DEATH WISH WEEK: Death Kiss (2018)

A vigilante with a mysterious past. A city under assault by crime. A young mother and her child that need saving. Sounds like a Charles Bronson movie. And thanks to actor Robert Bronzi, who looks pretty much exactly like the Bronson we know, love and miss, it looks like we get the chance to enjoy one more chance to enjoy one of his films. At least that’s the idea.

Bronzi previously appeared in From Hell to the Wild West, which was also directed by the same director as this movie, Rene Perez. Here, he plays The Stranger, a man who may or may not be Paul Kersey, who wanders the United States looking for wrongs to right. One of those wrongs happened when Ana’s (Eva Hamilton, Ruin Me) daughter was hit by a bullet and handicapped. Since then, he’s left her money to help out of a sense of obligation.

This could be a Death Wish film with all the violence, gunplay, rape and mayhem, thanks to Richard Tyson as Tyrell. One look at Tyson’s IMDB page reminds you he was in Kindergarten Cop, but also shows you that he’s a working actor with double digit roles currently in production.

The part that doesn’t feel like a Death Wish movie is that The Stranger isn’t constantly reminded by an unfeeling God just how much He hates His creation, killing everyone that Paul Kersey loves. Well that and it’s missing any real motivation or actual gravitas behind why The Stranger does what he does. It’s like they wanted to fast forward to the crazy scenes of Death Wish 3 without the hard work and pain that it took for the character to get there. Basically, it’s a video game with no gun scenes, just gunplay.

Director/writer Perez also plays all of the film’s music as The Darkest Machines and the 80’s style synth works pretty well. The special effects feature plenty of exit wounds that spray geysers of blood like a Japanese samurai film, but as they’re often CGI, then feel a little less organic than they should.

Daniel Baldwin also shows up as a right wing DJ that we hear throughout the movie. It seems like he and The Stranger have some kind of relationship where they help one another to get their missions accomplished.

Plenty of reviews have stated that there’s really no story here and that it’s mostly a series of action pieces. Basically, I hope that no one is coming into this movie expecting the emotional weight of Death Wish. That said, I may have an opinion on this film that’s not the highest, but Bronson did say: “We don’t make movies for the critics, since they don’t pay to see them anyhow.”

Disclaimer: I was sent this movie by its PR team, but as you know, that has no bearing on my review.

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