Death Wish Review
Bringing a mix of his personalities from both Die Hard and Unbreakable, Bruce Willis makes Death Wish a fun and brutal ride that will definitely be talked about with today’s social climate.
An intelligent doctor, Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis), uses surgical precision to exact revenge against a group of criminals after they kill his wife and put his daughter in a coma after a home invasion gone wrong. But as he begins to gain more notoriety, the police begin to catch wind and the city of Chicago begins to debate whether or not he is right for putting the law into his own hands. Nevertheless, Paul will stop at nothing until he finds these criminals and puts a bullet through their heads.
Death Wish comes at an interesting time with debates on gun control and mental health taking center stage across the US. While it has moments where gun violence is clearly amped up to make action scenes more exciting, the film often ends these moments with both radio personalities and Chicago citizens throwing their two cents in on whether or not Paul is right for what he is doing. This is actually something unique with Death Wish and helps it fit in to something that its viewers are thinking about in their daily lives.
Death Wish also modernizes itself by having actual gun shops and internet tutorial videos be a part of Paul’s path to revenge. These assets along with Paul actually having to train himself on how to effectively shoot a gun, since he has no army or weapon-based background like most action heroes, make Death Wish feel more like a superhero tale than a generic action film.
However, although audiences are more than capable of handling any action or superhero movie, they have definitely not seen one with Eli Roth in the director’s chair. If you’ve ever seen a film by Roth, you know that he loves to have gore and blood cranked all the way up. Death Wish never reaches the levels of Hostel, Cabin Fever, or any of his other works, but the gory deaths that each criminal faces as Paul hunts them down makes Death Wish a film that is not for the squeamish.
Outside of Willis’ fun and likable lead performance, Death Wish doesn’t really boast any memorable performances. The film also does not produce a final antagonist that audiences feel connected to and makes the plot feel a little rushed and anti-climactic.
So while definitely not for everyone, Death Wish is still a fun and interesting movie that can get audiences thinking about an issue that is timely.