Paul Kersey is back in New York and this time, he’s planning to clean up the streets once again. But this time, he’s not alone.
Living in Los Angeles has taken its toll on Paul Kersey. After avenging his daughter and returning to life, Paul decides to visit an old friend, Charlie, in New York City. However, he needs to be careful as on a technicality, he is still wanted in New York for his actions a decade ago. However, when he arrives, he finds old friend dead in his apartment. Kersey is caught and put in prison. He is released when Detective Richard Shriker is willing to make a deal with Kersey. Shriker vows not to bust Kersey if he helps him clean the neighborhood from a new street gang.
The gang leader is Fraker, who met Kersey in prison. When Kersey makes his presence known, he earns the respect of some of the other locals. When Fraker learns the man responsible for the peace is the same man he met in prison, he decides to wage war. Continuing his terrorization of the locals, Kersey goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of the locals. Kersey even strikes a romance with assistant district attorney Kathleen Davis, things begin to look up until Fraker hires more goons to take over the neighborhood. Kersey will now need all the help he can get to make the streets safe again.
This action-packed third installment of the action franchise brings Charles Bronson back as this time, he takes on a street gang who muscle in on a neighborhood. Where Kersey did something similar in the original film and seeked flat out revenge in the second film, this film takes a bit of both and could even bring to mind the style of both The Exterminator and its 1984 sequel.
Bronson’s Kersey is not so much the vigilante but more of someone who uses his skills to help clean up the neighborhood thanks in part to working with Ed Lauter’s Det. Shriker, perhaps being the late Ochoa’s replacement. Shriker is not crooked, but resorts to brokering a deal because he’s grown tired of what has been happening to the neighborhood. As for Deborah Raffin, she makes a good love interest in an assistant district attorney who like both Kersey and Shriker, is not happy with the crime rate in the neighborhood.
This time, Gavan O’Herlihy is extremely evil as Fraker. It seems like the actor, who played bully Brad in Superman III, is made to play villains with this being one of his best roles. Despite a ridiculous reverse Mohawk style, it is Fraker’s actions that make him who he is. He has some pretty good henchmen in his arsenal from Kirk Taylor’s rightfully named Giggler to Ricco Ross’ tough as nails Cuban. Where the film has early appearances from some of later breakouts, this one has a young Alex “Bill S. Preston” Winter as one of Fraker’s men, named Hermosa. The action is amped up and as mentioned with Kersey needing all the help he can get, he gets just that and more in the unbelievable final set piece.
Death Wish 3 takes street cleaning to a whole new level with Charles Bronson taking center stage as he gets some unexpected help to once again, clean the streets of New York.
WFG RATING: B+
A Cannon Films production. Director: Michael Winner. Producers: Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Writer: Michael Edmonds; based on characters created by Brian Garfield. Cinematography: John Stanier. Editing: Michael Winner.
Cast: Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter, Gavan O’Herlihy, Martin Balsam, Kirk Taylor, Alex Winter, Tony Spiridakis, Ricco Ross, Joe Gonzalez, Marina Sirtis, Leo Kharibian, Hana Maria Pravda.