Movie hits home amid gun violence in USA

BEFORE THE KILLING BEGAN: Happier times for the Kersey family, from left, Jordan (Camila Morrone), her mom Lucy (Elisabeth Shue), and father Dr Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) in the remake of Death Wish, now showing at Rosehill Cinema

Death Wish, with Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio and Elisabeth Shue, directed by Eli Roth.


PAUL Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a surgeon in a Chicago hospital and has had to deal with the violence of the city’s streets for years.

Although sympathetic it appears that, as a matter of survival, he tries not to think about it too much. He rather focusses on his wife, Lucy (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter Jordan (Camila Morrone) who has just been accepted into college. She is also a keen soccer player, and the family show great support for each other.

That all changes when two gunshot victims are rushed to the hospital after being viciously attacked in their suburban home. Paul realises that the two victims are, in fact, his wife and daughter. Lucy does not survive the attack but Jordan is operated on and remains in a coma.

The police attend the scene of the crime in the form of detectives Kevin Raines (Dean Norris) and  Leonore Jackson (Kimberly Elise) who, with perhaps a hundred unsolved murders on their books are totally impotent. But they tell Paul they will continue to search for his wife’s killers.

When a criminal is delivered to the emergency room at the hospital with a gunshot wound Paul recognises the man as a valet he met recently. Putting two and two together he surreptitiously takes the dying man’s gun. Although he seems reluctant to use a weapon initially the audience knows (based on the actions of Willis’ predecessor in the role, Charles Bronson, in the 1974 movie of the same name) it is inevitable that Kersey is about to exact vengeance on his wife’s killers.

The movie has generated a lot of controversy in the United States where anti- and pro-gun lobbyists are still hurting over the most recent mass shooting at a school in Florida.

However you feel about guns, there is no doubt most people watching the movie would sympathise (if not necessarily condone) with the actions of the distraught father and husband who was placed in this situation.

A really good movie with plenty of graphic violence for those who, like me, enjoy a little mayhem in an action film, Death Wish will make you ask yourself what you would do the same given the same circumstances.

Leave a Reply