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Death Wish 3: Where Bronson Really Became ‘Bronson’

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In Hollywood logic, any well-grossing movie merits a sequel. Whether you’re talking serialized slapstick (think Police Academy ), or a fresh go-round, as with Aliens , it’s become commonplace to give a hit film a second chapter.

But number three is where a movie really turns itself into a franchise — and when it’s OK to jettison any moorings to reality.

Death Wish ends with a knowing wink to the audience from Charles Bronson. His character, architect, Paul Kersey, has left New York and the scrutiny of the NYPD, but it’s obvious this is one vigilante with scores left to settle. As Kersey tracks his family’s killers, Death Wish II resolves his loose ends — it’s hard to imagine this movie not being made.

Death Wish 3
is where the series turns the corner from urban justice reverie to
total fantasy. Bronson finds a new group of outlandishly-styled
(reverse mohawk, anyone?) punks to target. His gun gets bigger and
bigger, and in one scene he actually fires a rocket launcher. Even his
mustache seems larger than in the two previous movies.

For die-hard Bronson fans, Death Wish 3 is where the series really got good. Just as the Rambo franchise ceased being about Vietnam and post-traumatic stress and transitioned into an ode to machine guns and muscles, Death Wish
stopped being about urban decay and crime and became Bronson for
Bronson’s sake. In both cases movie number three is where the original
underpinnings fall away and the weapons and one-liners take over
completely. And that’s just good fun.

Check out the size of those guns when Death Wish 3 plays Wednesday, March 4 at 8PM | 7C. For a complete schedule, click here.

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