Thursday, June 10, 2010

Movie Review: Death Wish

About a month ago I read a blog comment somewhere that recommended the film Death Wish for any fans of batman.  So I checked it out from the library and watched most of it.

(I'm not very film savvy.  I had never heard of the film or its sequels.  I could have identified the name Charles Bronson as an actor, but not named any of his films.  I think The Great Escape was his only other film I've seen.)

The night I watched it I stopped two-thirds of the way through because it was bedtime, and the film did not grab me enough to make me want to watch the ending.  I did check two movie quotation sites to make sure there was no famous dialog I had missed.

One reason the film did not connect well with me is that it's basic premise is quite out of date.

(Unfortunately, I have only currently dangerous links following: the website I used a month ago to look up New York and Oregon crime rates is currently having malware issues.  Perhaps in another month those links will be safe to click again.)

Anyway, New York was indeed experiencing a lot of violent crime in the early 1970s when the film was made.  But now domestic violent crime rates have been falling for twenty years.  Moreover, concealed carry laws are much more widespread, and I know and read about folks and who help people get trained and licensed.

So the film's basic premise--that someone traumatized by family members' suffering in a violent crime would decide it was sensible to deliberately go into alleys and other such places hoping for a chance to shoot violent criminals--is now absurd.  Unlike many of the film's viewers in the big cities of the early 1970s, I had no sympathy for the protagonist.  Paul Kersey could have moved to a city that allowed him continue his job while starting a hobby of helping people get trained and licensed for concealed carry.  That would help society legally, and much more, than provoking dangerous encounters to use a gun illegally.

UPDATE: These days someone could even specialize in helping college students earn and use concealed carry permits.

1 comment:

James R. Rummel said...

Thank you kindly for the link!

I agree, "Death Wish" was a product of the times in which it was made. But it is important to remember that it resonated with a lot of people precisely due to that reason.