Death Wish 3 adds significantly to the body count scored to date in this street-rampant series. Thrills, however, are way down due to script’s failure to build motivation for Paul Kersey’s latest killing spree.
Set in NY, but lensed mostly in London, pic’s release was timed to capitalize on the controversy around subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz.
Attempts to justify the ensuing mass-murder are perfunctory. Film opens with the butchering of an old man who turns out to be an old mate of Kersey, but there’s no suggestion that the relationship was intimate. Kersey’s response, like Bronson’s acting, is automaton-like. Mystery is why he came to New York in the first place without the tools of his brutal trade and has to make regular visits to the post office to accumulate firepower.
Michael Winner directs with customary tongue-in-cheek panache. There are occasional moments of wit as when apartment resident Bennett (Martin Balsam) wields his rusty machine gun.