Death Wish 4: The Crackdown / Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (Blu-Ray/DVD Review)

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown / Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (Blu-Ray/DVD Review)
Rated: R 18+/Region B(Both Discs will play in A/1 players)/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Umbrella Entertainment

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)
Directed By: J. Lee Thompson
Starring: Charles Bronson, Kay Lenz, John P. Ryan

With the tragic cocaine-induced death of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter, Kersey steps into the breach and faces-off against two rival drug gangs waging war in the blood-drenched inner city. Even at the best of times, the streets of LA are never safe – run by pimps and ruthless drug traffickers, they remain a melting-pot of crime and violence. But when original urban vigilante and one-man justice machine Paul Kersey reaches into his extensive arsenal of weapons to take check, it’s time to run for cover.

You know how in those Taken movies that dude just keeps having people get kidnapped? Well, here in the Death Wish series people that Paul Kersey cares about keep getting killed and causing him to go back into vigilante mode. We’ve seen his wife and kid die and we’ve seen old friends of his get hurt to cause him to go back into “kill mode”. Well, here we have him finding a new girlfriend but when her daughter dies due to some shady business we have the great Charles Bronson once again doing what he does best in one of his best roles. This would be the best selling VHS of all the Death Wish movies, but sadly this isn’t anywhere near the best of the Death Wish movies. We have some cool violence, but it seems to mostly stop there.

For starters, I’d say Paul doesn’t have good bad guys to work off of. While the might not have been an issue early on with these, when you find yourself four movies deep it helps to have a good villain to play off of. This at times just seems like a montage of revenge. That’s all good for the most part, especially in the 80’s but it seems to be a more by the numbers Death Wish at this point with no steak for the sizzle. If you want to see Charles Bronson shoot people again, you’ll find that here. If you are after a little more you might be a bit let-down.

Quality of Transfer: 89%

Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (1994)
Directed By: Allan A. Goldstein
Starring: Charles Bronson, Lesley-Anne Down, Michael Parks

After battling on the streets in cities from coast to coast, vigilante, Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson, The Magnificent Seven), has moved back to New York. But when his beautiful fiancee, Olivia (Lesley-Anne Down, Hanover Street), is killed and her daughter kidnapped by a kingpin of the underworld, Kersey finds himself back in the war.

Well, here we find Paul once again having the worst luck of anyone, as his new woman gets killed! Making matters worse, her daughter gets taken and we have the plot that follows pretty much setting the tone for those newer Taken movies I was just talking about. Oh, and remember how I said in Death Wish 4 he needed a good bad guy to play off of? Well, he gets that here with the great Michael Parks playing the movie’s villain. The combo of him and Charles Bronson is enough for me to already say watch this one, but it really is a step-up from part 4. Yes, it basically is just our hero doesn’t what we’ve seen him doing for five films now, but at least this time he has a little more to play within the form of characters and such. It’s violence for the sake of violence, but with some nice acting here as well.

Death Wish 5 isn’t a film that re-invented the wheel for revenge action flicks, but it didn’t hurt it either. If you can look away from the fact that Paul Kersey is a walking cloud of bad luck and death follows everyone around him he likes, this isn’t a bad entry into the franchise and wasn’t a bad way to end things until the recent remake. I’ll defend Charles Bronson to the death and I kinda dig all of his movies, even the not so good ones. Death 5 isn’t too shabby and is at least better than 3 and 4 were. So, just pop you some popcorn and enjoy this one for what it is.

Quality of Transfer: 93%