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Stars: Brittany Snow, Dave Bautista, Angelic Zambrana

Director: Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott

A seemingly low-budget apocalyptic thriller which starts very well, but slows down a lot as it goes along. But then the action sequence that comes at the end is perhaps the best thing in a film which contains some remarkably poor acting outside of the two main stars (who are both good).

A new American Civil War looms, as Texas secedes from the Union and, assembling most of the Southern states, sends an army of black-clad militia to invade the Bushwick area of New York, where little resistance is expected. Some hope. All hell breaks loose in no time.

Seemingly unaware of all this, grad student Lucy (Snow: Chloe from the Pitch Perfect films) arrives at a puzzlingly deserted Metro station with her boyfriend, to be confronted by a man on fire. Hearing the sound of gunshots and the whirr of helicopters, the boyfriend mounts the steps to investigate. There's an explosion - and he's hurled back on to the steps - charred to a cinder.

A terrified Lucy finally finds help in the form of hulking Marine medic vet Stupe (unfortunate name), played by Bautista (red-skinned Drax from the Guardians of the Galaxy films). The rest of the film concerns their fight to stay alive in the midst of an increasingly chaotic battlefield.

The pair reach Lucy's grandmother's apartment, only to find the old lady dead. They decide to move on - although why would they think they were safer in the streets?

There's some dodgy CGI explosions along the way, but a sense of danger and imminent death is pretty well maintained, as Lucy toughens up and at one point even takes over. The fates of the two leading characters may surprise you, although it provides for a fairly unsatisfactory dramatic conclusion.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope. Colour (unspecified).
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 24 Aug 2017