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Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

Directed by J. Lee Thompson
Written by dorrk
28 May 2018
After the cartoonish carnage of DEATH WISH 3, the original premise of everyman Paul Kersey weeding out common criminals had been more than milked, so it's little surprise that, with original trilogy director Michael Winner bowing out, the two later sequels turned him into a typical action superhero who, with his mysteriously developed skills of stealth and melee combat, takes on bigger and classier organized crime syndicates. What is a surprise is how competent and even, dare I say, fun these later sequels are on their slightly different more generic terms. By the time DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN begins, it's been well-established that anyone personally close to Kersey has an expiration date, so the second cute Dana Barron skips into his office with a big grin on her face, you know she's a goner. Thankfully, as this franchise goes, she gets offed easy, with only her bloodstream violated. Kersey starts to avenge the death of his girlfriend's daughter and catches the eye of a millionaire (the always enjoyable John Ryan) who lost his own daughter under similar circumstances and bankrolls Kersey's crusade to kill every last member of the two big drug operations in L.A. It doesn't take a genius to guess the twist to DEATH WISH 4, but veteran director J. Lee Thompson (a frequent Bronson collaborator as well as helmer of the great CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) plays directly to Bronson's strengths, cranking out a lean and effective B-level action thriller that is reasonably good at being nothing particularly special, until its notable, worthy ending. Danny Trejo makes a brief early appearance.
Vigilante Movies: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

Trailer for Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)