Monday, July 2, 2018

Death Wish Redux

On a lark we watched Death Wish: the Bruce Willis Version.

We were pleasantly surprised. Bravo to Bruce Willis and Director Eli Roth for delivering a fine update to the Charles Bronson-Michael Winner classic.

This time Paul Kersey is an ER doctor living in gun-violence addled Chicago. A peaceful man, Kersey is driven to vigilante action by the system's inability to deliver justice for his dead wife (played by a still coy Elizabeth Shue, from Texas-uh oh) and his daughter left in a coma. Dean Norris is an interestingly nuanced lead detective, and the great Vincent D'Nofrio keeps us guessing as Kersey's concerned brother.

Bruce Willis shows an acting range we weren't aware he possessed. We never felt like we were watching John McClain. Yes, Bruce Willis does his Bruce Willis but his Paul Kersey possesses a vulnerability and dare we say, love we're not sure we've ever seen from the man.

Roth and company do an excellent job bringing modern culture and tech to the tale with talk radio cameos and YouTube. There's also an homage to 60's-70's era split screen cinematography. It's cute but also important. 

Overall this is an entertaining and subtly subversive film.