It's nice to be able to count on AMC to provide me with the right kind of entertainment a guy like me needs when he's sitting at a dive bar drinking whiskey shots and Pabst Blue Ribbon. No, I'm not speaking of The Walking Dead or Mad Men, although I was quite impressed with the former(and zombies do go with said whiskey and cheap beer indulgence). If you've been paying attention at all this week, then you would have noticed the AMC is running a Death Wish marathon. Yeah you heard me correctly, a Death Wish marathon. So while you were out enjoying "weather" and talking about useless Brits getting married, I was watching Paul Kersey take down punks with over-sized weapons while fueling myself with Wings and booze.......America!!!
A couple of months ago I covered Death Wish 2 after having watched it back-to-back with the original. I have held a special place in my heart for Charles Bronson for a while now, but it was only recently that I had screened the Death Wish series. Hearing that the first two were the best, I decided to take my time with the third to avoid disappointment so quickly after seeing the second. Three months later and I finally got my turn or the Bronson-mobile, and I didn't even have to pay for it. I just happened to be lucky enough to catch Death Wish 3 on AMC last night after my afternoon 90210. For all of you people out there that told me the first two were really the only ones worth watching, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Death Wish 3 was by far my favorite of the series, and I saw part of the fourth, so I know it doesn't get better from there on out.
If you've haven't seen it, I should probably summarize it for you:
Everyone's favorite vigilante and World's Unluckiest Man, Paul Kersey, makes his way back to NYC, to visit his war buddy after living in "Exile" out in Los Angeles for the last several years. As we all know from the first two movies, death and sadness follow Kersey around like a venereal disease. Paul just happens to get to get to his friends apartment as he and his wife were slaughtered by the neighborhood hoodlums....go figure. This unfortunately leads to Paul being taken into custody(more bad luck). The Department Head, who's name I can't remember or even care to, remembers the name Kersey being associated with the vigilante justice that lowered Manhattan's crime-rate, even if it was temporary, just a few years before. Since then, said Department Head has been given the duty of an area of Brooklyn known affectionately as East New York, and he can't seem to keep to piece. You see, East New York is rundown and overrun with gang violence that would make Somalian ghettos look like the suburbs. Since Department Head doesn't feel that he, nor his squadron, can really do anything to help out the pathetic vestiges of good residents left in the area, he conscripts Kersey to help clean up. And Kersey only knows one way to deal with punks, or in this case, creeps.......superior firepower!
The Third installment of Death Wish got a bunch of shit from the critics for being to unrealistic and over the top. From what I've read, even Bronson was embarrassed by the direction it took. Bully for them, because everything that was hated about Death Wish 3 was what kept my eyes glued to the screen. Non-stop violence, big guns, Kersey's ability to bed a women by the second date...it was all here. Best of all were the roving gangs of punks, and you know how much I love that shit. Yes, I agree the plots of the first two films were better scripted, but who needs a fucking storyline with this much action. By the third installment, I would just expect Kersey to have a free pass to smoke punks anywhere he went in the world and I would have been happy and Three actually gave me that, even though it was restricted to an area of Brooklyn that is still one of the worst neighborhoods in America.
I agree with the "unrealistic" criticism people give it, but that's the kind of shit that makes a great action/revenge movie. People don't watch these type of films to relate whole-heartedly, they do it to live that kind of fantastic lifestyle, even if it is just for 90 minutes. Death Wish 3 was just to good to limit to a review and one blog entry. I think I'm going to have to give it further thought tomorrow. I don't rate movies very often, but in this case, it's a 5 of 5 bar none.