DEATH WISH, available now on Netflix, doesn’t pretend to be anything it is not. A man has his wife and daughter murdered, and he seeks revenge. That’s it. There are absurd parts, and it hints at some moral challenges – but fundamentally, if you’re looking for a deep emotional evaluation, this movie is not for you. Go watch MR JONES instead.
This movie is mostly silly, and creates a good excuse for the hero, Bruce Willis, to do bad stuff and be cheered for it:
It’s these vanishingly few scenes where [the director] Roth’s flair for a macabre set piece really comes alive: one exploding head seems to be full of intestines, which is if anything else anatomically inventive. Elsewhere, Roth seems as neutered as the once-effervescent Willis seems tired. Maybe the material is beyond his talents as a provocateur, with the supporting cast scrupulously racially balanced and the choose-your-interpretation chorus of media talking heads acting as oven gloves sparing the film from actually handling any hot potatoes. Aside from few nods at the ease of getting a gun legally and the bizarreness of these weapons’ babe-heavy advertising, Death Wish 2018 runs a mile before doing anything more than tacitly endorse its hero’s rampage.Death Wish Review
I thought it was fun and good enough. I have distant memories of watching PAYBACK around twenty years ago, and think that was a better movie than this if you’re looking for revenge in a Hollywood action film.