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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful.
Kersey moves to L. A.
Death Wish II DVDBy 1982, crime rates were still high enough to warrant another “Death Wish” film. Enter “Death Wish 2,” a picture that finds New York City vigilante Paul Kersey pulling up roots from the place of his first exile (Chicago) in order to head to sunnier digs in Southern California. Los Angeles provides our architect with a new outlook on life, a place where he can tend to his still mentally and physically damaged daughter Carol (Robin Sherwood in this outing) and his new girlfriend Geri Nichols (Jill Ireland). In fact, Paul and Geri hope to wed one day. Unfortunately, a curse falls on the House of Kersey when a crew of mangy vermin, the most important member being Cutter (Laurence Fishburne), invades our hero’s bungalow. The gang brutalizes Kersey’s maid Rosario and abducts the shattered Carol. In the process of submitting Paul’s daughter to an indignity nearly identical to the horrors she suffered in the first film, the poor young lady takes her life by plunging out of a warehouse window. Predictably, Kersey arrives home to find a deceased Rosario stretched out in the hallway and his daughter gone. Within a few minutes the authorities break the sad news to Paul; they found his daughter’s body outside of a known gang hideout. The horrors of New York are starting all over again, and Paul Kersey must once again go forth and battle the forces of evil.Unlike in the first film, Kersey specifically targets the criminals responsible for the slaying of his daughter. He finds out where they hang out and rents a grungy hotel room in the area to serve as a base of operations. Every night Paul drives down there, dons a knit cap and dark duds, and roams the streets looking for riffraff. As soon as he stumbles over one of the thugs in question, he pulls out a gun and dispatches them with extreme prejudice. The police, led by Lieutenant Mankiewicz (Ben Frank), take note of the sudden rash of killings and start to put the pieces together, namely that a vigilante is working the city streets. Kersey’s name soon pops up, thanks to his reputation from New York years earlier, and the authorities bring in Inspector Frank Ochoa (Vincent Gardenia) from the first film to help them put a stop to Paul’s rampages. Kersey becomes aware of Ochoa’s presence, leading to a cat and mouse game that threatens Paul’s ability to wreak vengeance on his enemies. Nonetheless, after a shootout gives Kersey a temporary respite from the attention of the authorities our man continues to hunt down his enemies. He goes so far as to infiltrate a mental hospital to pursue a victim, but his single-minded pursuit carries personal costs in his relationship with Geri Nichols.It’s obvious from the start that the makers of “Death Wish 2″ went straight for the sleaze effect. The first film sought to examine crime and vigilantism in a serious way, even going so far as to have the Paul Kersey character become physically ill after attacking a criminal. “Death Wish 2″ throws all introspection out the window, replacing a message with gory deaths and memorable one-liners rivaling anything Dirty Harry ever tossed out. Carol’s death scene is particularly tough to watch, as are the atrocities visited upon the poor Rosario. The dialogue is magnificent in an extraordinarily entertaining way. “Goodbye” says Paul Kersey immediately before pulling the trigger on a helpless thug twisting in pain on the floor of a warehouse. “Do you believe in Jesus?” asks Kersey of another goon, who replies with “Yes, yes I do.” “Well, you’re going to meet him,” responds our vigilante as he opens fire. Great stuff! This isn’t dialogue churned out by some hack; it’s holy scripture chiseled on stone tablets that someone carried down from a mountaintop. If you can get your mind around the idea that “Death Wish 2″ is completely devoid of a message, you’ll love this movie. Too, make sure and listen to the Jimmy Page soundtrack; you’ll hear it again in “Death Wish 3.”Recommended for Death Wish Fans and Charles Bronson fans.Gunner January, 2008
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful.
the DVD is a cut version
By A Customer
This is the worst movie in the Death Wish series, without the relevance of the first movie or the sheer stupid-but-highly-entertaining mayhem of Part 3. Mostly, this film shot itself in the foot by going overboard on the rape scenes. But, to see exactly *how* overboard they went, you’ll have to dig up an old version, because what’s on the DVD is missing about 5 minutes. I haven’t watched the entire DVD yet, but I noticed some things missing around the beginning and so I went back and checked the ancient videotape I made of a Cinemax showing years and years ago, and the running time on that was 94 minutes and 40 seconds (according to my VCR’s counter, anyhow). The DVD clocks in at about 89 minutes.
I’m usually strongly against anything being cut out of a movie, but considering that at least some of the stuff that’s missing from this DVD consists of parts of the extremely repulsive and protracted rape scene at the beginning of the movie, I don’t really mind so much, because I don’t mind if I never see that stuff again. I’m not a big fan of rape scenes in general, but understand that sometimes you have to have them to advance the plot. But in its original form, that rape scene was so overboard that it was overkill, and nothing Charlie could do to those guys later on would be satisfactory payback. So, the film may actually be improved by a little “toning down” in that area – what’s left more than does the job of making you hate these scumbags, and you’ll still be happy to see ‘em gunned down.
Still, even though I can’t imagine even the sickest viewers getting much out of that scene and can’t imagine anybody missing it, I still figured people should be made aware that the DVD is trimmed a bit. It’s also a bit too dark as compared to my Cinemax tape, and I *really* wish people would quit putting things on DVD that aren’t letterboxed (of all the Death Wish series on DVD, only part 1 is widescreen). Not the best treatment that MGM’s ever given a DVD release – they usually take more care than that. Still, Bronson’s gone (R.I.P.) and isn’t going to be making any more films, so it’s good to have whatever’s out there available and immortalized on tinfoil. Bring on Death Hunt and Stone Killer, and re-release Red Sun already!
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful.
By A Customer
REASONS TO BUY:Unlike the first part, Bronson has a strong unyielding character. He’s not the least bit afraid to get the job done this time and doesn’t stop untill he gets every single on of those creeps that killed his daughter. It really gives you a sense of staisfaction even if it’s just a movie.
REASONS NOT TO BUY:This is the cut version. Evidently, some people believe that we are not intelligent enough to view certain scenes. I think it’s worth the time to search the internet for the full uncut version.
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