Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
Eli Roth’s thriller is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name. A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.
The original 1974 version may be considered a classic today, but at the time, it received a lot of very bad reviews and I can easily understand why, so it’s no surprise to discover my expectations for this remake were exceptionally low.
I honestly ask the question: Why did the original have to get the remake treatment when it is so bad?? I guess I will never know the answer.
The story concerns Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis), a surgeon who frequently sees the penalties of the city's troubles in the extra room. When home interlopers horribly bout his wife and young daughter, Paul becomes fanatical with transporting vigilante fairness to the committers. As the unidentified homicides catch the media's courtesy, the public starts to speculate if the lethal avenger is a protector angel – or the Grim Reaper itself.
Bruce Willis doesn’t convince in his role as Paul, the doctor who seems to have other things going for him, rather than actually focus on what he is supposed to be doing, which makes it very annoying for the viewer and it is not the only problems the movie has.
The direction from Roth is not good as he creates no tense atmosphere happening at all, while the script is written to a lacklustre standard by Joe Carnahan as there is no focus on the actual story.
The pace of the film is slow, the duration is long and this could easily have ended up being a short film.
At the time of writing, the movie deservedly got a Golden Raspberry nomination for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel – whether it wins, I don’t know.
Overall, the remake of Death Wish is one to strongly avoid.