Plot: Lucy (Brittany Snow) is on her way to visit her grandmother, with her boyfriend in tow for his first family introduction. She doesn’t pay much mind when announcements come over the speakers about problems with transit, as she is already out of the tunnels and is used to frequent issues with subway transportation. But then the couple hears some horrific sounds from ground level and when her boyfriend goes to take a look, he is killed by a fiery explosion. Now she finds herself alone in the middle of a sudden war zone, with armed people all over and constant gunfire ringing out. When two uniformed men approach her and attempt to handcuff her, she is saved by a man named Stupe (Dave Bautista). He is trying to reach his family, but Lucy clings to him to try to stay alive, so the two move ahead together. As the death toll rises and violence continues, can they survive and what has caused this civil unrest?
Entertainment Value: This open war, chaos in the streets type premise has been done before, but Bushwick manages to give us a street level, smaller scale, and more personal take on the concept. This is especially effective since it takes a while before the reason for all the violence is revealed, so things have such a feeling of unknown dread, since we have no idea what is going on. The movie has threads of action, but plays more like a drama/thriller and takes the time to develop the leads, so don’t expect a flashy, over the top action movie here. Instead, we have a scenario where life and death matter, which is a nice change of pace. This could have easily turned into a slow mo filled gun ballet, but it stays grounded and impactful. Dave Bautista has a prominent role here and nails it, giving us a tough, but broken down soldier who is on the verge of collapse, which makes the interplay with Brittany Snow interesting. She plays a scared, vulnerable woman who sees him as her safety beacon, so it is an intriguing dynamic. I appreciated Bautista as the anti action hero here, he really conveys the weariness of the character and adds a lot to the movie. I am sure some would have preferred all out action, but to me, Buswick shines because it took a less traveled path, giving us a smaller scale, personal, and intense experience.
No nakedness. This movie has a frantic pace in most scenes, so aside from a brief bra & panties scene, no sexiness arises in this one. The blood quotient is low, but the movie has frequent bursts of violence. A lot of gun fights and combat in the streets, but most is seen from a distance or overheard instead of witnessed. The explosion early leaves Lucy’s beau a disfigured mess, while Stupe pulls a sizable glass shard from his leg, which then releases a small flood of the red stuff. So gun violence aplenty, but not a lot of graphic or over the top bloodshed. The dialogue is fine, mostly feeling in the moment as it should, combined with some short bursts of exposition. The low score indicates a lack of wild or quotable dialogue, so don’t mistake the lack of points as bad writing, as the movie is quite well written. As for craziness, the movie keeps things mostly grounded, so there’s not much in terms of wild or outlandish moments. The premise is interesting, but seems remotely plausible.
Overall Insanity: 1/10