First Hit: Although not as impactful as the original film, this one was very good.
Charles Bronson was an amazing actor and in the original Death Wish, me, like the rest of the audience, rooted for him.
In this version, we have Bruce Willis playing Dr. Paul Kersey who, as he said himself, did everything right, was a responsible surgeon, happily married, and was raising an amazing daughter. Like the first film, we do root for the main character, but in a different way.
One night while he’s at the hospital, three thugs come to his house to rob it. Finding the wife and daughter home, the thieves kill his wife Lucy (Elisabeth Shue) and injure his daughter Jordan (Camila Morrone). Jordan falls into a coma while Paul slips into a deep depression.
His brother Frank (Vincent D’Onofrio) is supportive of his brother’s angst and helps by reading to Jordan while she’s in a coma. During his mourning, Paul gets the idea, by listening to his father-in-law, that he just might have to find his wife’s killers and kill them himself.
Finding a gun one day, he begins the process of making things right by becoming Chicago’s “Vigilante Killer.” In the television news, he becomes the white dude with a hoodie that is making things right.
We follow Paul as he makes his way through a criminal world to find his wife’s killers and make things right. All the while, the police do what they can to find the killers, but part of the film’s point is that there are so many killings in Chicago that they rarely solve any of the crimes.
Willis is good, and he’s got that typical Willis smirk working for him as well. Because he’s comfortable in his body, the skirmishes he’s in are believable. D’Onofrio is wonderful as his brother. The chemistry between the two was very brotherly like and worked well. Shue in her small role was strong and I enjoyed seeing her again on the big screen. Morrone as the daughter was good. Her openness in this role was perfect. Dean Norris as Detective Kevin Raines, the man in charge of the investigation, was sarcastically enjoyable. Joe Carnahan wrote an appropriate script for the times and I especially enjoyed the banter between Willis and D’Onofrio. Eli Roth was solid in directing this remake.
Overall: Bruce Willis gives his all in each role and he does this again here.