Directed By: Eli Roth
Written By: Joe Carnahan
Based On The Novel By: Brian Garfield
Based On the original Motion Picture Screenplay By: Wendell Mayes
Cinematography: Rogier Stoffers
Editor: Mark Goldblatt & Yvonne Valdez
Cast: Bruce Willis, Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D’Onofrio, Camilla Morrone, Dean Norris, Beau Knapp, Kimberly Elise, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Len Cariou, Jack Kesy, Stephen McHattie, Jaslene Gonzalez
Dr. Paul Kersey is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of his city’s violence as it’s rushed into his ER -until his wife and college-age daughter are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts for his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadly avenger is a guardian angel…or a grim reaper.
I will admit that I am not a fan of the original film, but at least I can understand the reasoning and the culture it was made in and works as a time capsule for New York and it’s culture. Though this one focuses on Chicago which is having it’s own problems with violence. Even if this feels more like a studio film then any commentary on what is happening. It also feels rather unecessary.
At least they take the rape out of the film. Though in the original bit was a random gang of thugs here. The film becomes more of a revenge drama. As it seems to be more an attack on the plague of crime here. That unfortunately can easily be taken as a motivator for a call to arms for more vigilantism. Especially when it comes to middle aged white men.
Though again this is another movie where a Caucasian man goes on a rampage. It seems against minorities and wants is to root for. Try to play off responsibility by showing a copycat killed in case anyone in the film or audience got any bright ideas. It takes what was essentially an action film that was dramatic and had a kind of self serious edge. This comes off more standard.
The story here is down to it’s instincts that promotes violence and encourages us all to stop being victims and take justice into our own hands. At least it provides the consequences and danger of revenge but never feels quite dangerous or involving for the audience. In fact His daughter waking up when she does feels like some kind of reward for a job well done.
The film comes off more as an alt-right republican fantasy. Especially considering who is starring in it Bruce Willis am outspoken republican. Though the irony is that the gang and villains are also all Caucasian.
The director Eli Roth is what comes easily into smooth slick stylistic mainstream blockbuster directing offers slick violence. Even as it is one his first forays outside of horror films, Setting it up in Chicago which already has a gun violence problem only feels like it adds to the problems.
The film does show how easy it is to get a gun. As the film doesn’t make Bruce Willis’s eventual decision so dramatic and hard thought. It seems he is more taking out his pain and aggression over those he thinks did it or lead up to the crimes against his family.
Dressed In his vigilante get up reminds the audience of Willis’s roles in UNBREAKABLE and GLASS. The movies where he was giving his more noted performances outside of Director Wes Anderson movies.
The playback from the first shooting truly shows the difference between an built up action sequence and how it would really happen. Thought the use of machine guns towards the end goes a little overboard
In the end the film feels a bit too basic and takes advantage off of a on going debate in the country but leaves the product with no grit to it.