Death Wish Review – A Tone Deaf and Poorly Timed MAGA & NRA Wet Dream

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Kriss1
I have to give this a 1 just so the rating registers but if I could give it a negative score I would. This is offensive, problematic and represents everything wrong with the gun debate in America
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No one in their right mind thought that a Death Wish remake was a good idea and well, this is proof. Death Wish is tone deaf, problematic, racist and just gross. It was first delayed after the Vegas shooting last year only to be rescheduled for March 2 and of course, we're coming off another mass shooting. The film glorifies everything wrong with the gun debate in America.

 Look, I love violent action movies. I grew up on over the top 80’s action movies. John Wick and The Equalizer are two of my favorite new franchises. So my problem and disgust with Death Wish is that I have a weak stomach. It’s that this film is specifically meant to send the wrong and dangerous message. When the credits roll, the moral of the story that the audience is left with is that if you’re a middle age white man from the suburbs, you can:

  1. Illegally obtain a gun
  2. Become radicalized on how to use that gun using the Internet
  3. Go on a killing spree
  4. Suffer absolutely zero consequences even after the police know it was you

Eli Roth weakly tries to wash his hands of the horrible message this film sends with some boilerplate & safe “debates” that play between scene transitions with radio hosts. But it’s very obvious that Roth didn’t really care about the morality because when a copycat is killed in the film, there’s literally zero self-awareness or reflection by Bruce Willis’s character.

And even if you can put aside the problematic morality, the subtle racism and glorification of gun violence in America, the film isn’t even that good. The acting is forgettable. Bruce Willis has been phoning it in for years at an even greater extent than Liam Neeson has been. The action is also subpar. Roth focuses on blood and showing gruesome results and less on choreography. John Wick is a fan favorite because the hand-to-hand combat and the gun battles are truly amazing to watch. In Death Wish, it’s as if Roth just dumped the actors in buckets of fake blood and let them flop around aimlessly. Death Wish just isn’t even enjoyable to watch.

This film is a MAGA and NRA wet dream put to movie format. They were at least smart enough to not make the “main bad guys” people of color, but that doesn’t mean black & brown people aren’t the majority of the “background” criminals and thugs. Setting the film in Chicago is another one of those eye rolling moments, especially when you consider that the main character lives out in the suburbs and then heads into the city to do his killing. It’s every stereotype the Alt-Right feeds off of and recruits off of. It’s the idea that upper class white men need to protect themselves and their families from the low life criminals in the cities and that there are no limits to what they can do. You’d never see an American film about a middle eastern man who picked up guns to hunt down the US servicemen who killed his family. You’d never see an American film about a black pastor who uses the loose gun laws in this country to wage a one-man war against the white nationalist who are terrorizing his community. No, see that film would be called propaganda and blamed for radicalizing people of color into terrorists. But Death Wish with its white male upper class hero and perfect family? Oh that’s not radicalizing white men (the biggest terrorist group in America). No, that’s just the American Dream.

A family man (Bruce Willis) becomes a vigilante killing machine when his family is violently attacked by robbers. Directed by Eli Roth

 

 

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