Paul Kersey is a surgeon in Chicago (in the original novel Kersey was from New York). He finds himself thrown into a state of despair when his wife is killed and daughter put in a coma after a home invasion. After feeling let down by the police investigation, Paul decides to take matters into his own hands. He comes across a gun from a gang member patient that comes into his hospital and learns how to use it. His warpath begins when he notices his stolen watch on the wrist of the gang member, Miguel, and kills him by defibrillating his heart twice. From this point on, Paul is now on a mission.
While there is nothing that is wrong with the updated Death Wish film at the same token there is nothing that truly stands out either. With such a compelling story it is a shame this film didn't have the same energy and feel as the novel or the original 1974 film. Action shots are extremely generic and the dialog is bland which really bog down the story. The only shining moment of the film comes in the last five minutes. Where Roth and Willis truly show their skills in crafting a great climactic scene. However, the question remains why didn't they do that for the rest of the film?
Aside from Willis, actor Sylvester Stallone (Expendables) was originally slated to star in this film but left due to creative differences. Honestly, I don't think if the actor was changed the movie most likely would have the same look and feel. While Wills ads a certain bravado and charm that another actor would not have pulled off quite as well. It is still such a generic action film any star could have pulled it off.
Death Wish was shot digitally and the video transfer shines. The 1080p AVC coding is sharp with clarity and detail. Colors are a bit muted but intended to be this way. It will be interesting to see in the future if/when the studio makes a 4K UHD version how it would look from the digital source material. The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack is adequate and serves the film well. Dialog is relegated to the front center speaker, while the special effects are dedicated to the other speakers, and while there is nothing wrong with the audio tracks, at times the special effects are a bit muted.
The Blu-ray combo pack includes a DVD copy of the film, a Digital HD copy as well as deleted scenes, a commentary by Eli Roth and Producer Roger Birnbaum, Extended scene of the morning show Mancow, Sway in the Morning, Extended Scene of the radio show scene, a trailer for Grindhouse and Death Wish theatrical trailers, and a featurette entitled, Vengeance and Vision.
With such great source material, an already built-in audience, and name recognition Death Wish should have been loved by critics and fans alike. However, for whatever reason, the film was just a "paint-by-the-numbers" remake that is unfortunately very forgettable.