I kept wondering what Eli Roth’s position is on the whole gun debate while baring witness to the glorified violence of his new ‘Death Wish’ remake. Personally, I think that Roth is just a poor excuse for a filmmaker and he wanted to remake an old revenge thriller that he liked a bunch. Yet, there is no escaping the horrible timing of the release of this movie. Well, unless you are the NRA. I’m sure they love it because apparently audiences are screaming “arm the teachers” at screens as the credits are rolling, but you have to imagine the studio is shaking in their boots a bit.
It doesn’t help that the movie is just kind of a piece of crap idea to begin with in this day and age. Revenge thrillers are a dime a dozen. So, if you are going to make another one then it better have some decent characters or something unique to say about something. At least it could cleverly mimic or lovingly imitate the style of the original while delivering something fresh. This movie doesn’t try to do any of that. It settles for being a slightly different set up for a replicated concept.
In the prologue, Bruce Willis is established as a family man surgeon. One night when he is gone his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter are brutally assaulted by a bunch of stock bad guys. So, bad ass Bruce decides to throw away his scalpel and pick up a gun. From this point, it’s pretty similar to a slasher picture. We just work our way from one horribly violent murder to the next horribly violent murder and make pit stops for very weak radio political commentary on vigilante justice in between.
Now, I love myself a good revenge flick, but this one has nothing unique to offer and couldn’t be more horribly timed. It’s a movie that takes the horrible act of someone harming your family and says that’s a cause for going around killing people. It’s a movie that spits in the face of all law or justice and doesn’t really care about the ramifications to its characters. And since everything about it is so bland and thoughtless, it’s just NRA advertisement for a good guy with a gun can stop the bad guys with guns. Hopefully, audiences will see how sadistic this train of thought is and determine that it really just makes him another murderer.