I joined the internet dogpile when this remake's marketing campaign promised a self-indulgent white male power fantasy, but the actual film proves as divorced from reality as a comic book flick. The real issue is that by the time we get to the Red Band nastiness you'd expect from Eli Roth, the movie is basically over. At least the glint in Bruce's eye during most scenes bodes well for his performance in "Glass."
Though poorly timed in the current political climate Eli Roth's reimagining of 'Death Wish' is an entertaining enough film that lies somewhere between satire and glorification of gun culture. If nothing else it at leasts temporarily rescues Bruce Willis from the straight to stream films he's been doing the last few years. Restrained for an Eli Roth film.
Eli Roth continues his impressive run of auteur driven B-movies, a sub-genre he often uses to satirize american society. As with many of Roth’s projects, blink and you just might miss a nuanced thesis on an ambiguous issue. Here, he constructs an old fashioned, well paced, rewarding narrative of action and suspense. Throughout, he sprinkles moments of hilarity with clever writing and skillful directing.
Death Wish is a comical satire on gun culture and vigilantism in America. I've always supported the notion that Eli Roth was a satirist, though many would seem to disagree. This new iteration of Death Wish is a self-reflexive parody of itself & its predecessor, with insightful commentary on the toxic gun culture in America & its ineffectual response to both crime & law enforcement, tongue in cheek & all.
While MGM forgoing "Death Wish"'s original Thanksgiving release date for one that posed less competition, it comes at an inopportune time after the Parkland high school shooting. Certainly for some, Eli Roth's film will infuriate given its unfortunate release date, while for others, a remake of the 1974 vigilante film might come at the best time. My opinion is simple: there's never a good time to see a mediocre film.
While I did like this film as a modern commentary on gun violence and how simple it is for somebody to "turn," I do feel as though Eli Roth going in this Newfound Filmmaking Direction is a tad bit odd. While the movie finds Willis in a scandalously tasty role, and does have moments that viewers of Roth's previous work will go, "Ah, yes, that's totally his style," it felt overall as an auteur out of place in a genre.
So your wife gets murdered and your daughter put into a coma, so that the audience can get a cheeseball grin when they see a montage of Bruce Willis going from Mr. Nice Guy to Mr. Badass with AC/DC on the soundtrack. That was their only agency? To sacrifice themselves for the greater good of providing the inciting incident of a poorly done attempt at grindhouse?
Serviceable as a film in a Netflix (or a streaming service of your choice) rotation but this is a borderline generic action flick but if I paid to see this I would be disappointed or in a cinema that allowed beer.