As it turns out, the remake of Death Wish is better than I thought it was going to be. And while I still believe it was an unnecessary movie to put out since absolutely no one was asking for it, it’s here and had quite a few positives things working in its favor. To say that when I was only hoping not to be extremely bored is a win in my opinion as well as a welcome surprise that allowed me to breathe easy.
This updated version of the 1974 film starring Charles Bronson sees Bruce Willis stepping into the role of Paul Kersey in the 21st Century. In this reimagining, our protagonist is a surgeon who’s only witnessed the violence of his city after victims are rushed to his hospital in need of care. That all changes when his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter (Camilla Marrone) are attacked during a home invasion. As he tries to sit back and let the cops do their jobs, he soon figures out that he has to take matters into his own hands and decides to hunt down the perpetrators in pursuit of justice and vengeance.
Not only is Death Wish better than what I originally thought it would be, it’s also more serious than it looked at first. The original film was a pretty humorless affair throughout and made a lasting impact on people who were fans of it when it was first released. So based on that, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but that’s where the marketing really failed it.
The commercials that I saw beforehand led me to believe that this was going to contain much more comedy to go along with its violence. This made the movie look dumber and more inconsequential than it should have. Because of this, I’d imagine that there are several people who were turned off by it before even given it a chance. That has to be especially true for fans of the series of films that came out decades ago.
What we actually get is a movie that does have a few jokes but never relies on any of that stuff for long. The comedy is in and out as it fits into certain situations without ever dominating the run time. This allows for the movie to focus in on the more serious parts that they should have been promoting. In the world of film, there is always time for a few laughs, but you have to remember what your audience wants to see when looking at specific movies.
While plenty of what’s included works, Death Wish does have a few problems when grading it as a film. A large chunk of its issues come in the form of its logic. This is something that probably couldn’t happen in real life these days, but it becomes even more impossible when you look deeper at some of the things that happen over the course of the movie. These flaws prevent the movie from being a great piece of cinema, but they don’t take away from the amount of entertainment that is here.
With all of the issues when it comes to logic that are sometimes hard to ignore, there’s actually a good amount of attention to detail included that makes this more of a modern movie. There’s a focus on technology and media that come into play that helps in making this a lively affair. This keeps the viewers engaged and gives this an opportunity to separate itself from all of the Death Wish movies starring Charles Bronson that came before it.
It’s cool that features like this are added to what’s already here rather than just attempting to make a simple remake. Because of this and a few other things, this is a movie you won’t regret seeing. You will definitely find better movies out there, but Death Wish is an easy flick to have fun with and get into since it’s not very deep. Because of this, it won’t leave a lasting impression on you, but it provides some genuine entertainment that might also lead it to being pretty rewatchable at home.
Director: Eli Roth
Film Length: 107 minutes
Release Date: March 2, 2018
Distributor: MGM Pictures
- Score - 6.5/106.5/10