DEATH WISH – 7 1/2
In a word: Tense
This is a remake of the 1974 version of Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson, and then another remake in 1982, Death Wish II, with Bronson once more. The premise of the story doesn’t change much, though in 1974, Bronson plays an architect while in the new version, Bruce Willis is a hospital surgeon, wrought with anger and revenge when he learns the fate of two loved ones. .
The center of the story surrounds the untimely and brutal murder of the protagonist’s spouse, played by Elisabeth Shue, during a household burglary. In this movie, his teenage daughter is also brutally assaulted but survives, though she remains in a coma until the very end of the movie (of course). The surgeon learns of the tragic event while he’s busily performing an operation on a patient.
Predictably, the Willis character is upset at the ho-hum police detectives who fail to develop any leads that will identify the killers. Predictably, the Willis character takes the law into his own hands and penetrates, under wrap of hoodies, the slum regions of South Chicago where he eventually develops information leading to the suspects. Along the way, he stumbles across a few unrelated crimes-in-progress, in which he angrily eliminates the assaulting criminals with his handy semi-automatic which he happened to come across in a much unusual manner. (See the movie)
The movie is saved by Willis who is the perfect vigilante model for such a role. He’s got the look, the physicality and the stoic acting skills to pull it off. The remaining actors are in the B-range, including two detectives, male/female, who seem connected at the hip in every scene with some ridiculous dialogue. Then again, I’m a super critic of cop movies that are rarely authentic.
For me, there were too many implausibles. But, thanks to Bruce Willis, it was an entertaining film worth a view for folks who like action, revenge and love all mingled into one character.
I give it a 7 ½