Recurring motifs within cinema are not uncommon. I couldn’t give a proper example (organized crime in the Godfather). But I love to see my own typed words on monitor. I do know what a recurring motif IS, though. And one of those pesky varmints appears in the Cannon Canon. And that recurring motif is…the elderly reminiscing about bygone glory days. Of war, discriminant sexual relationships, and handmade bullets. Cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus took us once again to the edge of the geriatric psyche with Death Wish 3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “We must be the great arsenal of Democracy.” An arsenal that may contain no less than one submachine gun for an angry store taxi counter store owner, whose shop has just erupted in flame, sending projectile rubble in approximately 25 different directions. The number 25 is also important because it is the actual number of actors used in this film and the estimated value of the crystal attic bottle filled with bourbon.
Death Wish is a Philly Cheese Steak, or better yet, a trompe-l’œil Play-doh sculpture of a Philly Cheese Steak. The rainbow-color sandwich is then pressed violently in a rusty Belgian waffle-maker.
Organizing principle may be needed for this synopsis, but this movie in it’s pure essence has evaded synopsis. We’re tired, we’re salty-mouthed, the old man postures stay rigid. I’m intrigued by the character of Telly, who was, I believe Jamaican-Me-Crazy guy with Akira Toriyama anatomy and a halvesy? How do you discern a criminal? Does he land flat-footed and run backwards, head-spindling like Michael J. Fox? Criminal. Does he snort Morton’s rock salt for a blinding and violent high? Criminal. Is Alex Winter the Brat Packs gall-bladder? Yes. St. Elmo’s fire next week.
Charles Bronson, the fighter of crime, with ‘Nam pitfall tactics a few notches higher than Ke Hu Quan from The Goonies.
Charles begins his rampage after being accosted in city prison by a young thug whose identity is found in an unfortunate encounter with red magic-marker and a Bic. I believe his name was actually Slick Shoes, or Director’s Son. Perhaps he is a fading sunset, or your dad’s old shoe polish. In a different world, I would have loved this man like a brother.
Wanted Horses? The legitimate question is: when were horses last exploited in such a horrific fashion? The Godfather.
Let me pare it down a bit.
Bad cinema evades the classification of parody. Death Wish 3 winks at the action-movie audience of the 80’s, skeptically. The movie in the end is the product of skepticism and ignorance, of not respecting the audience. It is not wrong to make an action movie for it’s own sake, but Death Wish relies not even on a tried formula: It is effective only in it’s disregard for all things good. The movie is as awkward and foolish as a child trying to mask the smell of pot when his parents come home early unannounced. The untrained viewer may believe the movie a product of a drug-addled creative forum, but I propose that the movie is the result of the frantic, uncouth lusts of mankind for immediate money, and the urgency of finishing a large endeavor that should never have been pursued in the beginning.
I give Death Wish 3 FIVE playdoh-fun-factories.