Death Wish

death_wish_ver3_xlgThe sixth installment of the Death Wish movie franchise and a direct remake of the original released in 1974, Death Wish is an average action flick that relies heavily on the stale genre conventions of the revenge/vigilante action thriller and ultimately feels like an unnecessary exercise in re-creating the original movie starring Charles Bronson. An aging Bruce Willis plays Dr. Paul Kersey, a talented emergency surgeon living in Chicago, who one day becomes a vengeful vigilante after a home invasion leaves his wife Lucy, played by Elizabeth Shue, dead and his high school senior daughter Jordan, played by Argentinian model Camilla Morrone, comatose. Angry that the police led by Detective Kevin Raines, played by Dean Norris of Breaking Bad fame, is unable to fully investigate the crimes and identify the culprits, Dr. Kersey transforms into a typical Bruce Willis character who takes justice into his own hands and eventually discovers those responsible. He keeps his violent retaliations secret even from his brother Frank, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, and becomes known by the public as the Grim Reaper, either vilified as an unjustified killer or lionized as a justice warrior. Typical of the director Eli Roth’s oeuvre as a well-known horror filmmaker and producer of such films as 2005’s Hostel, the movie contains some graphically violent scenes that sensationalizes vicious acts involving weapons and overall brutality. Overall, I did not find it to be a particularly satisfying moviegoing experience and was underwhelmed by the simple premise of a revenge thriller that has been used far too many times; furthermore, the glorification of violence and assault rifles comes at a particularly bad time as a result of the recent mass shootings occurring just prior to the film’s release.

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