Death Wish (1974) Review

We are moments away from Eli Roth’s new action flick, Death Wish, so let’s go back and look at the original film from 1974.

Paul Kersey is an architect in New York with a great family and a great life, but that doesn’t last forever. When his wife is brutally murdered by a group of criminals, Paul rethinks his views on morality and society. He decides to pursue justice his own way by shooting criminals in the streets. Can he handle the stress of his daily life while also being a killer during his nights?

Let’s start with the film’s acting. Charles Bronson brings a lot of personality to the character of Paul Kersey. He presents the character well in almost every situation. Bronson is just as believable when he acts shocked or scared as when he acts calm and collected. Everyone else in the film does a standard job at acting with nothing really noticeable. Although, if you pay attention when you watch Death Wish, you’ll find a brief appearence of a young Jeff Goldblum.

Death Wish is more of a crime drama than an action movie. The shootouts are few and far between, but that’s not really a bad thing. The movie does a great job at providing a steady path of character development. I felt more and more invested in Paul’s story as the movie progressed. The writers of Death Wish were phenomenal at making Paul relatable to the audience. The downside of the writing is that the action sequences all follow the same structure. The repetitiveness really makes the movie drag on.

Although the shootouts have the same setups they are filmed very well. The great camera work and use of practical effects show that there was a lot of effort put into making these scenes intense for the audience. Almost every scene in Death Wish is accompanied by fantastic music that sets the tone just right.

Death Wish is far from a perfect movie, but it has plenty of entertaining qualities that make it worth the watch before you see the reboot.

6.8/10

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