OK, granted I went in expecting nothing, but damned if DEATH WISH didn't deliver an old fashioned revenge tale with over-the-top style and unexpected humor from a seemingly ageless Bruce Willis.
Updating the original story from the Charles Bronson mega-hit of 1974, we meet Neurosurgeon Paul Kersey (Willis) in his role as leading doctor at Chicago's busy trauma hospital.
We glimpse his perfect life, beautiful wife Lucy (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter Jordan Kersey (Camila Morrone, terrific in her first acting role) as they get ready to celebrate his birthday.
When a Chicago gang of thieves enters their home and brutally attacks his wife and daughter, Paul finds his entire family being wheeled into the emergency room near death.
Paul's transition from surgeon to vigilante killer is painted more realistically than the Bronson version, weaving in our current society of 24 hour news, cameras on every phone and social media blowing up the story overnight.
Willis is flawless in this kind of role, making you feel his loss and frustration at the system's lack of progress and justice.
As Kersey goes from amateur to revenge soaked killing machine, Director Eli Roth (Hostel) layers on the graphic violence and carnage. He's never made a fim that I've cared for, but he's found a blood soaked muse in Willis, who somehow makes the spilling blood and splattering innards more palatable.
The original was controversial in 1974 for glorifying violence as it condemns it through Paul's actions and the same could certainly be said about the 2018 version, but I was enjoying an old fashioned action flick too much to care.
Vincent D'Onofiro has his best (least eclectic) role in years as Paul's brother and Dean Norris (a veteran actor from every TV show you've loved the last 30 years including "Breaking Bad") is very good as the lead detective on the case.
Roth's first Non-Horror film, it's a violent, fast-moving throwback to the films of the 80's Stallone (who produced this film), Willis and Arnold films, that of course were that decade's version of Bronson's 70's hits.
Recycled, refurbished and in your face, DEATH WISH kills it and gets a solid B.