One thing you gotta understand going into the movie Death Wish, is it’s a revenge tale that’s done to death and doesn’t give you much to think about.
You know the story, a man’s family gets killed or hurt and he goes a little nuts and starts killing those responsible. It is a cliché and a genre of its own. And for all you kids reading this, this movie is a remake of the 70’s movie of the same name that starred Charles Bronson. What a time to be a movie star back in the 70’s too, you take one good look at Bronson and I bet you could say to yourself that even you could’ve been a movie star back then too. All kidding aside though, yes the movie has been done before, even the original movie had like 4 sequels.
Now in this version which was written by Joe Carnahan (which he says his original script was butchered by the studio) and directed by Eli Roth has surgeon Paul Kearsey (Bruce ‘Bruno’ Willis) losing his family to these asshole burglars. Kearsey has to do what a man has to do. He gets the itch by stopping a car jacking that was going bad for the victims and kills the car jackers. Boom. He realizes he could do some good for the people that pop into his ER that get hurt by bad guys in the neighborhood.
While he’s being Batman for the streets he also has local cops Raines and Jackson (Dean Norris, who kinda looks like Bruce and Kimberly Elise) investigating Kearsey’s case and “The Grim Reaper” (what the general public calls Kearsey but they don’t know it’s Kearsey) and Kearsey has to stay one step ahead of everyone. Like I said, it’s not much to think about.
The movie is directed pretty well by Eli Roth who is more used to making horror movies like Hostel and The Green Inferno. It’s a shame that he wasn’t able to direct Joe Carnahan’s original script, from what is said by Carnahan himself “it would’ve won Oscars.” But we’ll never know and that’s ok, what do the Oscars really mean anyway?
Bruce Willis also comes across like he actually cares a little bit in this movie, his lackadaisical approach to his most recent movies has been a bit transparent lately. It’s nice to see Bruce having just a little bit of fun even if it’s just to pay the rent. One other actor worth mentioning is Beau Knapp, he played Blue Face in The Nice Guys, he usually plays bad guys in the movies he’s in and this one is no different. Knapp isn’t a bad actor and he’s not given a whole lot in this movie but his presence is felt when he’s on screen. He’s that guy you hope gets his in the end.
Now, as said before the movie doesn’t make you think much but it definitely has a stance on owning guns and assault rifles. Its stance is more on having an assault rifles is only good to have to protect your family and nothing else. To each his own on the matter but it feels a little ill timed with current events and all.