Death Wish (2018)
Why do we like vigilante justice? I think that it is because someone does exactly what we are thinking should be done or we would like to do, ourselves. Also, vigilante justice in the movies is often portrayed as sticking up for ones that cannot stick up for themselves. If you are like me, then you enjoy rooting for the underdog.
Death Wish is about a doctor who decides to take matters into his own hands after an attack on his family. He decides to find the men responsible and serve up his own form of vigilante justice.
The movie was directed by Eli Roth and the noteworthy cast includes Bruce Willlis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Camila Morrone, Beau Knapp, Kimberly Elise, Len Cariou, Jack Kesy, and Ronnie Gene Blevins.
I am not usually one to be into remakes. It seems like Hollywood remakes or reboots just about everything these days. Often, I say leave well enough alone, but sometimes the right remake idea comes along and the right actor is cast in the lead role.
In this case, Willis was very fitting for the role in Death Wish. It was his best performance since Looper (2012). He has been making a lot of B-rated straight to DVD movies lately, so it is nice to see him return to his former glory. I am glad to see that he has not gone the way of Nicolas Cage (spitting out one piece of trash after the next). Death Wish is a one-man-show and Bruce was clearly up for the task.
This movie is a scary concept because of how realistic it is. What I mean by that is that it shows just how worthless the police department and justice system can be sometimes. Too often, it is the people that deserve to see justice be done, that are the ones stuck without any justice at all. It also goes to show just how vulnerable we all are.
The likable Dean Norris has quickly been typecast as the police or detective type thanks to the success of the television series Breaking Bad. His part in this movie is good, but it does quickly make you think of Breaking Bad.
There are a few noticeable gruesome scenes in this movie that had Roth’s signature all over it. So far, I believe that this film is Roth’s best work as a director. He did a terrific job setting the tone of Death Wish and sticking with it throughout.
It has been a very long time since I have seen the original Death Wish (1974), but watching this version has made me want to go back and watch the original sometime soon. The new film is a quality remake done with today’s technology. The original movie is now 44 years old and it shows its age.
This movie is a murky suspense/thriller with good old fashioned popcorn-popping action. Willis as the protagonist doing bad for good reasons will keep you on the edge of your seat hoping that justice gets done.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
Death Wish (1974)
Death Sentence (2007)
The Brave One (2007)
Man on Fire (2004)
The Equalizer (2014)
The Punisher (2004)
Sin City (2005)
Harry Brown (2009)
John Wick (2014)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Dead Man Down (2013)
Dead Man Down is a tale about grief, pain, and especially revenge. The film is a bit of a puzzle. I especially enjoy movies that make you think and figure things out for yourself instead of spelling it all out for you. This story pieces itself together little by little as events unfold and eventually everything becomes clear. By doing this, the movie keeps your attention because you are focused on what will happen next.
Although the movie was filmed in New York, it has a foreign independent movie feel to it. This is not only because there are a number of foreign actors and actresses in the film, but because the whole movie has an almost exotic feel to it. Instead of focusing on landmarks to tell the viewers where the story is taking place, this movie almost does the opposite. You can tell that it takes place in a big city, but the filmmakers decided to film in less obvious parts of the city. Instead of getting big helicopter views, they give you a view from a rooftop or a balcony. It seems like the story is intentionally confined to a smaller area. Maybe this makes it easier for people all around the world to believe that what is happening in the film could actually be happening in their home town. It is just an interesting aspect of filmmaking that I have never thought of before.
I like Colin Farrell but I am always a little leery of his movies because they are usually hit or miss. Lately he has been choosing his characters a little more wisely (Seven Psychopaths (2012), Total Recall (2012), Horrible Bosses (2011)) and this movie was no exception. His character is a no-nonsense tough guy and he plays the part well.
Terrence Howard brings a lot of energy and charisma to the film. He has a very Denzel Washington-like way of taking over the scenes that he is in and making his presence known. I think that this is his best role since The Brave One (2007).
After watching her delicate performance in the movie, Noomi Rapace has convinced me that I should check out her Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (2010) that she is most known for. Her character in Dead Man Down seemed very genuine.
Armand Assante has basically a cameo appearance. I was a little bummed that he wasn’t in more of the movie.
The movie was a little drawn out at times. Some of the action sequences seemed a little convenient. The story might be a little hard to follow if you’re not paying attention. But, overall it was an entertaining and unique film.
I rate this movie a 7.5 out of 10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.