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on 30 August 2014
Paul Kersey is happy away, his business is going well and he has a 'new' family on the go. Apart from the odd nightmares he seems to be relatively well adjusted back into normalcy. Happy day.
Then one fateful night, his 'new' teenage daughter suffers an evil drug overdose, causing Bronson to get a little upset and blow away her drug dealer ~ Personally I see it as Bronson's fault for even talking to another woman, let alone becoming the girls new father figure.. Hasn't he learnt anything from the previous 3 films? Surely he realises that if he's friends with/employs anyone (especially women) they're sure to die at the hands of lowlifes sooner or later!! ~ An action which brings about an offer from a wealthy businessman, who's aware of Bronson's vigilante hobby, and wants him to take his skills to the next level, by taking out the heads of organised crime families. Which of course with murder already in mind, is an irresistible offer that Bronson cannot refuse...

This 4th instalment in the vigilante series, I probably hadn't seen since the early 90s on VHS. Overall I was surprised by how good it was, compared to my memory of it, which wasn't very favourable.
Bronson gets some really good one liners, which he dispenses when wiping out the fairly rubbish fraternity of bad guys, much to I'm sure the amusement of fans other than just myself. And although it's certainly not as good as any of it's three predecessors (my favourite being #2), it is nonetheless action packed with some entertaining comic book violence.

Kay Lenz is always good to see, although she's not given enough to do here, and John P Ryan gives yet another bonkers but fun performance as Bronson's rich benefactor.
Of course this has a few drawbacks; the budget being fairly low I suspect (there are two poor explosions at least!), lousy cardboard cut out characters offering zero menace or believability, an unrealistic 'drugs are bad m'kay' motif, and a disappointing lack of mean spiritedness and vigilante darkness, but other than those quibbles it's a undeniably enjoyable entry, and certainly one that fans of vigilante movies should see.

I watched the US print but the UK disc is now also uncut (according to the BBFC website) I believe. Previously shorn by 6secs during the assault at the beginning.
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on 14 September 2012
Let's review the blu-ray this US Mgm disc is region free so will play worldwide
please note their is a region A on the back of the box.

Pq is very good their is a layer of grain present throughout the movie and the picture is sharp and clear with no signs of print damage.

The movie is presented in 1,85:1 aspect ratio and like the other death wish blu-rays sound quality is 1.0

Special features are poor just a theatrical trailer.

If you were happy with the transfers of death wish 2 and 3 on blu-ray this transfer won't dissapoint you.
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on 26 January 2013
Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is an underrated sequel in the series. While not outright disregarding the previous film, stylistically the cartoon feel of Death Wish 3 is abandoned in favour of a lightweight, extremely entertaining crime film with Paul Kersey in it. At times feeling like Death Wish meets Scarface, Death Wish 4 tackles an at times heavy handed anti-drugs message ("You didn't kill Erica, it was those damned drugs!" says Kersey) and grafts it to the established "vicarious empowerment through retributive cinematic violence" Death Wish formula. In the excellent book Bronsonýs Loose!: The Making of the Death Wish Films, the writer even admits the film was a different kind of cartoon to the previous movie, more in the vein of Part 2 but nowhere near as nasty.

We're back in LA (the Death Wish films go back and forth between coastal cities) and things are a little brighter but much the same as Part 2. Kersey's with a DIFFERENT reporter, and is clearly settled, once again, after his brief destructive sojourn in New York. Pretty soon, his adoptive daughter is dead of cocaine overdose and Kersey finds himself tackling the organised crime element in LA for their relentless pushing of drugs onto teenagers (Kersey's new gal surveys a bunch of drug casualties and memorably exclaims "My God, they're all children!").

Death Wish 3 changed the dynamic to the series in a smart way - while not exactly a mercenary, Kersey now worked under someone else, a cop, and was afforded a degree of protection as a result, which made the film rather different. Here, Kersey is again working for someone else, a wealthy benefactor also with an anti-drugs bent, and the "Fistful of Dollars"/"Yojimbo" dynamic of Kersey against two different drug gangs was a really smart thing to apply to the Death Wish formula.

The criminals are rather different this time out. I've read reviews of this film in 'zines that trashed it for abandoning the exploitation feel of the earlier films (and to a degree this is true, but the film isn't betraying it's roots, merely changing tact), specifically pointing to the lack of "gutter-level street creeps" that made the first three films, especially the last, so memorable. This is true to an extent, but where can you go with that sort of thing after Death Wish 3 took the logical step of making them a large, unified gang? After the early, street level drug dealer's execution, and an early "Empire Strikes Back" inspired dream sequence - intended to illustrate that Kersey fears he has become what he hunts, failing to convince us because Kersey should never believe his executions are meaningless as his prey's - the targets are all Mafia types, which frankly was a wonderful and smart change of pace, far more appropriate to Bronson's age and a smart recognition that Death Wish 3 was the zenith to the earlier approach and besides, it was 1987, gutter-level street creeps could be found in an EVEN MORE hyper-realistic exploitation style in RoboCop and later RoboCop 2. Continuity is maintained in other ways - Kersey is shown as architect again, and they even tie in his vigilante activities with his architectural drawing pad, which is a nice touch. The dark blue leather jacket from Death Wish 3 returns for a few scenes as well (Wildey is MIA unfortunately though).

The semi-realistic take is also a pretty smart move after the previous film posited geriatrics against gangs, but it is offset slightly by the TV movie feel to some of the scenes. J. Lee Thompson has directed some great films such as the original Cape Fear and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the best and most violent sequel in that series, and most of the time he is in his element here. Some of it falls apart under scrutiny - the first five minutes amount to "woman walks to car, woman gets into car, women gets pulled out of car" but it sure does drag it out forever - and some of it is instantly gratifying. Most of the action is much more grounded than the third movie, only once veering into cheeseball mannequin territory (where a mannequin dressed as Danny Trejo is blown up by exploding wine bottle). Acting is improved all round - Bronson does more acting in the first ten minutes than in all of Death Wish 3, clearly happier playing a family man turned crusader than a willing soldier; Kay Lenz is pretty good too as his wife and Dana Barron (National Lampoon's Vacation) shines in her few scenes. Faces may not be as familiar as in the last film, but do much better - Tim Russ (Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager), John P. Ryan (It's Alive, It Lives Again), George Dickerson (playing a similar role to his Detective Williams in Blue Velvet the previous year) all acquit themselves nicely. The score by Paul McCallum (son of jazz musician David McCallum from the Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Jill Ireland, and adopted son of Charles Bronson) is really quite good. He's the first composer in the series not to come from a popular music background and he does very well. Some of it is a bit cheesy on the old sax, but that's nothing on Death Wish 3.

The Blu-ray is very good, about as good as Death Wish 3 for most of it's length, sometimes better, with grain barely noticeable and detail often lifelike (fabric and hair textures especially). I'm surprised this has the lowest bitrate of the three sequels on blu-ray because in some respects, it's the best. The audio is once again lossless mono and it sounds pretty damn good. These may not be our dream discs of these films, but they're likely to be all we get, so they're a kind of "take it or leave it" proposition and I'll take it.
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Deathwish 4 is a film that is neither bad nor good. From Canon Globus, usually a sign of a decent action flick, it is undemanding fare as Charles Bronson's Paul Kersey is once more compelled to lay down his architect's drawing instruments and pick up a variety of increasingly powerful weaponry on a mission to clear the streets of crime. It does just what it needs to, delivering explosions, shoot outs and fisticuffs on a regular basis, keeping the viewer entertained while never actually engaging the brain. It leaves behind all the ethical questions of the first film in the series, and tries to justify Kersey's actions with a look at the effects of drugs crime. But in short order this attempt at moral justification is abandoned as Kersey goes off on a one man crusade of destruction on the drug gangs that infest his city, and the film turns into a satisfying shoot-em-up. Bronson was still an imposing presence on screen, looking pretty good for his years. It is his presence and laconic tones that carry the film. Lee J. Thompson's direction is a bit pedestrian and unimaginative at times, and it is hard to believe that this is the same man who directed `Guns Of Navarone'. There's little originality here, either in script, plot, direction or acting, but it holds together OK and delivers just what you expect. It's not bad, but it isn't anything amazing either. 3 stars.
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Set in an alternate universe where cinemas only show Cannon films, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown doesn't offer much in the way of threat, inspiration or character. It's purely by the numbers stuff that never threatens to do anything unusual or interesting. Even a scene where the casual labor in a factory fronting for a drug den are offered $1000 to stop Bronson escaping doesn't really go anywhere because that might take too much effort to shoot. This time it's the overdose of latest doomed girlfriend Kay Lenz's daughter that inspires him to bring his guns to town, albeit with some prompting from John P. Ryan's strangely accented millionaire who wants him to move up a grade from wasting muggers to killing off the city's drug dealers. The film's sole concession to originality is that while he's setting up the rival drug gangs, he's being set up himself, but for the most part it's full of discarded ideas and characters, beginning with a dream scene that has virtually no relevance to the rest of the film and completely forgetting about Lenz's character after the first 20 minutes until the finale.

Still, it does have the cult "Making a sandwich" moment and the world's worst exploding Danny Trejo dummy in screen history to briefly liven things up...
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on 26 February 2014
The film:
It’s not in the same league as the first three films, dropping the vigilante element almost completely and becoming more of a generic actioner, but there’s still a lot to enjoy as Charles Bronson joins the war on drugs.

The blu-ray:
It’s a definite improvement on my old full screen DVD, that’s for sure, and looks much better in HD than Death Wish 3 does. No special features, though I doubt anyone will ever produce any for this film. The case states that the disc is coded Region A but it’s actually region free – it plays fine on my region B player.
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on 15 July 2012
have been trying to get this film on region 2,no luck so had to get dvd player to play all region' the film, love Charles Bronson.
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on 28 July 2015
A rather Weak entry in the series that had Bronson taking down Drug Barons.Still worth watching for Bronson though.
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on 16 January 2015
Got to send back because dose not work on my dvd player
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on 19 November 2015
Very happy. Great service
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