Friday, January 27, 2012

Death Wish. B+


Now here is a Charles Bronson movie that kicks ass, that completely expresses what this great actor is all about. The star, the title, the premise...they all lead one to believe this will be the ultimate macho movie, the kind you invite your friends over to see, cheer on, and be wowed. A word of advice: picking a movie to see with friends? Don't pick Death Wish. It's deceiving, a dead-serious, devastating, and highly realistic portrait of what a family man turned vigilante might actually look like in real life. An example of the film's purpose: three savage delinquents (one happens to be a really young Jeff Goldblum) assault and kill Bronson's wife. An ordinary movie would show him getting revenge on them, but here they don't show up again. The movie isn't about revenge, but about a man dealing with his loss in a more generalized way: taking out all criminals. Bronson, as usual, plays it cool, speaking little, occasionally smirking, and always in control. I'm not sure if Bronson is making any sort of statement about the idea of machoism with this movie. Might he be turning against it, showing the real nature of violence and the absurdity of the macho hero? Or might he be glorifying him by showing his full cause and effect? This is what the macho hero really is. Take it or leave it. It's hard to say for sure.

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