Death Wish (1974-1994, 2017)

MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
edited September 14 in General Movies & TV Posts: 14,038
The Death Wish series is one of my favorite film series ever. Nothing beats Charles Bronson cleaning the streets of New York and Los Angeles the only way he can. Vigilante Style. Though five movies and many adversaries the Death Wish series is an interesting one. The tone of the movies shift dramatically from film to film but do not fail to entertain and satisfy. But by the last one it was becoming clear the Bronson was getting a bit long in the tooth to play this role but who cares? He's freaking Charles Bronson. Action hero's don't go into retirement.
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My personal ranking of the films goes like this.
1. Death Wish 3. (Balls to the wall cheesy and over the top it's hard not to love it.)

2. Death Wish 2. (A great sequel and pseudo remake of the original film. Darker and grittier it's so great. Bronson at his finest.)

3. Death Wish. The start of it all, but a little rough around the edges in some places but still holds up 40 years later.

4. Death Wish 4. Things we starting to get a little stale at this point but it did have a few nice twists and turns that break from the formula. A solid flick.

5. Death Wish 5. This one is just plain weird. It feels like a comic book movie with the bright colors and campy villains. But at least it ended on a high note. I don't need anything...but you...you need a bath.

So what are your thoughts on this film series?
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Comments

  • edited November 2014 Posts: 4,196
    I love me some Death Wish. Charles Bronson was such a badass and if I could actually pull off a mustache without looking creepy I would do it in a heartbeat.

    My ranking (oddly enough in order of release!):
    Spoilers ahead!!!

    Death Wish: This movie has surprisingly good pacing. I can literally put this movie on anytime and just sit and watch the whole thing. It also has a very real feel to it- you can almost believe this man can go out every few nights, kill some muggers, and get away with it. (That gun that was gifted to Kersey, was it unregistered? What a perfect weapon/opportunity)
    I also like how the movie depicts Kersey's transition with his killings- the first time he kills a guy, his hands shake as he hurries home and he throws up. But it gets easier and easier for him, and before long he appears to be addicted. I love the scene at the cocktail party when he goes to the roof to be alone and he's just staring out at the city, and you just know he can't wait till nightfall when he can go out and see what lowlife he can put away.

    And then of course there's the ending, when he gets the once in a lifetime 'get out of jail free card', on the condition that he simply moves out of the city, yet it's clear he'll never stop now.....

    tumblr_mmem5mSDvk1r43rdeo1_500.gif

    Death Wish II: I feel this one gets a bad rep, but I really enjoy it, even though it pretty much has the exact same plot as the first (First his wife dies, this time it's his daughter).
    Kersey is more like 'The Punisher' in this one, albeit more realistic. He strategically gets an average wardrobe (complete with awesome knitcap) to go unnoticed and rents the cheapest, sleaziest motel ever and creeps among the dregs of society, just to study the guys he's after.
    When the final gang member gets arrested before Kersey can kill him, he's not satisfied! he figures out a way to sneak into the hospital and kill him anyway! To me, this movie is almost on par with the first, save for the repeated plot. It's sort of the Halloween II to Halloween.

    Death Wish 3: This movie is enjoyable, but it's a riot, not to be taken seriously at all. I love this movie for the same reasons I love Arnold's 'Commando'. It's almost a parody of the first movie. In the first one, what did he kill-- 8 people? Maybe? Well in this one it's more like 1000.
    I do love that Wildey Magnum though

    I saw part 4 once and don't remember enough details to really comment on it, but like you said @Murdock it was getting stale at that point. I do remember the 'plot twist' with the villain. That was a cool way to change it up a bit.
    I have yet to sit all the way through part 5 but I can certainly say the dude was too damn old.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
    Posts: 14,038
    Whenever I watch Death Wish 4 I can't help but think it inspired levels in the Hitman game series. :)) Seriously. Paul Kersey is just like Agent 47 in it.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 8,505
    Earlier today, I watched Death Wish 5. Before I bought the collection, I had seen all of Death Wish 1 - 3, most of 4 and a little of 5. My ranking:

    1. Death Wish 3 (1985)
    2. Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)
    3. Death Wish (1974)
    4. Death Wish II (1982)
    5. Death Wish 5: The Face Of Death (1994)
  • All of them (except the first one, which happens to be good) are funny as hell, but here it goes.

    1. DW 3 (one of the funniest films ever made. Period)
    2. DW (actually a masterpiece of modern noir)
    3. DW 2 (dat glasses Laurence Fishburne wore)
    4. DW 4 (best ending in all the series)
    5. DW 5 (the music is a tad sad)
  • I can't tell you all how happy I am that there are other Death Wish/Charles Bronson fans on here. I'll write a more in depth response tomorrow but I'm looking forward to chatting about this wonderful film series.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
    Posts: 14,038
    I think Death Wish 5 had the best Soundtrack of the series. It's very dark and brooding.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 8,505
    Other than the 5 Death Wish films, and The Mechanic, does anyone have any recommendations for any other Bronson films? Those 6 are the only ones i've seen.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 14,305
    Other than the 5 Death Wish films, and The Mechanic, does anyone have any recommendations for any other Bronson films? Those 6 are the only ones i've seen.
    Try Hard Times, a Bronson masterpiece IMO. Red Sun (1971- Terrence Young) was also cool.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 8,505
    Hard Times and Red Sun, thanks for those, @chrisisall.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
    Posts: 14,038
    Breakheart Pass is another good Bronson movie.
    St. Ives is pretty good too.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    edited January 2015 Posts: 14,305
    I haven't seen St. Ives in twice a dog's age. I remember it was cool.
    J Lee Thompson (10 to Midnight (1983), The Evil That Men Do (1984), Murphy's Law (1986)) was a good director.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache, Author @ http://www.thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk
    Posts: 10,438
    The Stone Killer (1973) is good - loosely based on a John Gardner novel, A Complete State of Death (1969).
  • edited January 2015 Posts: 4,196
    The movie is waaaaaay longer than it needs to be, but I do like him in Once Upon a Time in the West. He has no mustache and a ton of badass lines. The music score is outstanding and Gabriele Ferzetti (Tracy's dad in OHMSS) also stars.

    Previously mentioned, The Mechanic, is another favorite of mine

    •edit- I forgot to mention 10 to Midnight, a movie funny for the wrong reasons. A serial killer who runs around naked, and when Bronson finds 'a toy' in the killers apartment he shouts IT'S FOR JACKING OFF ISN'T IT!!!!
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
    Posts: 14,038
    Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects is another Bronson movie. It's very weird too like 10 to Midnight. Bronson racist against Japanese people is so off putting. :))

    Assassination was probably the most disappointing Bronson movie I ever saw. It has a good cast and is even directed by OHMSS's very own Peter Hunt but it's so boring and cheap. A shame too.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 8,505
    Thanks for the recommendations.
  • You forgot to put Guy Hamilton's Cold Sweat, full of action, and Violent City, whose soundtrack was sampled on Django Unchained.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Vampire State Building
    Posts: 21,446
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
    Posts: 14,038
    The reboot looks like it might be surprisingly good.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Vampire State Building
    Posts: 21,446
    Better than the original even. But let s wait and see.
  • Oooh, a remake. What a great and original idea. I am so excited!
    I happen to think that it's the partial roughness of those 70s classics is what makes them so great. Also, while I'm not going to question BW's manliness, but he is way to old nowadays and even in his prime he would have had fallen short against El Brutto, as the Italians called him. Just like about anybody in present times. They just don't build them like that any more. Where are the equivalents to Eastwood, Heston, Wayne, Lancaster and, and, and?
  • Posts: 9,057
    I didn't have high hopes for this, but the trailer looks very good.
  • bondjamesbondjames Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.
    Posts: 16,737
    Bruce is back in full effect. I can't wait.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Vampire State Building
    Posts: 21,446
    A bit similar to his role in Unbroken.
  • bondjamesbondjames Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.
    Posts: 16,737
    A bit similar to his role in Unbroken.
    That's a good point. It's been many years since I saw that one, so forgot about it. He seems to be 'acting' here, rather than 'coasting', which he's been doing for many years, and that's a positive at least.
  • Posts: 2,558
    The hoodie is surely a reference to Unbroken?
  • Posts: 5,451
    I might check it out
  • It'll be interesting to see the publics opinion on a movie like Death Wish in todays climate. Everytime I see a (justified) shooting by police on the news, the first comment is always "why didn't he taze him" or "why didn't he shoot him in the leg". rolleyes.gif

    These days it sure seems people treat the criminal as the victim.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
    Posts: 14,038
    There's always room for good revenge flicks. :D
  • Never been much of a fan of these films (only seen the first one I think) but the new one looks great. With this and Glass, could we be seeing a Bruce Willis come back that leads to one last Die Hard film? I'd hate it if they left Die Hard 5 as the end of the series.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 1000
    Posts: 14,038
    How could you not be a fan of all the films if you've only seen the first one? :P They are all pretty different. You should check them out.
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