Death Wish! You know I love three things in life: Bruce Willis, guns, and vigilante justice. Fine … I only like one of those things (no, not guns! Bruce Willis of course). Let’s get into it!
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) What school does Bruce Willis’ brilliant and beautiful daughter get into at the beginning of the film?
2) What did Elizabeth Shue, Bruce Willis’ wife, get Willis for his birthday?
3) Bruce Willis learns the way of the vigilante from his father-in-law. What event on the father’s land makes Willis think of doing things his own way?
4) D’Onofrio plays Willis’ brother, who seems to often be in a tight spot. What is his deal? Like why does he need Bruce’s money and shit?
5) Approximately how many people does Bruce Willis kill during the course of the film? I’m not going to get it perfectly, but I have a decent guess I think. We’ll count anyone who dies in the course of his misdeed effectively.
1) NYU. Likely a call back to the original film which was set in New York City, which has since become a far safer (and thus inappropriate) city.
2) A new (very expensive) watch, as he was complaining earlier in the film about how it was running slow. I will also accept a freshly baked Tres Leches cake, but that wasn’t really his gift, it was just something they wanted to make for him in order to make up for the fact that he had to go into the hospital for his bday.
3) The father-in-law sees a few poachers. Naturally he just indiscriminately shoots as them as they speed away. What were they poaching? Deer of course … of course. I guess the argument is that it was out of season, but for reals … like, it isn’t like they are poaching his steer or something, they seem to be what? Hunting out of season without a license on his land? Yeah … that deserves a death sentence you freaking weirdo.
4) He has a undescribed criminal past. This makes getting a job difficult for him, and Willis is helping him through his tough spot. It also makes it somewhat more implausible that D’Onofrio wasn’t one of the prime suspects from the word “go” once Willis’ stuff started showing up at crime scenes.
5) In the car jacking he actively kills two people (the driver, and the guy who gets out and shoots at him). He kills the ice cream man. In the liquor store two people die (the fence, and Fish who the fence called. Fish killed the fence, and a bowling ball killed Fish, but I’m counting it). He then kills another guy with the car (ahem, I mean “Jack” killed him har dee har). And in the grand finale I believe he killed three people (Knox and two toughs he brought with him). Which means he was at least partially responsible in nine people’s deaths. Plus or minus one with some caveats I think is good enough. Like the copycat vigilante died, for example, but it is debatable whether he is responsible for that.
So … did you get them all right, take all the baddies down and become celebrated as a hero far and wide? Or did you grossly misinterpret the point of the original book and make a film that actually suggests that is in any way a good thing? I’ve confused myself, but just remember: being a vigilante is bad. And I can’t believe that needs clarification.