Death Wish Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Our days, Chicago. A respectable American family living in a separate house in a good neighborhood: Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis), a surgeon, his wife Lucy (Elizabeth Shue) and daughter Jordan (Camila Morrone), preparing to enter college. Paul has a brother, Frank (Vincent D’Onofrio) – an unlucky loser, but he is a good-natured fellow, and Paul’s family loves him.

On Paul’s birthday, the family is about to go to a restaurant, but Paul is called to the hospital for emergency surgery. While he was away, a company of robbers broke into the house. They seemed to be going to just pick up all sorts of valuables and dump, but among the robbers there were a couple of specific scumbags, as a result of which everything went according to the worst scenario: Lucy was killed, Jordan was seriously injured and fell into a coma.

Detective Kevin Raines (Dean Norris) and Detective Leonora Jackson (Kimberly Elise) are working on the case. However, they have nothing to please the inconsolable Paul. Kevin tells the doctor that the crime rate is very high, they are overwhelmed with cases, and there are no special leads in this case. We’ll try, the detective promises, but you know…

Paul understands. But he cannot be idle. When Paul was once again brought in by some shot scumbag, a gun fell out from his belt. Paul hid the gun and began to learn how to use it: from videos on the Internet and training in his basement.

When Paul got the necessary skills, he went on the warpath with street thugs and robbers. His first exit was filmed and posted on the Internet. Paul, whose actions are warmly approved by the people of Chicago, was nicknamed the Reaper.


As you know, I do not read any criticism before watching a new film. This film was advised to me with the comment “An action movie with Willis, which you can even watch,” I looked at the cast and decided to join anyway: otherwise, for the last ten years, Bruce has mostly been filmed in such a movie slag that only hug and cry. And at the same time, no one can explain why he needs it at all, because Bruce still requires specific millions for his cameos in cool films.

I started to look – and it began to strongly remind me of something. Well, yes, the plot is like in the old movie with Charles Bronson: the bastards killed the wife and daughter of a quiet architect, and the architect fought in Korea, has cool fighting skills, well, he went to fight with all sorts of bandits.

It’s almost the same here, only the main character is a surgeon, he has no skills in handling weapons, but he gradually acquires them. In addition, in the era of the Internet, you can find anything on the Web: how to clean a gun, and how to assemble a hadron collider, and even how to bake a charlotte.

I watched it, it was useful to read the history of creation – and for sure, this is a remake of the 1974 film with Charles Bronson, who was very famous and caused a great discussion in society: in the seventies, the problem with street gangs in New York was very acute and the question of what remains to be done to citizens who are not able to protect the police, was discussed at various levels.

The first film was called that – “Death Wish”, and he gave birth to a whole franchise: all sorts of sequels, triquels and quadriquels were filmed right up to five replicas, and the ratings for these sequels were at first average, and then very low, but only “Thirst” failed completely at the box office. Death 5: Face of Death”. I watched the original movie and the sequel. The original, I remember, I liked it, but the sequel caused a slight bewilderment: I didn’t understand why it was filmed at all.

With a remake of this picture, the last twelve years were worn. In 2006, Sylvester Stallone tried to launch this project. However, he wanted to change the architect for a policeman who practically does not use weapons in his work, and the policeman had to decide whether to avenge his family or not. The producers did not like this approach, and the project was buried as a result.

In 2012, the project was reanimated again: Joe Carnahan, the director of the adrenaline-filled “Trump Aces” and the rather mediocre action movie “Team ‘A'”, was supposed to act as a screenwriter and director.

However, Carnahan soon left the project. In 2016, the studio announced that Israeli directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado would direct, directing the crime thriller Bad Boys, which, in my opinion, sucks enough, which Tarantino either mockingly or quite seriously called “the best film of the year.” But Tarantino is a subtle troll: just remember the main Cannes prize for cheap Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”, which the film received when Tarantino was chairman of the jury.

Along with the nominations for directors, it was announced that Bruce Willis would play the lead role. And soon after that, Keshales and Papushado left the project because they were not allowed to make their own version of the script: the studio planned to use the script that Carnahan wrote, because the money for it was already paid.

Well, then Eli Roth, an old friend of the same Tarantino, with whom he starred in Inglourious Basterds and with whom he worked as a second director on the film Death Proof, was attracted to the project. Roth himself as a director is known for the horror films “Hostel” and “Green Hell”.

So, well, what did they get as a result? It turned out to be nothing outstanding, but nevertheless not a slop action movie. (The really sucky action movie is the fifth Die Hard.) It looks pretty cheerful, especially since Bruce Willis is clearly passionate about work here, and not sluggishly serving a number, as he does in that suck, in which he usually acts in recent times. And Vincent D’Onofrio in the role of his brother looks very good, although let’s be honest: his character is purely scripted and it is not at all clear why he was introduced.

There, in general, some storylines were clearly conceived for something, but in the end they were simply cut off: a rude man during a football match, hints that Willis’ character was once a badass, Raines’ partner, judging by apparently introduced into the plot solely for the sake of the last phrase addressed to Reigns (by the way, Dean Noris, who played the detective, became famous thanks to the excellent role of Hank in the Breaking Bad series).

Well, the rather quick wrapping of the surgeon also raises certain questions. I watched a video on the Internet, shot in the garage – and now I am able to put down several thugs who deal with weapons almost every day in a shootout? Somehow it looks a little doubtful. However, directly in the process of viewing, you somehow don’t think about it.

Director Eli Roth is not interested in discussing all sorts of social issues and paradoxes at all. Therefore, the surgeon does not reflect here. He just became a kind of Batman: during the day he darns bandits in the hospital and pulls bullets out of them, and at night he turns into a Reaper – he puts on a hoodie with a hood and goes to shoot these bandits.

But Eli Roth is interested in working in the horror genre, so the brains of the bandits will very realistically fly out of the heads and shudder on the pavement, and the episodes of how the surgeon tortures the bandit with excellent knowledge of the matter are also shown in all their splendor.

And in the finale, no one will tell you: it’s all bad that Kersey commits lynching, or, conversely, it’s good – the director doesn’t really care. More precisely, there is even a phrase that since the Reaper appeared on the streets, the crime curve has noticeably crept down.

So is that – we are also waiting for a sequel to the remake, or what? However, hardly. There is no information on global box office, in the United States in cinemas the film actually collected the amount of the budget – usually this is an indicator that in the end it will more or less pay off (foreign rentals, discs, streaming services), but this can not be called financial success.

In general, this is how the fighter turned out. It is completely optional for viewing, but if you suddenly stumble upon it and there is beer in the house, you can even watch it. Don’t suck.

PS On the United Statesn poster flaunts the slogan: “He takes revenge cheerfully, cheerfully and with taste.” I had a question: what idiots came up with such a slogan for this film? I looked at the original taglines. There: “They came for his family. Now he will come for them” and “How far can you go to protect your family.” So our idiots came up with it.


Death Wish movie meaning

Director: Eli Roth Cast: Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Beau Knapp, Jack Kesi, Camila Morrone, Kimberly Elise, Len Cariou, Ronnie Jean Blevins

Budget: $30M, US Grossing: $34M
Action thriller, USA, 2017, 107 min.

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