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MicroReview: Death Wish (2018)


Dr. Paul Kersey is an experienced trauma surgeon, a man who has spent his life saving lives. After an attack on his family, Paul embarks on his own mission for justice.


Firstly, let me throw out that I haven't seen the original. Right, with that out of the way, let's move forward.

With a screenplay from Joe Carnahan (Narc) who's no slouch with action, directed by Eli Roth (Hostel) a master of suspense, and starring Bruce Willis (RED), it was hard to go wrong on paper. Willis is in the role of Kersey, a man who takes revenge on the killers of his wife, but not before Punishering half of the criminals in the city under the media given pseudonym, "The Grim Reaper". Honestly, given Willis' track record over the last couple of years, I wasn't expecting much.

Surprised I was, then, when Willis didn't Die Hard his way on to the screen - not even wielding a gun until nearly halfway into the runtime, and celluloid was given to him learning how to use a gun, getting one, montageing like Rocky had gone out of fashion. That, and he showed a range of emotion I've not seen him use for sometime. While the plot is obviously going to be pretty generic, Carnahan puts in place enough for us not to just have bad guys being gunned down, with some emotional weight being brought by Kersey's brother - the excellent Vincent D'Onofrio (Rings). Roth is a talented director, and it shows here.

Yes, it's very violent, but not too over the top. It's suspenseful, and a damn good thriller. Well worth the watch for the action chops alone.

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