Death Wish (R)
And yet, at the film's conclusion, as Willis' Dr. Kersey sprayed his final victim with bullets, the audience broke out into a smattering of dutiful applause.
What is wrong with us?
How does this film depart from Michael Winner's 1974 version, starring Charles Bronson? For one, Bronson's Kersey is a smoldering cauldron of paranoia and insanity, driven to excess of violence by the big, bad city. For all its faults, Winner's film still functions as gritty exploitation: It's shockingly over the top, and Bronson plays his role with grave seriousness. Willis' Kersey, however, is a suburban “feminized” male who seeks to de-escalate violence until he grows impatient with the cops' progress on his wife's murder case and starts shooting people in Chicago. Roth doesn't put us into Kersey's deteriorating psyche or even hint that Kersey might be losing his mind -- one would have to be to shoot up a bunch of strangers on a whim. Roth's movie is the good-guy-with-a-gun propaganda the NRA is just lapping up straight out of the toilet.