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Bruce Willis stars as vigilante gunman in the shockingly mistimed Death Wish

Other | Friday 2nd March 2018 | David

It’s a saddening reflection of the horrifying frequency of mass shootings in America today that controversial new film Death Wish – an action remake of the 1974 vigilante thriller of the same name – had its initial November release delayed in light of the Las Vegas shooting last October only to hit US cinemas just 16 days after another shooting in a Florida high school.

Released into an era when gun control and police brutality remain touchy topics in the national conversation, Death Wish’s plot reads like the vigilante fantasy of every small-minded (and tiny-handed) gun nut. Death Wish stars Bruce Willis as a gun-toting doctor (because you just know arming hospital staff is next on the NRA agenda) who takes the law into his own hands after his wife and daughter are attacked by robbers, wreaking all-American vengeance against any criminal or street creep who crosses his path.

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Though the film isn’t due to arrive in the UK until the 6th April, early reviews suggest the new Death Wish is every bit the celebration of swift, unlawful justice that its poster and trailer would suggest, with Richard Roeper of the Chicago-Sun Times labelling the film “revenge porn” and David Ehrlich of IndieWire calling it “a feature-length commercial for the NRA”.

But when record-setting numbers of Americans are flocking to the Florida Gun Show less than two weeks after the state’s recent shooting, Death Wish in its own sad way just might be the film for our times.

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