Bruce Willis’ Death Wish: Entertaining Damp Squib [SPOILERS!]

Bruce Willis (courtesy youtube.com)

“Death Wish, even more than its predecessor (which looks so genteel these 44 years later), is a call to arms,” Chris Knight writes at nationalpost.com, “suggesting that the only thing better than a gun for every law-abiding citizen is two of them.” Wrong!

Death Wish is no more a call to arms than Taken or any of Mel Gibson’s half dozen revenge flicks (including The Passion of the Christ ).

In fact, Death Wish has been almost completely declawed; there’s nothing in the movie that will offend either the pro-gun rights or pro-gun control side. Well, nothing substantial . . .

‘Cause I don’t know ANY firearms-savvy person who won’t groan when Dr. Paul Kersey gets slide bite from his Gen4 GLOCK 17 — firing it one-handed.

And while we’re picking ballistic nits, where did our hero get a full-auto custom AR-15 (F-1 Firearms’ BDR-15-3G) for the coup de grace?  

Gun store gal in Death Wish

I assume the movie audience assumes that Dr. Kersey bought the machine gun at the [fictional] Chicagoland gun store pimping AR-15-hiding coffee tables.

An LGS fronted by a bouncy flouncy guns-as-sex salesgirl. In a store where all [financial] transactions are videotaped — a sign of things to come in the movie and in real life, when Illinois’ governor signs the gun dealer licensing act.

Gun control advocates watching Death Wish will also be pleasantly outraged from time-to-time.

Like when Dr. K’s father-in-law fires his rifle at fleeing poachers and tells his son-in-law “if a man really wants to protect what’s his, he has to do it himself.” Thanks for the advice, Dad! Maybe we should have had this little talk before the bad guys shot my wife to death.

All that said, the Death Wish remake isn’t a Rorschach test on gun rights.

While the first movie had audiences cheering for Charles Bronson’s unsupervised solution to violent crime, the new Death Wish goes out of its way to avoid portraying Dr. Kersey as a social justice warrior (of any sort).

Dr. K. about to take out a drug dealer

OK sure, Dr. K intervenes to stop a carjacking, pops a few caps and point-blank executes a thug. And yes, the surgeon goes on to assassinate a drug dealer holding a gold-plated 1911. (Hey, the guy shot a kid!) But that’s it, vigilante-wise.

Mind you, the carjackers and drug dealers’ demise are enough judge, jury and executioner firearms action to put Death Wish into full “both sides of the vigilante debate” mode, complete with Windy City radio talk show hosts hashing out the issue in on-camera cameos.

When one of the commentators mentions the obvious danger of a old white guy killing black people in poor black neighborhoods, it made me wish the new Death Wish had a black protagonist using a firearm to “clean up” black neighborhoods beset by gang violence, with white cops trying to track him down.

How about a black guy shooting white bad guys in white neighborhoods? Now that would have been an interesting movie . . .

Death Wish isn’t that interesting. Well-made, yes. But as I mentioned, it heads down the final firearms furlong in the safest, most predictable way possible, devolving into Payback.

At that point, Death Wish can’t resist the urge to lionize Dr. Kersey’s homicidal impulses. It depicts cold-blooded murder as therapeutic. Dr. K’s therapist: “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” Dr. K. “Oh, I will.”

In the penultimate scene, Dr. Kersey slowly, even gleefully tortures one of his wife’s killers, and then brutally murders the pleading thug, complete with a pun-based catchphrase. Any and all moral questions about vigilante justice are crushed in an explosion of low-life brain matter.

Death Wish ends as a damp squib. Bad guys dispatched, Detective Raines makes Dr. Kersey pinkie swear promise not to shoot anyone else (giving the Doc a Mulligan for the non-family-related murders). A nudge-nudge-wink-wink oath Dr. K definitely will violate with extreme prejudice (so to speak) if there’s a sequel.

If there is a Death Wish 2.0 sequel, you can bet the liberals controlling Hollywood won’t provide any kind of thoughtful exploration of firearms-related morality, psychology, sociology and criminology. Because guns. Because money? Yeah, that too.

comments

  1. avatar Woody from NY says:

    I saw it today. I enjoyed it but i generally agree with the above commentary. It was entertaining but thats about it. With that said, i am glad they made the movie and (im 32) its always good to see bruce willis in a action movie. I also disagree, i think they touched on a lot of subjects gun people see as day to day things that everyone else thinks is nuts. Did the execute all the ideas perfectly? Not even close, but i think they did a decent but far from great job. The real question, is anyone else putting out any content even close to this?

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Hollywood puts out movies time after time after time where the protagonist is wronged somehow and cannot get effective help, or even protection, from the authorities and takes matters into his own hands, ballistically. It’s almost, no it IS, a trope.

      Hollywood actors and actresses (I know that’s a non-PC term, but so what) make fortunes playing these roles, then go out on the street and support gun control. Nice.

      At least Mr. Willis isn’t that sort of hypocrite.

      1. avatar Huntmaster says:

        Must be a slow day if this is the best material RF can come up with…

  2. avatar Hank says:

    But, will there be a sequel in which he hip shoots a 1919? Like Bronson did. I can’t remember which death wish it was though.

    1. avatar Slick says:

      Death wish 3

      1. avatar Ing says:

        If there were 3 sequels, the wish must not have come true.

        Death Wish 4: Bang!…thump. Shortest movie ever.

  3. avatar Charlie says:

    It sounds boring. Maybe I need to see the original.

    Charlie

    1. avatar 16V says:

      And Mr. Majestyk and The Mechanic

    2. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      “Death Wish” (the first one) was by far the best and the first 10 minutes were anything but “genteel”, now or then.

  4. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I’m afraid to go to a theater . I’ might go the fck off and shoot up the popcorn machine

    1. avatar Hank says:

      ? Is this a see something say something moment?

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Yes. If it saves but one kernel of deliciously popped and buttered corn, we owe it to ourselves and our ever-expanding waistlines to make the effort.

  5. avatar DrDKW says:

    Is this movie from the same outraged Hollywood that wants to boycott everyone and everything even remotely related to supporting guns?

    DrDKW

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Is this movie from the same outraged Hollywood that wants to boycott everyone and everything even remotely related to supporting guns?”

      Yup!

      Hollywood doesn’t seem to grasp that movies where the hero creates justice when polite society won’t do their job, is making the case for gun ownership and carry.

      This I why stand by my position that Hollywood inadvertently is likely the very best friend the 2A has.

      The Hollywood movie target youth demographic is programming those kids in ways the anti-gun people cannot counter.

      Guns *are* cool. Guys with guns get girls.

      Hollywood, whatever you do, don’t stop making movies like these. The 2A is safe as long as you keep making flicks like these. If Hollywood ever started treating guns like they did cigarettes, we would be fucked.

      *snicker* 🙂

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Thank You for Shooting?

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          ?

        2. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          I _like_ that!

        3. avatar Tim says:

          Ha! Excellent movie.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thank_You_for_Smoking

          (Yes, someone out here in Internet land got that immediately!)

      2. avatar Big Bill says:

        “Hollywood doesn’t seem to grasp that movies where the hero creates justice when polite society won’t do their job…”

        The left never sees society as not doing its job, insofar as society has relegated that job to governmental agencies. The fact that those agencies are not doing the jobs they’ve been given is not seen as a failure of society, even though it is, as society has the job of overseeing those agencies. And we have, indeed, failed there; the government is allowed to police itself.
        A simple check of response times to 911 calls by police will show the extent of this failure. While it’s true that the police, without infinite resources, will always have response times that stretch into a lot of minutes while a perp is already inside a house, the left (in htis case, the Hollywood people) would have us believe that we should never dare to protect ourselves, because we have outsourced that job to the police.
        So, polite society has failed, and will fail in the future. It’s up to us to understand that and become responsible for our own safety.
        But society (especially polite society) says we can’t do that.
        Failure on the part of polite society.

  6. avatar Chris. says:

    —-When one of the commentators mentions the obvious danger of a old white guy killing black people in poor black neighborhoods, it made me wish the new Death Wish had a black protagonist using a firearm to “clean up” black neighborhoods beset by gang violence, with white cops trying to track him down——

    So… Shaft?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      There was a 70’s movie with Pam Grier in it where she takes on the mob, so it doesn’t quite fit what you’re looking for.

      Oh – There was that 80’s ”Blaxploitation’ comedy ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’ where the hero comes home to the ‘hood from Vietnam to clean up the ‘hood, but the kingpin was white (Mr. Big was played by the actor who played Dean Wormer in ‘Animal House’)

      At least in ‘Sucka, you get to see a pimp wearing platform aquarium shoes.

      So, maybe ‘Shaft’ was it.

      Drat. Now I have the Isaac Hays ‘Shaft’ theme song as an earworm…

      (Gotta *love* those ‘Whocka – Whocka’ guitars…)

      1. avatar Matt in SC says:

        All I could think of was “Duck, You Sucker”. What’s James Coburn got to do with this?

  7. avatar Geoff PR says:

    For fans of the 70’s ‘Grindhouse’ style of movies that Tarantino loves so well, ‘Red Band’ created a trailer for ‘Death Wish’ that captured that cheesy, gory, vibe quite well.

    This trailer won’t be on broadcast TV :

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Well I’ll see it on Netflix someday…been watching the Oscars the last 2 hours(family thing). Shockingly very little anti-2A diatribes. Mostly pro-illegal alien BS. The weirdos must have been read the riot act!!!😏

  9. avatar strych9 says:

    Maybe Hollywould could unknot it’s panties and pay attention to what IS does IRL… You know, the headchoppers that wanna kill or enslave us all? Yeah, these assholes are an actual threat whereas Bruce Willis movies are not. Also a brutal reminder that the good guys don’t always win.

    [Caution: Graphic violence in video. Presented here with article if you’d prefer to just read about it a bit.]

    https://sofrep.com/100433/breaking-footage-of-isis-ambushing-u-s-special-forces-in-niger/

  10. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

    The first Death Wish was, at its core, a wake up call. The system can’t protect you. You have to do it yourself.

    All these years later and the folks that sounded that wake up call, hollywood, are trying to put that genie back in the bottle. They fucked up and let the truth slip out.

    There is no unseeing what has been seen. Afraid of AR15 rifles? The solution to your fears is to get an AR15 and change the laws to constitutional carry.

  11. avatar Chris says:

    Stick to the original series. Personally I thought part four was the best and three was the worst. Five was pretty bad, too. Cannon films has always been hit or miss. But it was that moment on the range during part one…”Conscientious objector” riiight. That nice man who gave him his first pistol was the best, I really liked his character.

  12. avatar Kendahl says:

    The book by Brian Garfield was better than any of the movies.

  13. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    Saw it today and I have to say RF covered all the important points. Pretty silly movie and a symptom of how dysfunctional the great gun debate is these days.

  14. avatar Bigus Dickus says:

    Hollywood is all about gun control…..unless they believe they need it in a film to TV show because they believe it will make the product more popular. If they were truly anti-gun, they would shun guns in any of their product.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      Hollyweird may not “like guns”, but it sure likes the exemptions to California firearms laws that it gets.

  15. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    And while we’re picking ballistic nits, where did our hero get a full-auto custom AR-15 (F-1 Firearms’ BDR-15-3G) for the coup de grace?
    At the local NRA gun show because of the gun show loophole, of course!

  16. avatar The Rookie says:

    I’ve been reluctant to give the new Death Wish a look, mostly because I can’t stand Eli Roth or anything he’s done. The presence of Vincent D’Onofrio and Elizabeth “you should have been *my* girlfriend in the 1980s, not that Karate Kid doofus’ ” Shue is tempting, though.

    1. avatar Terclinger says:

      Dinofrio is a Whitney sjw.

      1. avatar Terclinger says:

        *whiney*
        /fooking autocorrect

  17. avatar Mike J says:

    I actually liked Mel Gibson’s Payback. I even read The Hunter by Richard Stark (pseudonym for Donald E. Westlake), published in 1962, on which the film was based. The novel’s protagonist Parker (not Porter) is trying to recover $45K, his share of the loot from a robbery, stolen by accomplice Mal Resnick, on which he expects to live in Miami Beach hotels for three years. He’s drinking coffee regular (with cream) in NYC for fifteen cents a cup. (Coffee was a dime everywhere else.) Aside from the story, which was mildly entertaining, it was amusing to see what Uncle Sugar’s done to our money since then.

    I didn’t get around to the Charles Bronson version of Death Wish until it came out on Amazon Prime a couple of years ago. It was a decent film. Somehow, I doubt that the remake will be as good. I’ll wait to see it on Amazon Prime.

    1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      Lee Marvin did a version of this movie before Gibson. It’s worth a look.

      1. avatar Roger says:

        Its called Point Blank and its definitely worth checking out. I’ve seen it on Prime from time to time.

  18. avatar Gunr says:

    My favorite action scene was where Tom Cruz pops the three duds that stole his brief case out of the car, and the best part of that scene is when he finishes off the dude laying on the ground. Can’t remember the name of the movie. Memory is the second thing to go.

    1. avatar Jean-Claude says:

      That’s “Collateral”, directed by Michael Mann.

      Michael Mann movies always feature excellent gun handling.

  19. avatar Jean-Claude says:

    Farago’s liberal nonsense is dependable as a Timex.

    The problem with “Death Wish” is, much like the original, the filmmakers were too pussified to cast villains accurately. The original’s bad guys were a multicultural parade of impossibility—with JEFF GOLDBLUM as one of them. Bruce Willis killed an awful lot of crackers in this movie. In Chicago.

    But what’s Farago fantasizing about seeing? A black guy killing other blacks(they call that a documentary) or a black guy killing white criminals(they call that Fantasy).

    I would have liked to see a realistic cast. It’s Chicago. Criminals in that town are black and brown.

    The last vigilante movie to be unafraid in its casting? “The Brave One”, starring Jodie Foster and her Kahr K9. It’s the story of a GOOD LIBERAL—public radio host, dating a medical intern(an immigrant, to boot)—who is victimized by BROWN AND BLACK PEOPLE and decides to protect herself with a gun, then starts ridding the streets of scum.

    The subway scene(its on YouTube) would NEVER get past the PC police today. Can’t show black criminals.

    1. avatar Terclinger says:

      ^this^

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