300px-Death_Wish_4_-_The_Crackdown_(1987)

Review: DEATH WISH IV: THE CRACKDOWN (1987)

by Meredith Grau
.
 
Best Bad Quote:
“No one caaaaaares! EVERYone does drugs nowadays!”
.
Kersey and I are back for the fourth Death Wish installment! (You’re glad)? This film has everything! That is, everything the preceding three films had: the death of an innocent,  an expendable blond, and a pistol of vengeance. However, this time is more special-er, because Paul is packing’ a bazooka and leading the war on drugs. Hence, “The Crackdown!” Crack-down… Get it??? Yeah, well if you think that’s bad, get ready for some of that juicy, heavy-handed over-kill (more wise puns) that only the ’80s could wreak.
.
The man known as “the Vigilante” has been retired since he saved senior citizens in take three. After losing his daughter, blond wife, a blond, and another blond, and fighting muggers, rapists, and color coordinated gangs, you’d think that this guy deserved some rest. Well, sure he does, but who can sleep when oily Greeks are selling drugs to teenagers? Not Paul! When his girlfriend’s daughter dies after taking a bad hit of coke (and I don’t mean diet), Paul does a little cleaning up in arcade-ia, and teaches Ricardo Tubbs’ evil twin how to do the electric slide.
.
His work doesn’t stop there, no-no. A wealthy patron, who has also lost his loved ones to drug related… stuff, enlists Kersey’s reluctant, sniper-rific talents to take down the two biggest drug moguls in town. Who can turn down an offer like that? At least it gives Paul an excuse to leave the house, so he doesn’t have to see his reporter girlfriend’s giant teeth. #MattDamon…
.
Well, you can guess what happens: Enter Kersey; America saved. Kind of makes you wonder what the police are doing all day when all it takes is one awesome MAN to destroy all that is bad in the world. Where are those tax dollars going anyway? The theme of the martyred murderer is the real soul of the film, of course. Can a killer, no matter his reasons, every really be a hero? In a perfect world, Kersey would simply be going door to door giving every lonely woman he meets a massage- that’s how much he cares– but he’s still stuck in the saddle on a white horse he didn’t ask for in a story with dialogue that is comic in a bad way: “My zipper is stuck!” / “That’s because you eat like a whore.” We’re laughing at you, Movie. Not with.
.
The film is sloooow with a beginning that belongs on a rerun of “Silk Stockings” or maybe The [Blood] Red Shoe Diaries, but you’ll still love the appearance of 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, etc, henchmen all ready to rape! They appear like one of those xylophone cutouts you had to make in kindergarten. It’s literally a dream come true. The villains are ridiculously un-intimidating, the acting is “gah,” and dare I say it, my beloved Bronson looks tired. Fortunately, he is still Bronson and that works in the film, as he’s been doin’ this sh*t for too long. This is his Sgt. Murtaugh moment, albeit with more sex appeal, (“Right, bae?”). The good news is, he kills with great panache, coming up with interesting and methodical ways to take out the bad guys, both pitting them against each other and, most importantly, serving them explosive wine. I guess you could say he’s a sommelier of death??? 
.
His conscience already destroyed and another BGF deceased (that’s blond girlfriend, not Big Giant F*cker) Paul walks away from yet another battlefield with the best finale yet and heads into what is certain to be a continually bloody future. This “What does it matter anymore…” departure into the sunset belongs in a better directed, better written film, but… Bronson. He’s dirty, but he’s a man who cares.
.
*Pre-celebrity sightings this go-round? Mark Pellegrino of Mulholland Drive & The Big Lebowski and Danny “Machete” Trejo.
.
Rating:
3 out of 5 Reasons Not to Trust the 1%
WE8yN WE8yN WE8yN
.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply