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Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (1994)

Binge: The Death Wish Franchise: Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (1994)

Directed by Allan A. Goldstein
Written by dorrk
28 May 2018

Leave it to virtually unknown hack director Allan A. Goldstein to cap off the Charles Bronson era of the Death Wish series with an astoundingly oddball and enjoyable finale defined by its crazy crew of villains. Bronson's Paul Kersey, this time, applies his deadly methods as an unorthodox means to resolve a child custody dispute, after his fiance is murdered and her culpable ex-husband — Michael Parks, who oozes indifferent evil — claims his paternal rights to their 13-year-old daughter. Kersey has inexplicably developed, over the course of the series, into a sophisticated assassin with ninja-like skills of evasion; gone are the giant guns of the middle sequels in favor of poisoned cannolis, exploding soccer balls and... Kersey even shrink wraps someone, for God's sake. Parks is so much fun as Tommy O'Shea, and his underlings (including the memorable Robert Joy) are so goofy, I wouldn't mind seeing a 5-part series about them, if any had survived this movie. Just like Kersey taking a long, appreciative gaze at one of his flailing fire-engulfed victims, one can only admire the straightforward zaniness of Goldstein's accomplishment with Death Wish V: The Face of Death. While it doesn't come near the quality of the original Death Wish (and nor does it try), it's arguably the best of the sequels, which is remarkable for a franchise that has been successfully treading water for 20 years with no unequivocal failures.

Vigilante Movies: Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (1994)

Trailer for Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (1994)