Further proof that when everything is politicized then nothing is rooted in logic.
The remake-happy executives in Hollywood recently blessed us with another retread offering as the trailer for the “new” movie “Death Wish” was released. This version stars Bruce Willis as a Chicago doctor whose wife is murdered and daughter is raped and paralyzed, leading him to a violent course of avenging the attacks.
And leftists have vacated their bowels upon viewing this.
As the trailer made the rounds social media erupted in “outrage”, as a growing tide of resistance voiced opposition to the visuals and the content. All expected condemnation has been hurled, and almost all of it has been hysterical, absent any introspection. Of course this is seen as a dangerous endorsement of Trump, and OF COURSE this movie is appealing to the idiotic alt-right, supposedly.
Fair or not, I can't think of a more tone-deaf idea in this political/social environment than white filmmakers remaking #DEATHWISH…
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) August 3, 2017
It seems to be the unavoidable trend in cinematic journalism. All cultural offerings are shaded against the Trump administration. This allows no room for pragmatic thought, such as the realities of movie-making.
“Death Wish” is a property that is remaking a title released in 1974, based on a novel written two years earlier. Now yes, this is an updated version of course, but that does not lead to the film being a mirror held up to the Trump administration. After a version was proposed involving Sylvester Stallone in 2006, earnest work on the project began in 2012. After some script work and director changes the film went into production last year, with shooting taking place ahead of the Trump election.
Of course this does not stop the experts from assessing import according to today’s political climate.
This is an especially mindless reaction, given the fact that director/writer Eli Roth is not exactly alt-right material, as an avowed Jewish-American.
Maybe it's the marketing, but seems a strange time to give a high-five to an older angry white dude going vigilante with lots of guns.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) August 3, 2017
Another blindspot for the sake of contemporary commentary. Does Chuck really want to suggest that the concept of revenge/vigilantism is a new concept for movie scriptwriters? And guns are also a relatively common component found in Hollywood these days, going back to… I’d guess Day-1.
The setting is another problem. Placing this story in Chicago is a very bad idea, although the reason why is hard to nail down. At GQ Magazine Joshua Rivera declares “In moving the setting [from New York] to Chicago, a city where gun violence is both well-documented and highly politicized, and setting the trailer to ‘Back in Black’, the remake tips its hand: 2017’s ‘Death Wish’ comes off as a work of cowardice and opportunism.” However Gabriel Bell, at Salon added to the mixture, but in the opposite direction: “Willis does his dirty work in a time where, if anything, cops do too much in the name of law and order.“
So placing it in violent Chicago is pandering to fears…which don’t exist as Chicago is not violent…?
Then for pure comedy there is the wringing-of-the-hands-to-bleeding assessment from Jessica Lachenal over at The Mary Sue. Her screed, titled “This Death Wish Remake Trailer Is the Most Disgustingly Right Wing, GOP-Ass Thing I’ve Ever Seen”, is the precious kind of outrage filled with the controlled hyperbolic hyperventilating we have come to expect from the activist set.
For starters, this trailer is a huge advertisement for the NRA. It’s “Good Guy With a Gun: The Movie.” It’s narratives like these that spur people into believing that “one good guy with a gun” is enough to justify the countless lives lost to senseless gun violence every day—and let’s be honest here, even in the context of this film, “good guy” is pretty relative. So, you know, never mind the fact that the “good guy with the gun” is a harmful, damaging myth.
That’s quite a lot of wording needed to express a simple thought: “I’ve never seen a mainstream movie before.” To pretend this trailer is showing something that has not been displayed on screens in even the past few years is abject naivete’. Liam Neeson (who once had been up for this role) has a franchise – “Taken” – dedicated to this exact plotline.
Essentially, “Death Wish” is the same film that has been made repeatedly, for the past 60 years. However, suddenly, the movie that was completed before the Trump election is now declared to be a cheerleading homage to the man these movie writers all hate — these supposed movie experts.