Remakes are always debatable, especially since some like “The Jungle Book” work or others like “Ghostbusters” flop. And “Death Wish, director Eli Roth’s remake of the 1974 Charles Bronson movie, only works when the hero becomes a vigilante, and flops when stupid or violent choices are made.
Bruce Willis stars as Paul Kersey, a Chicago surgeon and family man, who intends to find the men who murdered his wife (Elizabeth Shue) and left his daughter (Camilla Morrone) in a coma. So, he steals a gun from a patient and learns from internet videos how to use it. And being that Chicago is full of crime, he becomes a vigilante.
Witnesses to his “heroic deeds” only give the detectives (Dean Norris and Kimberley Elise) the description that he is a white guy with a hoodie, and he appears to be left-handed. And things really start to cook up for Paul, when he eventually finds the men, who murdered his wife, including a man named Knox (Beau Knapp).
There are times that I cared about in “Death Wish,” and other times that left me texting (in the hallways that is). Willis does a decent job, but he has to deal with some annoying characters, and he has to torture one of his wife’s killers with car liquid, and it ends ugly.
Even when Willis comes face-to-face with the killers, it’s not surprising. Nothing is surprising in the movie. It’s run-of-the-mill. You can turn him into a viral sensation with social media, but you can’t turn the movie into a hit.