Most helpful critical review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bronson bows out in a turkey
on 15 September 2010
Most people don't even know there was a Death Wish 4, let alone a Death Wish 5: The Face of Death, and not without good reason. Made primarily for the video market and shot on the ultra-cheap in Canada standing in for New York by the director of 2001: A Space Travesty (Bronson's salary accounted for more than half the budget and from the results it doesn't look like he was paid that much), its sole distinctions are the lowest body count in the series and in being Bronson's last theatrical feature. It feels more like a Death Wish ripoff where the producers suddenly found out they could afford Bronson and gave it a quick rewrite, with Kersey now in the witness protection programme back in New York happily engaged to Lesley Anne Down's fashion designer and bad Joan Collins impersonator. You just know how that will end up, especially since her ex-husband is Michael Sacks' mobster, who seems to be basing his performance on William Shatner impersonating Jack Nicholson in Prizzi's Honor.
It's not long before Robert Joy's transvestite enforcer with dandruff is scarring her face to prevent her testifying to Saul Rubinek's DA and not that long before Bronson's much younger stunt man with different colored hair is dodging bullets and she's giving him another excuse to take the law into his own hands after taking flying lessons off the roof. A puffy Bronson is starting to look so like Oliver Hardy when he smiles you almost expect him to say "That's another fine killing spree you've gotten me into," and with newspaper headlines like `Chicki Paconi killed by Canoli' it's clear that the film aspires to a more comedic approach. It doesn't succeed. It's just about watchable if you're grimly determined to make it through the entire series, but there's little here to repay the effort.