Picks and Pans Review: Death Wish Ii
There is something to be said for this film: It provides the same vicarious relief for those seeking revenge against urban crime that pornography provides for those in need of sex. Whether this is meritorious or simply vile is another question. As in the original Death Wish, Charles Bronson plays Paul Kersey, an architect whose family falls victim to thugs. In this one, his housekeeper and his daughter (who was raped and driven insane in the first film) are raped and murdered. The plot is his one-man vigilante hunt for the gang responsible. Carnage and implausibility are rampant; competent writing and acting are not. Even the estimable Vincent Gardenia, as the same New York cop who tracked Bronson in the original movie, doesn't have a convincing word to say. Branson's off-camera wife, Jill Ireland, who plays his steady here, rejects him in the end. Otherwise he escapes retribution, no doubt to visit more violence on criminals in the fulfillment of future Death Wishes. (R)
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