment on the topsy-turvy state of modern partisan discourse. It dangles its toe in such matters—and others, including race relations in the Brooklyn neighbourhood—but it is, first and foremost, a shoot ‘em up videogame come to life on the big screen. Sure there are some clunky dialogue scenes and a sense that in the scheme of things all the bullets and bloodshed are for nothing but the film’s antiwar sentiment is a hollow platitude given the amount of ammunition used to tell the story.