- Movie Rating -

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

| November 14, 1987

Today is my birthday.

I woke up.  I made breakfast – eggs, bacon and toast – all while humming a merry tune.  And then, I watched Death Wish 4: The Crackdown.  Well, at least one of my presents was the VHS of Lady and the Tramp.  Sour and sweet on my special day.

Here’s an interesting thing.  I first saw Lady and the Tramp when I was seven-years-old.  I remember every piece of it.  I remember the color, the animation, the sound.  I know scenes as well as the letters in my own name.  I saw Death Wish 4 just half an hour ago and I can’t remember a damned thing about it.

No wait!  I remember Charles Bronson blowing up the villain with a grenade launcher.  It was ridiculous, and I was only thrilled because I knew that I was seconds from being relieved of this movie.  The rest escapes me, so I check my notes.  It seems that all I wrote was “déjà vu.”  I think I know what I meant.  This was another movie featuring the otherwise talented Bronson lurking around with a hand-cannon, tracking down street trash like a specter of death.

Once again, Bronson plays Paul Kersey, the former architect who went on a one-man vigilante mission in 1974’s Death Wish when his wife and daughter were raped in their own living room by a group of slavering gang members (one of whom played by 22-year-old Jeff Goldblum).  That movie had something to say.  This movie has nothing to say, except being part of the long game of trashing Bronson’s career.

His mission (if you can call it that) is to track down L.A.’s scummiest drug pushers while dating a beautiful girl (Kay Lenz) that we already know will meet a grisly fate.  Using the absolute minimum of emotional investment, Bronson’s scenes involve him tracking down gang members one by one, spouting a one-liners and then smearing them all over the pavement.  A rapist asks, “Who the f— are you?”  Kersey responds, “Death.”

Look, this movie is awful.  It’s as much a waste of your time as it is mine.  It’s an artless piece of garbage, violent, boring and stupid.  Instead of this, remember the good old days.  Watch Bronson’s best work in Once Upon a Time in the WestThe Great EscapeBreakoutFrom Noon Til ThreeRiders in the RainThe Dirty Dozen.

Or heck, skip all that and watch Lady and the Tramp.  It’s wonderful experience.  I promise, you’ll never forget it.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Action