Thursday, May 8, 2008

DEATH WISH III: 5.0 out of 5 stars

To all the aspiring B screenwriters out there: watch Death Wish 3 and take notes til your hand falls off, February 13, 2008

We, Sid the Elf, reviewed Death Wish 2 last week. We thought it was really good. Not bad by any means, but not a classic. So, when we popped in Death Wish 3, we were fully expecting a solid B effort from Bronson again. All the elements were there again, right down to the same awful synth music thankfully. Instead what did the old boy Charles Bronson give us? A true B classic! We were litterally hooked when you could see from a mile away that Bronson was going to get the death of his friend Charlie pinned on him. That was a "hmm, that's pretty cool, Bronson's finally going to jail" moment. Interesting that he finally went to jail for something he didn't do, but nothing groundbreaking. So, here we're thinking another solid 3 star effort. Then...the film jumps into full B mode. Reality and seriousness went completely out the window. From about the 20 minute mark of the movie, it's almost as if they realized that there is no way at all that this movie could be good or taken seriously so they decided to make it as bad/funny as possible(a B-movie must). In fact, Sid still isn't sure if the comedy here was intentional or unintentional. He's frankly banking on the latter.

Bronson's in jail and of course within about 8 seconds he gets picked on. The guy who would become the bad guy in the movie and one of his buddies start with Bronson. Well, the fight scene was only a few seconds long, but it sent a message: this movie is wonderful b. Bronson dodges an ax-handle before it even starts, then he kicks the guy in the stomach with his shin. This is just one of the devastating moves Bronson unleashes in this film. It's right up there with his one-armed push that sends a guy tumbling to the ground. Then the coach from Youngblood comes into the cell, breaks up the fight and turns the movie, the series, and Bronson's life on its ear.

He brings Bronson into his office and offers to let him out of jail and forget about the charges if Bronson does a hit for him. Out of everything that's happened in these movies this was probably the most far-fetched, and that's saying something. Now, up to this point, Bronson was a decent guy who just kept getting antagonized and snapping. So, you didn't hate him or label him as a bad guy. But, now, Bronson accepts a contract? Wow, just a quietly brilliant move by the writers. Now we have a cold-blooded killer in Bronson. Awesome! Now he could switch into full-fledged Dirty Harold mode because the barrier has already been knocked down. Bronson is released from prison and starts to go to work on the gang that killed his friend and terrorized that entire neighborhood. These guys were bad news. They were throwing Molotovs left and right, and even blowing up a few things. But what they really loved to do was knock women down and run off with their purses. They were the perfect gang for a B. Oh, and the leader of the gang? You guessed it, the guy that bullied Bronson in jail. He's now back on the streets with a bizaro-mohawk and some fruity war paint on his forehead. These guys were a gang in New York? We're sure? Not San Fransisco? Bronson now starts mail-ordering an arsenal and distributing ammo to all the seniors in the building where his friend lived. We swear this happened. In this section you have the old man in the Brooklyn Dodgers hat freaking out on a gang member and Bronson giving the Tony sign of virility to a neighborhood kid, adding to the homoerotic undertones of the film. We're also subjected to Bronson in a couple makeout scenes with his lady. If that's not bad enough, they zoomed in on Bronson's famous mustache when he was kissing her. Just really added to the B quality. Hilarious stuff that must be seen to be appreciated.

They really delved into the Bronson character in this movie. They even mentioned that Bronson went into semi-retirement between vigilante sprees by moving to the country during the hiatus, just like Sid said. See, we are true B experts. We can't say enough about the awkward love scenes with Bronson. They even show him shirtless at one point while he's famously butchering his lines again. Almost brings a tear to Sid's eye. They just don't make B like this anymore.

Of course, the neighborhood is safe after the residents band together with Bronson to take out the gang. And the movie ends with Bronson walking down the road looking for more victims of his vigilante ways. This totally leaves you salivating for Death Wish 4. If you're a B fan, Death wish 3 is a must-see. A tour-de-force really. Sid absolutely loved it, you will too.
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