Bouncers are a particular breed. Working the door at a club is not something everyone is cut out to do. You have to have a certain kind of body type and mindset to be good at it. On the flipside, screenwriting is not something everyone can do. When it comes to Michel Jetté’s (Hochelaga) film it seems to me that bouncers might have had a hand in the writing of it. And that is not a good thing. What I mean is that it is that bad. All joking aside, even though I know that Michel Jetté wrote the screenplay and he has done two previous films that also looked at the criminal underworld, I have to say that the third time was not a charm for him. Whoever wrote it the result is a simple and silly film.
Montreal becomes subject to a turf war after the police make some raids on biker gangs and the Mafia. Other gangs see their once firmly held territories as being up for grabs. Number one on the “let’s grab some new areas” bandwagon is Haitian gang IB 11 led by Le Boss (Robert Pace) and Loosecanon (Bad News Brown). As part of their attempt to take over territories they begin to set up camp in the strip bar Kingdom. Owner and head bouncer there Papy (Pat Lemaire) is not the type to roll over, however.
Papy knows some people. The right kind of people. As a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces that went into Afghanistan he knows some guys who are trained combatants. He calls on his old army buddy L’Kid (Emmanuel Auger – Lance et Compte: Le Grand Duel), who then assembles fellow brothers in arms Tank (Sylvain Beauchamps – Scanners III: The Takeover), Momo (Alain Nadro), and Shrink (Constant Gagné) to help defend the bar against IB 11.
Bumrush reminded me of the type of film that Steven Segal or Jean-Claude Van Damme used to make. All brawn and no brains. At times I felt like the narrator that the film uses was necessary to try to clear up some of the silliness going on. Clichés and stereotypes abound. With hot blooded and pasta eating Italian Mafioso types and perennially stoned Jamaican gang members this is not enlightened stuff. I mean, what kind of gang member would whip out a harmonica to play before each of his kills. Besides the ridiculousness of it, wouldn’t that become a tipoff after a while?
Though it hopes to give viewers a bird’s eye into the “real” going ons in the gangs in Montreal what it ends up being is a superficial look. They show what they claim to be the behaviours and manners of operation into gang life. Well, when you have characters that are silly and uninteresting then even the most well-intentioned viewer becomes bored. Too bad because the idea behind the film is good, but the result is disappointing.