Friday, 11 August 2017

Death Wish. August 2017.

I must make the nightmare revelation that I've never seen the original Death Wish movie.

I could claim that's because, as a man of taste, sensitivity and culture, I refuse to watch it on principal but the truth is I can't remember ever having seen it in the TV listings.

Oddly, I have seen Death Wish 3 in the listings, on many an occasion but have never watched that one, on the grounds that it ends with the word, "Three," and generally that's a bad sign in a movie - especially one that begins with the word, "Death."

Thus it is that I can watch the trailer for the new Death Wish with an oddly open mind.

And, having watched it with an open mind, what did I make of it?

I made of it that it looked rubbish. I can appreciate that there are times when we'd all like to bring terrible destruction down upon everyone who gets in our way and that such fantasies can be cathartic but at no point in that trailer did I see a single thing that made me want to watch the film. It just seems to be Bruce Willis walking around, shooting people. After a while it all started to look a bit depressing.

While I'm sure that they're all wrongdoers and need a good shooting, I do demand a little more from my movies than just Bruce Willis shooting people.

For instance, I like it when Bruce Willis is defending skyscrapers from Alan Rickman, because then there's ingenuity, plotting, timing, suspense and full use being made of a setting. Just walking around, randomly shooting bad guys, in a variety of locations doesn't have quite the same air of fun to it.

In the end, I suppose what makes or breaks the film will be how it handles the whole theme of vigilantism. Will it be a celebration of it or will it be a warning of the dangers of taking the law into one's own hands?

Then again, will it take a more ambiguous stance and examine the moral and practical grey areas of such a campaign? Such a thing could lend depth and intrigue to the movie, making it a more memorable, tense and gripping experience.

Sadly, nothing in the trailer suggests it's going to take any such approach and, in the absence of any reason to suspect it's not just, "Bruce Willis is shooting bad guys. How great is this?" it's hard to feel optimistic about the film.

Death Wish 2017 poster

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