Scheduled to open in theaters Nov. 22 – a date that will register with many as the anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas – director Eli Roth’s remake of “Death Wish” with Bruce Willis taking over the Charles Bronson role of urban vigilante Paul Kersey, seems to be giving liberals the shudders.
After all, we simply can’t glorify the notion that a private citizen whose family was brutally victimized by criminals and then treated with matter-of-fact indifference by a broken legal system just might decide the only way to get justice is to do it himself. We can on the silver screen, however.
The official trailer is all over social media and it is making waves. Writing at Conservative Firing Line, Joe Newby notes that social justice warriors (SJWs) are freaking out, suggesting that the Willis resurrection of curbside justice is fascism.
“Welcome to the new America,” Newby writes sarcastically, “where everything not blatantly liberal and politically correct is literally Hitler…I can’t wait to see it, and I remember when the original first came out. If SJWs already hate it this much, it has to be great…”
Back in 1974, when Bronson appeared in the original, it struck a raw nerve with a frustrated, crime-beleaguered America. The same sort of thing occurred in 1971 with Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry.” When violent recidivist criminals plague society, the only way to cure the disease is to kill the germs, one-by-one if necessary, at point blank range.
One of the film’s apparent throwaway lines in the trailer is “cocked, locked and ready to rock.” Anyone familiar with the Government Model 1911 .45-caliber semi-auto pistol will pick up on that. Curiously, the film depicts Willis using a Glock, a striker-fired pistol that can neither be carried cocked or locked, as it doesn’t have a hammer or an exposed thumb safety.
Based on snippets in the trailer, this film promises to be classic Willis action with a body count that ought to please anyone hungry for the sight of street thugs and violent predators being sent to Hell via the semiautomatic shortcut. The film has its own Facebook page.
Film Critic Alan Zilberman wrote in a tweet: “Eli Roth’s Death Wish remake is so nakedly fascist that alt-righters will have an erection before the trailer end.”
For this version, the hero has been changed from an architect to a doctor. The location has shifted from Bronson’s New York to the truly more violent Chicago, where Chicago Tribune movie critic Nina Metz writes that this shift in the landscape “follows a well-worn path of people who understand little about the city’s problems but exploit them for gain anyway.”
Well, let’s try to understand the city’s problems. It’s been controlled for decades by a single political party that doesn’t seem to have a clue. It has been dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. It has a genuine body count from homicides that make the Al Capone era seem tame by comparison; at least in those days, gangsters and hoodlums primarily killed each other. Nowadays, they just shoot anybody, from children to retirees.
All this concern about the movie has ginned up without anyone having actually seen the film, just the trailer. In just over two minutes, we see Willis kill one guy by dropping a car on him, and dispatch three others in broad daylight with a blazing pistol.
If this is causing liberal angst, they should recall this is just a movie. What are they really afraid of, that someone might be inspired to actually fight back?
Nah, that could only happen in the movies.