Death Wish 3 ★★★½

It's quite the dramatic storyline arc Charles Bronson's Paul Kersey takes during the course of the first three Michael Winner helmed Death Wish movies. From mild-mannered architect turned desperate vigilante (who first arms himself with a sock full of coins lest we forget!) to the seemingly bullet-proof one-man army of this third instalment...I'm not sure even Sylvester Stallone's John Rambo transformed so quickly from character to caricature!
Shot during the height of 80's action movie excess and the rampant right-wing politics of Reagan-era America, Death Wish 3 now produced under the Cannon banner, is a gloriously gung-ho exercise in O.T.T screen violence, gun fetishism and action-movie one-upmanship. Bronson here wielding phallic firearms designed to make macho screen rivals like Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry look like lame, limp, also-rans. It's basically Bronson (even more morose and monosyllabic than usual) with an armoury of military grade weaponry wiping out a ghetto's worth of scuzzy hoodlums, punks and ne'er do wells, most of whom look like they're members of a camp The Warriors fan club on the way back from a Village People gig!
This is of course complete and utter bunkum, with a nonsensical, logic-defying plot awash with dubious, borderline fascist politics and a jaw-dropping degree of violence and brutality. But for trashy, trigger-response entertainment, here's arguably my favourite of the Death Wish series and a textbook example of the crazed overkill of bodycount-boasting action movies of the period. None more 1980s, none more Cannon.