Death Wish 3 (1985 US/Israel/UK)

When seconds count the police are only minutes away. Or hours. Particularly if you live in Detroit or Johannesburg. I mean, why even bother with laws, why bother with a constitution and why bother with a po-lice force? They only get in the way. What you really need to keep the streets safe is a big gun…and lots of bullets…and maybe a machine gun…and perhaps a rocket launcher too. Maybe that would have kept those people safe in London the other day. Have you ever seen a multi-racial gang in real life? Me neither, but in this flick whites, blacks & hispanics are all working together to tear down the hard work of New York’s ‘old people’. 

Grizzled, elderly Paul Kimble visits a friend in the Big Apple, only to arrive and find him dead, with the police conveniently arresting him as a suspect. He is allowed to go free, in exchange for one thing. He must return to his old vigilante ways and clean out a neighbourhood gang before they tear the city apart. The old man has to teach these punks a lesson they won’t live through. Hoodlums throw grenades through windows, old men are set on fire, ordinary women fire double-barreled shotguns at street scum. Cops run through the streets shooting at thugs perched on windows and rooftops – who fire back with semi-automatics. This is the universe DW3 takes place in. 1980s cheese (complete with Eye-of-the-Tiger-ish synth score) meets Beirut. And it’s supposed to take place somewhere in East New York City.

He buys a car for no good reason just so he can murder two gang members…paying with “cash”……ka-ching!…. He buys an ice cream, simply because “this is America, isn’t it?” He ends up wasting someone named “the Giggler – he laughs when he runs.” Just because he stole Charlie’s camera. By the way, this “Giggler” is so fast that Bronson’s regular pistol can’t even catch up to him, he needs to order a special one just to get this elusive creep. Charlie gets cleaned up just so he can eat a really smelly meal (stuffed cabbage) in a rat trap with a couple of old people who like to wear heavy clothing in 90 degree weather. He goes into the dentistry business. He always seems to find a crow bar when he needs one (and its the same one!).

This is one of those unintentional comedy gold embarrassments that Michael Winner & screen writer Don Jacoby should have been ashamed of, but they weren’t. You know it is an outrageous all-out-war action extravaganza you’re watching when Bronson fires an anti-tank, anti-personnel, armour-piercing rocket launcher inside a living room. Everything leading up to the climax is forgettable but action junkies will get a major kick out of the final thirty minutes. The action in Death Wish 3 is reminiscent of the battle of Stalingrad during the autumn- winter of 1942/43. The street-to-street, house-to-house, and hand-to-hand fighting leaves the borough of Brooklyn – in 1985 – looking like Berlin, 1945: hundreds of street scum, civilians, cops dead or wounded in it’s smoldering ruins. DW3 is a shameful pleasure.



  1. Great line: “What you really need to keep the streets safe is a big gun…and lots of bullets…and maybe a machine gun…and perhaps a rocket launcher too.”

    I’m hoping the Bruce Willis remake will be better than the many sequels Charles Bronson made.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks…lol. Yes, the reboot should be well made and close to the original novel’s plot.

    Liked by 1 person

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