deathwish3

Review: DEATH WISH 3 (1985)

by Meredith Grau
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Best Bad Quote:
“They killed the Giggler, man. They killed the Giggler!”
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Pop quiz hot shot: How many Bronsons does it take to clean up the WORLD? Just one. Despite this, Hollywood keeps making him prove himself, so his sad saga continues…
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In the third installment of the Death Wish series, we have a glorious celluloid mash-up that can only be described as Police Academy meets Vigilante meets The Garbage Pail Kids. In other words, it is the comic toast of the season. Your abs will thank you. Mine sure did.
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Paul Kersey (Bronson) is back (again) and has returned to his stomping grounds in NYC (London) to visit an old pal who shares his love of heavy artillery. Unfortunately, before Paul can even give his wizened friend a hug “Hello,” the geezer is rubbed out by none other than Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter, pre-phone booth). Falsely arrested for the murder when he’s found at the scene, Paul is eventually cleared of all charges and immediately & unofficially hired by Chief Richard Shriker to help get rid of the wild and woolly street element haunting his precinct. Shriker just hatesriff raff, which he often shows by aggressively squashing cockroaches. (It’s a metaphor).
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What ensues after the consequent Senior Citizens Neighborhood Watch is formed comes with that dependable, cool and calculated, Kersey-style of wrath. But on a much tighter budget… And on what appears to be the abandoned set of a “Full House: Inner City” spin-off… Anywho, with the help of his geriatric army, including neighbor Bennett aka Inspector Arbogast (Martin Balsam), Kersey soon becomes well versed on gang warfare and all the major villains of the area. While taking down the biggest threat, a fiendish band of color coordinated thugs– whose forehead-emblazoned gang symbol clearly means “Pat Benatar 4 Evs”– Paul also manages to both eat ice cream and shag his court appointed attorney (Deborah Raffin) who is naturally killed  immediately post-coitus. It is safe to say that either Paul is the unluckiest man in the world or his sex appeal is indeed his most dangerous weapon.
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What we learn from the final showdown is that shooting people is just plain awesome! It’s the most fun you can have on a Sunday! Before Paul introduces the city to guns, everyone is sad. But after they start packing, they are glad. In fact, by the film’s end, the entire community is pretty much carrying torches and ancient morningstars to take down and destroy their not at all intimidating enemies– many of whose only show of aggression is their penchant for bare midriffs and hot pants. As the streets run red with blood, the people celebrate like it’s Mardis Gras to the fruitful melodies of G-Major synthicization. The only thing missing amidst this family fun is Smokey Robinson. (Maybe he was busy).
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Yes, this film is garbage. Bronson knows it of course, but as usual, his underplaying somehow manages to make everything he says and does seem totally normal; which in contrast makes everything happening around him seem that much more ridiculous– from his bi-polar girlfriend, to a wrongful application of face paint, to the ugliest villain since Edward Furlong. Still, Death Wish 3 is quite fantastical in the belly laugh region. It is the Double Dare of action films, pitting the stone cold Kersey against a band of genetically unfortunate high school rejects who really just need a father figure. Or perhaps a passionate hobby wherein they can focus their energies. Wait… Is this film the prequel to Fame?
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If not, it is entirely possible that it is nothing more than a very lengthy public service announcement bolstering the sterling reputation of the NRA. There is an undeniable hint of that age old Heston musk… You know what they say, “If you want to know the measure of a man, count his bullet shells!” And the sporadic show of boobs. A real man is always surrounded by boobs. They burst forth like hot and ready Pop Tarts waiting to be both saved and savored.
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Bon appetit, mothahfuckahs.
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Rating:
 
3 out of 5 Deviants without a Daddy
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