HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Death Wish Vacillating Vigilante Vengeance
Year: 2018
Director: Eli Roth
Stars: Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, Dean Norris, Beau Knapp, Kimberly Elise, Len Cariou, Jack Kesy, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Kirby Kliss Blanton, Andreas Apergis, Ian Matthews, Wendy Crewson, Warona Setshwaelo
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a surgeon at a Chicago hospital who recognises the irony of what he is assigned to every night as the victims of violence on the streets are brought in and he has to at least try and save their lives or allow them to die. This no matter what they have done: they could be a heroic cop gunned down in the line of duty, or the criminal who gunned them down and was injured in the attack, it's all supposed to be the same to Kersey and he is not allowed to complain. He does have a happy home life to return to, a pillar of stability away from his chaotic working life, his wife Lucy (Elisabeth Shue) and soon-to-be in college daughter Jordan (Camila Morrone), thank goodness.

But oh, what if they were taken away from Kersey, what would he do then? How would he grieve? Would he take this tragedy with sad acceptance, or would he want to do something about it? What would Charles Bronson do? What does he have to do with it? Well, Chuck cast a very long shadow over action movies, not only thanks to starring in the original Death Wish, but also because of his other works in the field, and for some reason director Eli Roth chose Bruce Willis to step into his shoes for a remake that had the misfortune to be released at a time in America when gun control had never been a hotter button topic, and that it didn't help in any way hobbled it at the box office.

Whichever way it had landed on the gun debate was never going to satisfy everyone, but the way this wavered between the security of defending yourself and the dangerous thinking that led so many to be murdered and injured by firearms in America looked as if Roth and his team of writers (only Joe Carnahan was credited) were weak-minded when it came to making a clear statement. Not that they needed to, they could have gone the Death Wish 3 route and created a modern day Western where the white-hatted good guy blew away all the black-hatted bad guys and left it at that, yet such was the controversial climate that this felt the need to address the matter.

And failed completely in that address, as once Kersey has lost his wife and sees his daughter in a coma thanks to a bungled robbery at their home, he still doesn't come across as the type who would take up arms and go out on the streets to bring a reckoning to the villains blighting society. The fact that they threw in so many scenes of him suffering misgivings about his vigilantism merely served to have you wondering why he bothered to put himself through the trauma when he should have been there to nurse his daughter back to health, yet there were other scenes where he positively relished his lawbreaking as if he were an avenging angel on Chicago's crime problem, turning their gun problems back on themselves. All the while the media, official and social, debate the rights and wrongs endlessly.

With no real conclusion. This had the effect of rendering Paul Kersey as two different characters in one body, each as one-dimensional as their counterpart, which was frustrating to watch no matter how much you enjoyed seeing scumbags in pain and being murdered by the hero of an action flick. Something different in this redo, not so much an adaptation of Brian Garfield's novel as a reimagining of Michael Winner's version, was that Kersey hunts down the perpetrators of the crime that drove him to violence, which made a far bigger difference than you might expect. In the first film, the fact that he never gets his revenge on them left him in an existential, urban hell, doomed to murder in the name of justice when it never satisfied the ache he had in his soul. Here, he would be fine because he knew what he had to do, and once he had done it he could get back to his life as long as the cops - including Dean Norris, a lawman so useless he can't even eat a cereal bar - didn't work out he was the "Grim Reaper". Maybe Roth should have been let loose on a Punisher movie instead; his Death Wish was a limp thriller with no backbone, propped up by its fearful gun reliance. Music by Ludwig Göransson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 858 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Eli Roth  (1972 - )

American director heavily influenced by 70s and 80s horror. Debuted with the successful splatter comedy Cabin Fever, and followed this up with the gory hit Hostel and its less successful sequel. Later, he directed cannibal shocker The Green Inferno and thriller remake Knock Knock, plus another remake, Death Wish and kids' horror The House with the Clock in its Walls. Roth has also produced 2001 Maniacs, a remake of Herschell Gordon Lewis's Two Thousand Maniacs! and a Cabin Fever remake among others as well as acted in friend Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: