Harry Brown: The New Paul Kersey

Watch Michael Cain as Paul Kersey in Death Wish VI: Pensioner’s Revenge.  The similarities between Harry Brown and Paul Kersey are endless: both have war time backgrounds and through the loss of someone close to them and no help from the police, decided to take the law into their own hands and become vigilantes for blood justice.  The biggest difference between Harry and all of the Death Wish films is that we care about him.  Charles Bronson couldn’t emote even if you slowly ripped every appendage from his body.  He made a career of being a masculine stoic.  If my wife was murdered, then a few years later my catatonic daughter and house keeper were raped beaten and murdered, and even later my best friend during the war was killed by a gang of thugs – I might shed a tear or two.

Harry is older than Paul was and suffers from emphysema.  He has lost his wife child and friend and he mourns – we watch this man break down.  He is all alone in a world that he no longer recognizes, and with all of his pain and no one to comfort him he turns to vengeance – and what a lovely escalation of violence it is.

After killing a teen in self-defense, Harry sets out to buy a gun.  He is led into a dilapidated warehouse filled with marijuana and junkie scum – who’ve just finished shooting up, raping, and videotaping an addict girl who’s overdosing from her fix.  Harry gives the junkies three opportunities to call an ambulance for the girl, and when they don’t comply all hell breaks loose.  This is as good as vengeance films get.

The current rumor from IMDB is that Sylvester Stallone is slated to direct and star in the remake of Death Wish - - what a terrible economy we live in that allows any remake to get a green light.

Rating IV/V not a perfect score due to its lack of originality in the cop-out-for-justice subplot.


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