death wishIn all of the years that I have known about Charles Bronson and his films, I didn’t realize that for a long time he was not a star in the US, but in Europe which kind of surprises me. It wasn’t until the release of Death Wish in 1974 I believe that put Bronson on the map in the US. In this film, Charles Bronson (Once Upon A Time In The West) plays Paul Kersey, one of the top architects in all of New York City. He has everything going for him from a beautiful wife, a loving daughter, and a great job until his world gets severely rocked by tragedy. While grocery shopping, a couple of thugs (one of them is Jeff Goldblum) stalks, rapes, and kills Kersey’s wife and severely traumatizing his daughter. Upset over the fact that nothing has been done to fix the problem, Kersey will take matters into his own hands as he becomes a vigilante and starts cleaning up the streets of New York despite protest from the NYPD. The film also stars Hope Lange (Blue Velvet) as Joanna Kersey, Vincent Gardenia (Little Shop Of Horrors) as Frank Ochoa, Steven Keats (Black Sunday) as Jack Toby, Stuart Margolin (Kelly’s Heroes) as Aimes Jainchill, Jack Wallace (Boogie Nights) as Hank, Robert Kya-Hill (Shafts Big Score!) as Joe Charles, Edward Grover (Serpico) as Lt. Briggs, and the film was directed by Michael Winner (The Sentinel). Before we get into the review of the film, let’s check out some of the stats: 

death wish stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

death wish 2There is nothing more I can really say about this film other than that it is a classic. I feel like this film took the vigilante/action sub-genre to a whole new level. The film made him an icon for the next 12 years as more and more sequels would eventually be released. In the film, he only has 11 kills/knockouts and there is no origin story that we know of in this film. As I described above, his wife is his love interest and she is killed and there daughter is in a mental hospital. There is actually no big boss in this film as he doesn’t go after Jeff Goldblum and the other thugs who did the actual crime. Upon the film’s release, critics tried to trash the film because they felt that it was going to corrupt society and how we should handle crimes on our city streets. Even the author whose book inspired the film was pissed off because the film advocated vigilantism and his books didn’t. Nevertheless, the acting in the film was superb, the cinematography was great and gritty at times, and there is nothing I can really complain about. This is one of those films that fans of this genre type should check out if they never have before. For the picture I used for the stats, I thought it was a cool moment in the film when he looks up at the billboard and sees the articles that are talking about him. I thought that was pretty cool symbolism considering he’s going out for one last time. For a final grade, I am going to give the film four fists out of five.

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