Death Wish 3 (1985)

death wish 3 poster 1985 movie charles bronson
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 5/10

So-bad-it-is-good, over the top action

Bronson is way too old for the role at this point, any sense of realism is gone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Death Wish 3

Studio:  Cannon Films

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  November 1, 1985

MPAA Rating:  R


I have a deal for you…You kill scum, and I don’t care!

Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) is back and once again finding himself seeking revenge. Returning to New York City, Kersey is immediately brought in by police when his friend is murdered but forced to be an agent of Chief Richard Shriker (Ed Lauter) to help clean up the crime ridden streets.  Moving into an apartment building plagued by crime, Kersey finds himself trying to clean-up the streets and facing off against Manny Fraker (Gavan O’Herlihy) and his gang of criminals.  As the crime escalates, the body count grows and only Kersey can stop the gangs before they consume the city.

Directed by Michael Winner, Death Wish 3 followed Death Wish II in 1982 (and opted for a traditional numbering instead of Roman numerals).  The film was met with criticism but has found a cult following.  Though set in New York, most of the film was shot in London.


Yeah, I got something on my head…I also have a gun!

Death Wish 3 is crazy…really.  The movie is so over the top and violent that you can’t help but like it on sheer guts.  With a horrible script and a totally ’80s look, Death Wish 3 is so bad it is good.

The movie has lost any sense of realism that the first film had.  The first movie is plausible…especially since he’s hunting random criminals and not hunting the men who killed his wife and raped his daughter.  The second movie is unlikely, but possible with him hunting people who killed his previously raped daughter and his maid.  The third movie is so insanely flimsy in plot and only gives a tiny reason to sit around and watch Bronson go nuts on guys.

With the shift in mentality from realism to out-and-out battle, the movie also gets even more violent.  Here it seems like people are dying for no reason.  The Fraker character randomly kills people associated with Kersey, and I would question if Kersey even helps anyone.  He teaches the people of the apartment to build Home Alone style booby traps, but by the end of the film, the whole block is burning and no one seems to have benefited.  One of the people he helps (then gets killed) is Star Trek:  The Next Generation’s Deanna Troi herself (Marina Sirtis)…who he saves…then she get raped and killed…Thanks a lot!

I'm be your machine gun jockey, Mr. Bronson...

I’m be your machine gun jockey, Mr. Bronson…

By this point, Bronson is also way too old for the role.  With today’s mentality that anyone can still be an action hero (see The Expendables for that), it isn’t as big of a stretch, but to see him take down these guys in hand-to-hand combat (or run after them) seems unlikely.  Apparently, Bronson can avoid bullets also since he can stop, aim his gun, and slowly fire while everyone seems to be shooting at him.

Death Wish 3 is almost one of those see-to-believe type films because it just doesn’t even try to match up with the other Death Wish films.  It is almost something like The Return of the Living Dead punks versus Charles Bronson.  Despite the series having run its course, Death Wish 3 was followed by two sequels beginning with Death Wish 4:  The Crackdown in 1987.

Related Links:

Death Wish (1974)

Death Wish II (1982)

Death Wish (2018)

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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