Death Wish II (1982)

death wish 2 poser review
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Decent action sequences

Loses the edge of the first film, repetative

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Death Wish II

Studio:  Filmways Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  February 20, 1982

MPAA Rating:  R


I’m at it again! I’m such a kooky killer!

Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) is starting his new life in Los Angeles as an architect and enjoying life with his girlfriend Geri Nichols (Jill Ireland).  Muggers break into Paul’s home and rape and murder his maid Rosario (Silvana Gallardo) and his already traumatized daughter Carol (Robin Sherwood).  Now, Paul is arming himself again and going out for the kill…walking the streets of L.A. looking for the men responsible.  Detective Frank Ochoa (Vincent Gardenia) is sent to Los Angeles to deal with Paul when he learns New York City’s old problem has resurfaced.  Paul must keep his secret from Geri, keep out of Ochoa’s site, and avenge his daughter and his maid.

Directed by Michael Winner, Death Wish II was the follow-up to the extremely popular Death Wish of 1974.  The movie was met with moderate to negative reviews, but it still was met with a strong box office return for the low production cost.


This was Cowboy Curtis’ original look…

The first Death Wish was a big deal, and it feels weird that a sequel was decided upon so long after the original.  The modern trend of pumping out sequels would have had Death Wish II being confirmed when Death Wish was still in the theater.  Here, we have Kersey’s character skipping a Chicago adventure (what was set up in Death Wish) and moving on to California…and having almost the same thing happen to him again.

What made Death Wish interesting is that Kersey was seeking revenge not by killing the actual killers, but other criminals.  The vigilante idea was more interesting when it was random.  Here, not only did the events of the first film happen again, but his poor daughter gets tormented again in the process.  Kersey becomes the hunter…seeking out the rapists and killers which included a young “punk” Lawrence Fishburne.


I sure have a “death wish”

Visually, Death Wish II also loses some edginess.  Death Wish seemed to show more of a seedier side of New York City than the world of Death Wish II.  Kersey is sometimes hunting during the day and the sets and settings of the film don’t feel as grimy and dirty.

By the time Death Wish II came out, action stars were starting to take hold more and more.  Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were both on the rise at this point.  Bronson was an early forerunner to the modern action star and this film along with the original was an early version of the modern action film…but it does lack the “charm” of the original Death Wish that seemed edgier.  Death Wish II was followed by Death Wish 3 (which dropped the Roman numerals).

Related Links:

Death Wish (1974)

Death Wish 3 (1985)

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.

Leave A Response