Death Wish goes west is probably a more appropriate title to this sequel. As a kid in love with macho badasses Charles Bronson was, of course, one of my heroes. And in retrospect it is Bronson’s presence alone that saves this one from being a nearly complete dud, that and cheesy lines every now and then such as “Do you believe in Jesus? (Punk says yeah) Well, you’re gonna meet him (pow pow pow).
The story is a direct ripoff of the original, which now living in a time when this genre has been remade a million times makes it even duller to sit through.
Paul Kersey’s wife and daughter are raped, and one murdered yet again, and so Kersey decides to unpack his old one man vigilante kit and go on the prowl until he has killed enough low level hoodlums to satisfy his quest for vengeance.
The critical reaction to this movie was very harsh at the time, and while I concur this is not one of the better films of Bronson’s career, for a standard exploitation revenge film, this movie is perfectly fine.
It has a dirty sounding musical score provided by Jimmy Page of all people, and those with keen eyes will spot neat little cameos such as Laurence Fishburne in an early role as one of those aforementioned hoodlums.
It took eight years in between the first movie and this one to get this sequel made, as Bronson was allegedly against the idea, but apparently any problems he had disappeared after this one as he would go on to make three more movies, of which, only the next one in this series, part three, had any redeeming characteristics
Death Wish 2 gets a two out of five: DECENT.