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“Death Wish” didn’t need a remake. Well, it’s had four decades of being remade, retooled, redrafted and existing as a sub-genre onto itself. Eli Roth’s remake has been postponed from last Fall due to concerns over recent shootings, specifically the massacre in Las Vegas. Now, it lands right in the middle of the toughest fight that the NRA has had to fight in America. Will gun-toting Americans find a hero in Paul Kersey? Will anti-gun lobbyists find a poster child for their so-far successful campaign? The answer is NO.

While a great many woke readers don’t care for Eli Roth, I love the guy. He loves exploitation cinema and tries his hardest to make it work. Where his past work succeeds, this film feels compromised. Between Vincent D’Onofrio existing as a previously non-existing sounding board to dialing back what happened to Kersey’s daughter, it begs a question. What did Eli Roth give up to make a film like this? Sure, Joe Carnahan got to script it and I don’t buy that his final draft made it to the screen.

Carnahan and Roth are amazing talents, Death Wish is a strong movie from 1974 and there’s no reason for this film to be so toothless. If you’re going to do a film like this, you either make a point or go to the next level. There’s nothing here that Willis hasn’t been sleepwalking through since 2000. AndersonVision isn’t one of the sites that will hang-wring over whether this is an NRA fantasy or not. News flash, kids. Every single gun toting vigilante is an NRA power fantasy.

This film dies from the fact that it’s so generic. At least the later Death Wish sequels had people getting killed by rocket launchers. Bruce Willis has proven he’ll do ridiculous garbage for money (see Die Hard 4, 5 and the pending 6). I’m just disappointed in Roth and Carnahan.


  • 1 hr and 47 minutes
  • R
  • MGM


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