Saturday, 11 February 2012

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

I must say that as the Death Wish movies evolved and moved away from the interesting and serious first movie it wasn't exactly the worst thing that could happen. While the sequels became more outlandish and implausible, the entertainment factor seemed to settle at a reasonable level and Charles Bronson always managed to hold your attention as vigilante Paul Kersey.

The rapists and muggers might have started to hide away but a new breed of criminal overshadows even their nefarious deeds. The drug dealer. After witnessing the effects that drugs are having on the kids of today, Paul Kersey decides to once again take the law into his own hands and start killing those who he feels most deserve it. The police close in, Paul finds his services being hired by someone with a vested interest and everything unfolds predictably enough for those who have enjoyed the previous movies.

J. Lee Thompson was the man who took over the directorial duties from Michael Winner and he does a perfectly reasonable job. Some of the continuity and editing feels rushed and clumsy but these movies are all about Bronson believable kicking ass and, once again, he does just that.

The script, this time by Gail Morgan Hickman, is quite basic but also utilises some plot points not all that dissimilar to Yojimbo, which at least makes this more than just a rehash of a rehash of a sequel to the original.

Bronson is excellent, as ever, in the main role and the other actors all do just fine with what they're given. Kay Lenz is the love interest this time, Dana Barron has a brief turn as the daughter of Lenz's character, Danny Trejo and Mitch Pileggi have what must amount to two minutes of screentime between them (but they're always great folk to see in films) and George Dickerson and Soon-Tek Oh play two very different police officers.

If you enjoyed the previous three movies then I can't think of any reasons that you would have to hate this one.


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