03
Aug
13

Death Wish 3 (1985)

Watching Death Wish 3 today, it almost seems like it’s meant to be set in some impossible, Snake Plisskenesque New York City of the future; a city overrun with gangs, where thugs plunder and rape their way through the neighborhoods. Of course it is not, it is in fact set in the New York City of the 1980’s, where crime rates were through the roof and Bernie Goetz took the law into his own hands and shot a bunch of kids on the Subway.

Marina Sirtis as Maria, who tragically dies due to complications from... her broken arm.

Marina Sirtis as Maria, who tragically dies due to complications from… her broken arm.

The citizens of Death Wish 3‘s New York City are fed up. The cops can’t do anything to curb the violence; and good families like you and me can’t have dinner with the window open without wondering when a thug will jump in and steal our precious valuables. That is, of course, until Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) comes along. He rolls into the city just in time to find his good friend gasping for his last breath after suffering a merciless beating by thugs. The cops take Kersey in, and finally the Chief of Police gives him an ultimatum: help me clean up these streets, or take the fall for your friend’s death.

Kersey: proud to fight the hoodlums! Power to the people!

Kersey: proud to fight the hoodlums! Power to the people!

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Kersey, a well-known vigilante by the third installment of the Death Wish franchise, takes the cop’s offer, orders a gigantic gun and starts mowing down thugs left and right – all to the delight of the neighborhood’s “good” tenants.

Can't a man enjoy an ice cream without being robbed by "The Giggler"?

Can’t a man enjoy an ice cream without being robbed by “The Giggler”?

This is an unveiled advertisement for gun rights. It’s a film-version of Walker: Texas Ranger: the good guys can do no wrong, and the bad are so unbelievably, horribly, unforgivably bad we’re supposed to cheer when Kersey blows a hole right through their torsos. It’s a clumsy call to the citizens of New York to take their fates into their own hands, buy guns and clean house.

ROCKET LAUNCHER FACE!

ROCKET LAUNCHER FACE!

Needless to say, this movie left a pretty nasty taste in my mouth. In the age of “Stand your ground” laws gone wild and mass-shootings every three months or so, this kind of stuff turns me off. That being said, it’s so gloriously absurd I couldn’t help but enjoy myself while watching it. Its complete disregard for gray areas makes it absolutely hilarious to watch.

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