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"Death Wish" Movie Review

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.


Death Wish is a remake/reboot of a series based on a book. The film follows Dr. Paul Kersey, a family man and surgeon who faces the ultimate tragedy when armed robbers break into his home, empty his safe, and kill his wife and put his daughter in a coma. The police are less than helpful and only advise Paul to "have faith". Paul decides he doesn't want to wait. He's tired of seeing on a daily basis how vile and corrupt his city has become. He decides to take matters into his own hands, delivering vigilante justice on those that keep slipping through the fingers of the law.

I personally found this film to be more engaging than the original. It didn't feel rushed or overstuffed but rather gave you a reason to care about Paul and sympathize with his situation. He felt like he failed his family and he couldn't stand waiting around just to hear "they got away" or "we couldn't find them" or "there was no substantial evidence". There was real emotion and real pain there and I liked that. It wasn't just another mindless action film but rather one that made you think "Is he right or wrong?"

Bruce Willis is no stranger to action films, but this is probably his best since Looper. He always has a take-charge attitude and keeps the comedic moments natural and not forced. What makes this performance stand out, however, is that we haven't seen Bruce vulnerable in a very long time. After years of playing action heroes, he now takes on the role of a man who has never used a firearm in his life, nor ever thought he'd have to. It was strange seeing Bruce play ignorant about gun use but it was also, in a way, refreshing. A lot of action films have the character pick up a gun and automatically know how to use it. I was happy with the fact this film took its time to develop Paul's character.

In conclusion, I had a blast at the theater and, even though I could pretty much guess where the story was going next, it still managed to pop in a few surprises and kept me entertained. The questions it brought up are completely valid and it's certainly something to ponder on. I give the film a 3 out of 4.

© 2018 Nathan Jasper