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Marina Antunes [Film Festival 10.14.11] Canada review thriller drama crime

Year: 2011
Director: Michel Jetté
Writer: Michel Jetté
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 7 out of 10

A number of years ago, Monteal went through a major shakeup of the criminal underworld and as is typical in any type of power struggle, the openings in the ranks are filled by younger, more resilient criminal talent. Michel Jetté's Bumrush takes place during one of these underworld shakeups and features the story of a group of men who are just trying to eek out a living for themselves and happen to be caught between two warring factions.

Papy (Pat Lemaire) owns and operates The Kingdom strip club. When a police crack down takes out some of the biggest players in the underworld, The Kingdom, a club that until now has been located on neutral territory, becomes the epicentre of warring gangs each trying to take over from the outgoing gangs. As the battle heats up and the club becomes ground zero for headbutting, Papy approaches an old army buddy L'Kid (Emmanuel Auger) to help him regain some control. L'Kid brings together the old army crew and the group set into motion a plan to save The Kingdom from falling into gang control.

Jetté isn't interested in just telling the story of Papy and his little club and opts instead to spread the scope of his film to include a look at the inner workings of the warring gangs. His gamble pays off and rather than losing focus and incorporating uninteresting characters, a problem with films that spread themselves too thin in an effort to show the bigger picture, Bumrush is a fast paced, highly entertaining crime drama that spans all sides of the story with the notable exception of the police who always seem to be hovering nearby but never intervene. Though some of the scenes come across a bit goofy (the coming together of the army buddies reeks of cheese), the film's major problem is obviously budgetary. If Jetté managed to pull this off with little to no money, I would love to see what he could have achieved with a budget and real actors.

Bumrush often comes across as amateur hour on cable TV but the excellent script keeps the story focused and moving along at such a pace that there isn't a lot of time left over for reminiscing on the lack of acting talent. Jetté's script delivers a tightly woven tale with multiple players all working towards their own ends but he does a fantastic job of keeping the various factions separate and the interwoven story moving along with such clear focus that there's never any confusion as to who is who and which groups are aligned and against each other.

Even though it's a little rough around the edges, Bumrush rises above its shortcomings to deliver some great moments, a handful of gorgeous shots of Montreal (something you don't see every day) and a highly enjoyable crime drama that latches on from the opening scene and kept me interested until the closing moments. Jetté has a knack for capturing the mix of language and culture that breathes through Montreal and I'm excited to see what he has lined up next. Hopefully someone will step up to give the guy some money because Bumrush shows he's a director with mainstream potential.

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