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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Death Wish 4 can be found here.
Los Angeles architect Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) turns vigilante once again when Erica Sheldon (Dana Barron), the daughter of his current girlfriend Karen (Kay Lenz), dies of an overdose of cocaine. Recruited by newspaper baron Nathan White (John P. Ryan), Paul takes on the job of knocking out the three major L.A. drug supplying kingpins, Ed Zacharias (Perry Lopez) and the two Romero brothers, Jack (Mike Moroff) and Tony (Dan Ferro).
Although Garfield created the character of Paul Kersey in his 1972 novel Death Wish, the plot for Death Wish 4 was based on a screenplay by American screenwriter Gail Morgan Hickman. It followed Death Wish (1974), Death Wish II (1982), and Death Wish 3 (1985) and was followed by Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994).
No reference is made in DW4 to the events or characters in DW3. It does, however, mention that Kersey's wife was murdered in New York in 1975 (from DW1) and that his daughter was raped and killed in Los Angeles in 1981 (from DW2), so DW4 definitely takes place after the first two movies. Karen mentions that she and Kersey have been going out for two years, but Kersey had a different girlfriend in DW2 who left him at the end of the film. Best guess, based on what little information is presented, is that DW4 takes place no less than two years after DW2. DW3 takes place six years after DW2, so if DW3 is included in the timeline, DW4 could take place as many as six to eight years after DW2.
White kidnaps Karen as a means of baiting Kersey to meet him in the underground parking lot of the Sunset Roller Rink. As Kersey sits waiting, White's van flashes his headlights, and Kersey's car begins advancing toward them. Suddenly, White's van pulls out in front of Kersey's car, and several thugs jump out and start spraying Kersey's car with bullets before realizing that Kersey is not in the car. Kersey jumps out of hiding and blows up White's van along with another car. White and his accomplice escape by going upstairs and cutting through the roller rink. Kersey follows, killing more thugs on his way through the rink. He follows White, who is pulling Karen with him, through the back door. Karen wrests her way out of White's grasp, but he shoots her in the back when she tries to run. Kersey retaliates by firing a grenade that blows White to bits. In the final scene, Detective Reiner (George Dickerson) shows up and orders Kersey to surrender, threatening to shoot him if he doesn't, but Kersey begins to walk away. 'Do whatever you have to,' he says. Reiner watches as Kersey continues to walk.
In Britain the BBFC 18 Version was slightly censored and several shots of the rape sequences were cut out. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.
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