In this sequel, Paul Kersey — notorious vigilante killer — is arrested by police upon blowing into town and discovering his friend’s murdered body, and is made to hunt down criminals once more, but for the cops.
So… What the hell difference does that make?
None, really — if we chopped out all the scenes with that plot development, we wouldn’t notice, because this is a movie where Charles Bronson shoots criminals in the back, just what we ordered. Except, and this is a big except… The police chief who assigns him to take down the gang appears at the end to bail Kersey out of a jam, and calls him ‘DUDE!’ — twice!
That’s when the movie hits overdrive, and cements its place as one of the most balls-out crazy 80s action movies ever, up there with Commando and Total Recall (1990, I know, but still). The city erupts in gang warfare, and this gang warfare that’s more Hill than Hughes, but… not reading on anybody’s radar.
It’s hard to quantify this film in mere words. It’s legendary and one of those accidents of iconography and past-expiry franchise returns that resulted in something that is best enjoyed in the company of others.
Because look, there’s nothing really funny about the following dialogue exchange:
“It’s my car.”
“Now you gonna die.”
But in Death Wish 3’s capable hands, you’ll laugh out loud no matter what. Best to share that experience.