Sports personalities making the transition to movies is not a new thing. Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, O.J. Simpson, Fred Dryer, Lou Ferrigno, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Carl Weathers, the list goes on and on with varying degrees of success. Actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris have seen greater success and in recent years, Dwayne Johnson may just prove to be the most successful yet. But one actor is creeping up the list with an impressive array of roles really just since 2011 or 2012. Dave Bautista found his big break outside of WWE when he took the role of Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. And in the sequel to that film he stole the show. A new film that Bautista actually headlines just hit shelves and is well worth checking out, Bushwick.
Bautista plays Stupe, a Marine veteran who finds his neighborhood of Bushwick in New York City under siege as Texas announces its plans to secede from the United States. Desperate to escape the area, Stupe pairs up with Lucy (Brittany Snow), a 20-year-old student trying to get to her grandmother amidst the chaos of invading forces, local militias, and looters filling the streets.
Bushwick is one of the best hidden gems of the year. Directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott set up the film to appear as if it is all one real time shot with the camera following the main characters and the result is extremely effective. The neighborhood is a war zone and the viewer is thrown right into the middle of it with the two leads. Bautista is a man of little words as Stupe but says volumes with his expressions. He has proven himself time and again to be a very good actor and this film really makes me excited to see what he does next. Brittany Snow of the Pitch Perfect films is also very good here and makes for an interesting companion to the hulking Stupe. Writers Nick Damici (Stakeland) and Graham Reznick keep the pace fast and exciting with many unexpected moments throughout the film. Bushwick is tense, thrilling, emotional and action packed with solid performances and brilliant cinematography. Very highly recommended.