by Adam Riske
These are ranked least favorite to favorite.
Death Wish (2018) - I was mildly embarrassed to see Death Wish (2018) but too curious about a new Eli Roth movie not to go. And…it’s weird and not very good. Of course, the timing of the film in awful and what it’s saying at certain points is gross, but it didn’t strike me as being made with malicious intent. You can easily be offended by this movie if you choose to be, so go in with that warning. Death Wish (2018) feels more like a movie made by an over-excited kid who likes cinema violence and lives in a movie bubble. There are several scenes where Eli Roth could have pushed the victimization elements further (like in the superior Death Sentence) but reigns himself in. Its feels like he’s trying to make a palatable (and more mainstream than usual for him) revenge movie and not one by which you feel emotionally challenged. There’s good and bad to that: on one hand, it was a relief as a viewer to not have to see it get horrifying, but on the other it isn’t honest with seeing through its ugly premise. Bruce Willis is spotty; sometimes engaged and other times not. He’s most interesting pre-attack when he’s playing a normal, passive guy. The movie has a lot of annoying side bits like radio show host weigh-ins or Bruce Willis learning how to do everything crime via YouTube videos. I can’t think of any positives about Death Wish (2018) really. It’s just sort of there.
Rating: 1.5/4 Riskes
Starship Troopers) territory. For that I commend it, because it feels more dangerous than other spy movies where the edges are sanded off. While not thinking Red Sparrow is a great success overall (it’s not interesting enough to justify a hefty runtime, the character motivations and plotting feel writer and not character influenced, the sex is not hot which is a problem for a movie selling sex as one of the agent’s weapons of choice), I do think this is better than other recent spy thrillers like Atomic Blonde, Salt or any of the Black Widow stuff in The Avengers films (I prefer her character in the Captain America movies). Red Sparrow is worth seeing but you’re fine if you wait until VOD or cable. Then again, it’s beautiful to look at so maybe a trip to the theaters is ok too.
Rating: 2.5/4 Riskes
Rating: 3/4 Riskes
Rating: 4/4 Riskes
Your turn! What did you think of these films? Have you seen anything else recently that’s worth recommending?