Willis pulls off remake of ’70s action flick
Back in the 70’s revenge flicks were quite popular, and the one that really seemed to get the ball rolling was the 1974 cult classic, Death Wish.
This film, along with its sequels made Charles Bronson a household name for that genre of film. So, while I would normally be cursing another Hollywood remake, my love for that particular style of movie made me excited to see how this new one would play out. With Bruce Willis filling in for the role made famous by Bronson, we have the new film named after its infamous predecessor, Death Wish.
In this take, Willis plays Dr. Paul Kersey, a Chicago ER doctor who sees first hand the damage being done by the increasing number of inner-city violence; feeling helpless as each day is nastier than the day before. But when his wife and daughter are brutally attacked in a home invasion robbery gone awry, Kersey’s rage boils over and he decides to take the law into his own hands, personally going after the men responsible for destroying his family. Now, with only anger to guide him, he hopes to finish the job, before the job finishes him.
As I had hoped, this film delivers. Director Eli Roth (Hostel) knows how to give us what we want. With top notch action and bloodshed rivalling that of John Wick, Death Wish is everything a revenge flick is meant to be. It also leaves a lot to interpretation. Can someone use vigilante justice and still be a good guy? Batman once said, “If you kill a killer, the number of killers in the world remain the same.” This moral dilemma holds true to this flick as much as any in that genre.
As far as cast choices, Willis played a great vigilante, arguably playing a better killer than a loving husband and father, but still gave the role justice. Other screen veterans Vincent D’Onofrio and Elizabeth Shue plays Willis’s brother and wife respectively, both doing a great job. Fun fact: This is the second time D’Onofrio and Shue shared screen time in a Chicago setting, with the latter being the 1987 classic, Adventures in Babysitting.
So, while a strict 18A rating should (and rightfully so) keep the kiddies away, get a babysitter and catch this flick tonight. From the action, to the cast, to the excellent usage of AC/DC’s "Back in Black," this film crosses off so many things on a fun filled, action-packed (albeit a little gory) checklist that you will enjoy every second.
Head on over to Duggan Cinemas and get yourself comfy on the edge of your seat – you’re in for a crazy ride!