New York's garment district has turns into Dodge City when mobster Tommy O'Shea muscles in on the fashion trade of his ex-wife Olivia Regent. Olivia is engaged to Paul Kersey, who provides a sense of security for herself and her daughter Chelsea. Olivia isn't impressed when Tommy tortures her manager, Big Al, so Tommy hires an enforcer named Freddie Flakes, who is a master of disguise. Freddie dons women's clothing to follow Olivia into a ladies' room, where he smashes her face into a mirror, causing permanent disfigurement. In the offices of D.A. Tony Hoyle and his associate Hector Vasquez, Paul and Olivia vow to see to it that Tommy is prosecuted. Later, Freddie and two of his men disguise themselves as cops, infiltrate Olivia's apartment, and shoot Olivia dead. Now Kersey is ready to take things into his own hands. Kersey follows Tommy's thug Chickie Paconi to the Paconi family bistro, where Kersey kills Chickie by lacing his cannelloni with cyanide. Next, Paul tricks Freddie out ...Written by
Allan A. Goldstein not only directed this film but also wrote it, making him the only director of the "Death Wish" series to also have written one. See more »
It is surprising that the police would have allowed Tommy O'Shea and his men to enter Paul's house to retrieve custody of Olivia's daughter, Chelsea. The police should have acted as go-between, and served Paul with notice that Tommy was taking custody, and have Tommy wait outside. See more »
The beginning of this final installment of the long-running "Death Wish" series is shaky with inappropriate humor (even the title comes off as a tasteless pun, as a central character is disfigured by having her face bashed into a mirror) and a lot of mobster-movie clichés (the henchmen to Michael Parks' villain are howling stereotypes), writer-director Allan Goldstein transforms "Death Wish 5" into a surprisingly entertaining little crime thriller. Though frequently riddled with inept moments (the mobsters unload round after round into walls after their target has jumped out of sight) and plot holes (how is Kersey tracking the bad guys, and since when did he become an explosives expert?), the film is the most well-developed of the series in terms of character, plot, and pacing. I've never seen Charles Bronson more convincingly expressive than he is here, and Michael Parks ("Kill Bill, Volume 2") is utterly reptilian in his loathsomeness. While the plot is essentially a repeat of the previous films, it contains a confident gloss that lifts it out of exploitation and closer to a mainstream film--it isn't entirely successful, but rooting for Bronson never gets old.
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