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August 03, 2017

Oh My

Death Wish remake. Directed by Eli Roth. Starring Bruce Willis.

About a year ago I watched Death Wish. It's kind of an uncomfortable movie, because it cuts close to the bone as far as being objectionable. Even to me.

If you haven't seen it, or have forgotten, Charles Bronson played a declared bleeding-heart liberal named Paul Kesey. After his wife was raped and murdered, and his daughter raped and left in a state of catatonia, he travels to Arizona (or California, or wherever -- there were deserts) and talks with a gung-ho conservative land developer, who turns him on to the power of fire. Firepower, that is. Guns.

Now jacked, he comes back to New York City and starts killing Bad Guys on the street.

It was like half of a good movie, half of an exploitation movie, and half of an action movie. (Not really a lot of "action" -- most of the violence is pretty one-sided. Just killing, mostly.)

I could see why it raised hackles in the 70s.

Anyway, I would guess that there's no way Hollywood could do a similar hackles-raising film in the teens, but I said that once before of Eli Roth. When he made the Green Inferno -- featuring environmentalists getting captured, tortured, and eaten by cannibals in the jungles -- I said that there was no way they'd be indigenous cannibals. No, I said assuredly, they must be some kind of weird cult of white people that wandered into the jungle and adopted the ancient tradition of cannibalism.

Now, I've never seen the whole movie, but it turns out he made the cannibals indigenous Indians.

Which you're not allowed to do. But he did it anyway.

So while I'd guess this film must be PC-ified and loaded with "messages," this is Eli Roth we're talking about, and he likes his exploitation movies to have full exploitation glory.

Plus, by the way, there was a fair bit of PC "is this right or wrong" hand-wringing in the original Death Wish, too. The movie didn't take the position that he was a hero, exactly. More like an antihero, or the Hero We Need, though it would be better if we didn't need him.

Could this be good? No idea. It seems less serious, less dark, and more action-movie-ish than the original.

It actually seems more celebratory of vigilante shooting than the original one was, at least based on the trailer.

Pre-ONT topic idea: the best and worst remakes.

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posted by Ace at 07:54 PM

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