Death Wish


A decent action movie, but no Death Wish Discuss this article

© ITP Images

Finally someone in Hollywood has realised that Michael Winner’s 1974 masterpiece Death Wish deserves some credit. Whether it needed to be remade is another matter, but here we are.

In the original, we saw old chopping-board face Charles Bronson play Paul Kersey, an architect who wreaks bloody havoc on New York’s street gangs after his wife is murdered by a group of thugs. We also got Jeff Goldblum making his debut as Freak #1. Quite the intro to the louche superstar.

We digress, as we’re here to talk about the 2018 remake by Eli Roth. With Roth in the director’s chair we can assume that Kersey’s revenge mission will be twice as nasty and gruesome as we could ever imagine.

In this version, the architect is played by Bruce Willis, who we already know is a hardman, making his vengeance slightly more expected than that of Bronson in the original.

And while the ’74 cut is a hard-boiled, low-budget classic, here it seems we have a high-octane blockbuster with witty one-liners and a rocking soundtrack including AC/DC and the like.

We can’t help but feel it’s slightly missed the point of the original, and is instead relying on explosions and gunfights.

From the trailer it’s hard to tell why they’ve decided to call it Death Wish, as it doesn’t seem to bear any resemblance to Winner’s work. For a start, Bronson’s Kersey doesn’t actually go after his wife’s killers but instead embarks on a bloodthirsty spree, killing anyone he deems a bad guy. Roth’s version seems more of a straightforward revenge movie, that could probably have survived on its own two feet.

The bottom line
A decent action movie, but no Death Wish.

By Paul Clifford
Time Out Doha,

Death Wish

  • Duration: 107
  • Released: Thu, 01 Mar
  • Language: English
  • Director: Eli Roth
  • Stars: Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue

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