Death Wish (2018)

death wish poster 2018 movie
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 5/10

Potential to study how the Death Wish storyline changed over the decades

Didn't do enough to update the story, little reflexive look, generic characters

Movie Info

Movie Name: Death Wish

Studio: Cave 76

Genre(s): Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): March 2, 2018

MPAA Rating: R

death wish 2018 elisabeth shue

This is the unrated cut of Adventures in Babysitting when the gangsters caught up to them…

Surgeon Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) has the perfect life.  He loves his wife Lucy (Elisabeth Shue) and his daughter Jordan (Camila Morrone) who is getting ready to head to college.  When tragedy strikes, Paul finds himself in a position to make a difference and ensure that he isn’t a victim again.

Directed by Eli Roth, Death Wish is an action thriller.  The film is an adaptation of Brian Garfield’s 1972 novel and combines elements of the 1974 Charles Bronson film.  The release of the film was pushed back from 2017 to 2018 after the mass shooting on October 1, 2017 (though that was never confirmed by the studio).  The movie received poor reviews and performed poorly.  It was nominated for Razzies for Worst Actor and Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel.

Death Wish was a classic.  It isn’t PC, but the themes of the film (revenge, pain, and suffering) are something that are always timeless and open for debate.  The new version of Death Wish explores many of the same ideas, but it lacks the reflectiveness it needs in a world where the line between vigilantes and lone-gunmen are blurred.

death wish bruce willis

Aren’t you that guy from Unbreakable?

The new Death Wish sounds like a bad idea.  Willis’ character primarily looks for his wife’s killers, but until he gets direction, he wanders the streets looking for “bad guys”.  The idea that his merits are debated is the only interesting factor in the film, but that doesn’t outweigh the blasé and pretty illogical story of the worst vigilante ever in the digital age where there are cameras everywhere.

Death Wish also suffers from generic cast syndrome.  After Sylvester Stallone walked away, Willis stepped in.  Bruce Willis plays the Bruce Willis character, Dean Norris plays the Dean Norris character, Vincent D’Onofrio plays the Vincent D’Onofrio character, etc., etc.  The bad guys are non-descript and nothing really develops.  One scene determines that Bruce Willis is kind of a jerk…he gets on a train after having shot his first person and he makes a woman move…despite having tons of seats open…what an ass.

death wish 2018 ending bruce willis gun

I most likely won’t be back!

There is some very graphic violence in the movie.  I still say that Death Wish 3 and the fun ending shootout is crazy but it is ’80s violence crazy.  Here, you get graphic shots of legs cut open and a man’s head crushed (brains and all).  It just gives it an eww factor instead of adding to the story.

Death Wish is very missable.  Fortunately since the film didn’t do well, I don’t know that we’ll see the multiple Death Wish films that followed the first Death Wish.  Hollywood is rather bankrupt on ideas and recycling movies like Death Wish makes sense in those terms, but it just leaves you wishing that they had worked harder to do something new with it and face the changes in society since Bronson’s 1970s outing.  Bruce Willis is gunning for you, but he misses the mark.

Related Links:

Death Wish (1974)

Death Wish II (1982)

Death Wish 3 (1985)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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