The film starts off with a whole lot a scenery from the windy city itself, Chicago. From the Mancow Muller the radio shock jock to the ambiance of that location.
Eli Roth directs the film creating a diverse atmosphere that the audience can dive right into. Roth is known for his films Cabin Fever (2002), South of Hell (2015), to name a few. I especially like the way he lets the story flow. The shots of the city, with the current death rates over the radio, makes this film all to realPaul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is an experienced trauma surgeon.
The scenes in the hospital with Kersey operating is done well. Not a surgeon but it visually looked good. The story moves, it doesn't bore you with long sequences that take the first Act into dreamland. The audience knows where to look, it understands the need for those ER scenes.
As we move on we are introduced to Kersey's family. Frank Kersey (Vincent D'Onofrio), Lucy Kersey (Elisabeth Shue), and Jordan Kersey (Camila Morrone). From watching a soccer game to going out to dinner. The family sequences are great because it establishes the characters well, you get to know them in a personal way I guess. Getting things underway without dragging the story is difficult but thanks to the director the scenes were set up nicely. The valet parking dude goes off and takes a picture of the GPS in Kersey's car, granted you'd think the guy that takes the car to the establishments parking lot isn't a bad guy, but in the case for the film, it happens. I like this part of the film early on because it's the core, the beginning of what's to come. At least to me, it is. The importance of setting up a situation is just as important as the action, and dialog altogether. The core and base after the assailants break into Kersey's home killing his wife and aggressively injuring his daughter. The family does put up a fight but isn't enough to control the situation at hand. The break-in was supposed to be easy, come and go. But as the scene went on it went from good to bad. Jordan was about to get violated, and the other thugs got nerves which brought on a bit of a fight from Lucy, and Jordan. The scene is intense leaving the characters at the point of no return as I call it. The decisions are made and the characters lose.
Imagine having a loved one die at the hands of a murderer, or in the case of the film a group of thugs breaking in the very place that is supposedly safe. The film has that feel to it. The sense of dread. By the way, Bruce Willis does a wonderful job as playing Kersey. If you've ever seen the 1974 version of Death Wish you know what I'm talking about. The way he talked, moved to perfection. Willis nailed Charles Bronson, he even did his signature point and shoot with his hands. The only main difference here is the occupations and locations of the film are very different. Kersey in 74 is an Architect but the same feel is fused on to this 2018 film.
I really don't mind films like this because the plot is simple, it's not an elaborate montage of sequences that confuse the audience. It's a story about revenge, period. The character moved on, and hopefully, we get a sequel out of this. Although I'd prefer just one good film that delivers the creative ambitions from the first film. To me, that's important and establishes the film as a whole. The main issue with today's film in comparison with older films is that the first Act is loaded up with information. So much so that it delivers the scene but not as fast as the audience wants it to go. An example of this would be the Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). The scene where Kirk (William Shatner) looks at the Enterprise for the very first time. The scene was amazing because of the camera panned from left to right, focused inside and out of the whole starship. The ambiance, delivery, established what was happening, the overall scene. Yet it was beautiful, but that scene was almost long enough to get popcorn and a drink. The message was delivered but too long for today's audience.
The wonderful thing about older films is that they really paid attention, and the delivery was more capture. That sense of adventure, the highlight of a speech. The smell of flowers while you walk through a meadow. The ambiance of a city while the camera focuses on the car driving along the road. The panoramic views of the city, and the people that live in it. The older films are great because of that. Not saying new films don't establish things, but in all honesty, they really don't. The fast-paced society we live in wants the fast action. Move, go, bang, boom. All that stuff makes my head spin. Death Wish is a great film, it's action is good. The action does what it does, no slow motion sequences, all old school stuff which makes this film top notch.