Willis plays his surgeon like a cathedral gargoyle, offering no more than his name to the already atrocious picture
Death Wish is generic in all but its premise, as it strives to use as little effort as possible to become a bog standard action film. It’s premise however, Bruce Willis going from top-class surgeon to cold-hearted street killer in the space of a couple of scenes, really is extraordinary. It manages to bring the film down to the general level of complete and utter rubbish.
Willis has obviously reached a point in his career where he no longer cares how he makes his money, or cares how professional his output looks on the big screen. There simply can’t be a more wholehearted attempt at showing such little emotion throughout a film in, probably, history.
As a man who has just lost his wife transitions to the renegade killer of crooks, Willis honestly shows less than a flicker of pain or hurting. He plays his surgeon like a cathedral gargoyle, offering no more than his name to the already atrocious picture.
There is no twist, there is no meaningful dialogue, no more action than a few car chases and some rapidly shot assault weapons, and absolutely no effective direction. Death Wish is such an aimless and pathetic attempt at an action film, using Bruce Willis, however far he is past his best, as its sole drawing point. It would be sneaky to end this on a quip about wishing death to come while watching the film but that would be far too easy.