Death Wish II (1982)

First His Wife. Now His Daughter. It's Time To Even The Score!

Paul Kersey is again a vigilante trying to find five punks who murdered his housekeeper and daughter in Los Angeles.

Kersey Chaos.
Michael Winner once again pushes the buttons of Hollywood with this sequel to his controversial hit, Death Wish. Plot follows a familiar trajectory, Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) is now in Los Angeles living a normal life, when wouldn't you know it, some scumbag youths cross his path after administering some rape and pillage on folk close to him...
The problem here, and the reason why some critics positively burst blood vessels after watching it, is that for the first half it just is pure exploitation, this in spite of some decent production value. Did it really need to be another sex crime? Could it not have been a murder et al? There gets a point in the film where you sense it's boobs for boobs sake. Though you have to wonder if Winner dared to ask Chuck and Jill Ireland (playing girlfriend of Chuck...) if Jill would do a nude scene? I think a broken nose may have come about if that subject had of been broached...
Once Kersey (Bronson hard as nails again) goes about dealing out his brand of justice, the film hits its straps, teasing the viewers with moral - cum - ethical outrage or conversely, vicarious thinking. Vigilante films are always going to swim in tricky waters, provoking anger and heated debate from all walks of the political spectrum, but better to have them out there to provoke a response than not. Surely?
There is nothing remotely high end here, but it's a film worthy of its above average rating on IMDb. It can shock, annoy, dismay and even induce unintentional mirth (three of the rapist thugs dance the campiest dance ever), but it will not be ignored and people are still seeking it out today to watch for the first time. Michael Winner still showing the ability to pique interest with his vigilante franchise. 6.5/10

Cannon Group, Golan-Globus Productions, Filmways Pictures, City Film by Michael Winner, David Engelbach, Brian Garfield.
Stars: Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Vincent Gardenia, J.D. Cannon.

Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Keywords: rape detective drug traffic vigilante revenge los angeles, california surveillance vigilante justice


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