Archives for posts with tag: Bruce Willis

I saw the original “Death Wish.” Bruce Willis’ 2018 version is not “Death Wish.” It’s primarily a Bruce Willis movie. In it, he becomes a vigilante to avenge crimes against his family. That sounds a lot like “Death Wish,” but it’s not “Death Wish.” The 1974 version was weightier in every aspect. The crimes against Charles Bronson’s family were worse, his vengeance less precise and the moral argument more personal (although I do like the irony that Willis’s character is a trauma surgeon). But ultimately, Bruce Willis and his preternatural lack of gravitas is the problem with Bruce Willis’ “Death Wish.”

Ever seen a movie with so many halfway decent actors and so much half-ass dialogue and continuity errors that it just leaves you paralized? That’s right, paralized. Just like the “paralized” headline I saw in the Pittsburgh newspaper during “Striking Distance” (spellcheck hates me right now). This 1993 detective flick has a lineup that runs from Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker to Andre Braugher and Timothy Busfield. But infamous writer/director Rowdy Herrington also has people with two crutches and then no crutches and then one crutch, buttoned-then-unbuttoned shirts and a hilariously preposterous car chase. Except this isn’t a comedy.

What is a hero, exactly? Depending on who we are, we may define them in different ways. A kid idolizes his dad. Maybe his dad idolizes the star quarterback. This would be a good way to discuss “Unbreakable” (2000) if this were a college class on “movies as modern literature.” But it’s not. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that M. Night Shyamalan’s movies are mostly f’d up, with sinisterly twisted endings. This is no different. As a bonus, Bruce Willis walks through the entire film like a guy with a concussion. Or maybe it’s us who feel that way.