It looks as though Eli Roth's remake will indulge in the kind of white male power fantasy the original was long accused of being - but never really was. Charles Bronson has too much of a wounded quality, a brokenness to him as stalks the streets of Seventies New York like some displaced specter. His low-key performance, along with the grimy photography and atmospheric score, add a welcome level of verisimilitude.
All right wing politics aside this is a solid vintage thriller where Bronson turns in a quite nuanced performance. The movie works really while for about an hour and then it slowly goes downhill. When Kersey has become the avenger the plot gets very repetitious and Kersey basically just walks around shooting criminals. Sure there is a subplot about the police chasing him but it all feels like an afterthought.
Certainly well made, fairly well acted (save Vincent Gardenia, who seems to think he's on the stage..PROJECTING!), however it's also so reactionary it's infuriating. Who REALLY wants to sympathize with Charles Bronson as a distraught widower on a killing spree?
An eye for a very illiberal eye… Little more than a right-ring reactionary exploiter. Winner lays it on with a shovel with no room for liberal discourse, just a single-minded series of manipulative knee-jerks towards brute vengeance. It has a certain spaced-out economy of style and moves at a fair lick, but this is nothing in the way of commendation. Hancock’s score merely adds to the heavy underlining.