Shortfilm Review: BULLOCK THE BRUISER (2017) Brings The Pain!


I'm new to writer/director Marcelo Mayen mostly. That said, recently spotting the trailer for his latest debut at the helm, Bullock The Bruiser, encouraged me to give it a place on The Hit List earlier this month, and rightly so. Instantly you get the impression of a Guy Ritchie-style British Hoodlum drama transplanted in New York City's urban millieu and it works in some of the best ways possible for a skeletal piece of indie film fare such as this.

Really, apart from a little of the acting, the only set back for this one is that it's not the longer feature film as it should be. Yeah, it's indie, but it has a quality and texture that grace it amply enough that you're watching something that would instantly look decent on the big screen. Setting the stage with a montage of the city's skyline and flashback is actor Will Parker in narration and on screen as the title character - Wilson, a brawler stalking the corners and alleyways to do good deeds that require violent means, means which have earned him a reputation within the criminal underworld, as well as his own Wanted flyer.

The story lands us right at the precipice of Wilson Bullock's life where he's handed an ultimatum by his ex-girlfriend, Ellen, played by actress Esther van Zyl. In the picture comes Alice Dessuant in the role of DieAnna who presents the burdened Wilson with a proposition he can't refuse: a one shot opportunity to take out the most hated man in the city, Richard Tucker - played by Max Turner, for reportedly killing his pregnant girlfriend. Soon enough, Ellen is kidnapped and his decision that will ultimately be one that will force Wilson to look past the veil of deception, as well as his own impulses if he's to save her life while redeeming his own.

I'm not too knowledgeable about the background of this particular shortfilm. It clocks in at around 35 minutes and was initially meant as a three part webseries which, in the long run, probably wouldn't fare well for this project in my opinion. For this, you get the whole entrée and for a first-time gig for Mayen, it's not a terrible sell. Among the performances is Dessuant's portrayal of DieAnna which is some of the best acting I've seen this year along with her character development. The action is largely frenetic and tethered to standards practiced by Hollywood and so there's nothing truly glossy or outstanding, save for the obligatory brutality and gore a film like this needs.

Parker, who has a total of 11 acting credits at IMDb as of this write-up, suits the role just fine as our titular 'Bruiser. His delivery invites sympathy for his character in conjunction with a terriric script that doesn't just offer some gritty, throwaway tale of a superficial vigilante fighting crime. There are conflicts, there is stoicism, charisma and charm as well as ugliness, and in whole, a protagonist you can root for along with some refreshing suprises and twists this story brings to its forefront.

I don't know if whether Mayen will move on with another project after this or somehow augment this into a larger feature film with a more solid treatment. What I do know is that his approach to such an eclectic genre with an appeal to UK viewers is a thing of B-movie magic that I think festivals would get a kick out of and if Bullock has a future on screen, I would wholly welcome it.

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