Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

Weekly Alibi

DIRECTED BY: J. Lee Thompson

REVIEWED: 04-20-98

OK, I've gotta admit, my mind tended to wander a bit during this flick, but hey--my mind wandered like crazy during Titanic, and that's a great movie, right? So draw your own conclusions. Jeez, where to begin. Ya' know, the first Death Wish was a really cool movie. All the others have been pretty damn bad. This one opens with a woman entering a dark parking garage and getting into her car, which of course won't start. She spots a band of masked hoodlums standing nearby. As they move to commit their evil deeds, Charles Bronson (350 years old but still kicking ass) shows up and guns 'em all down. Then we find out it was all a dream as Charlie wakes up all sweaty and upset. At work, Chuck is visited by his girlfriend's teenage daughter, all freshly scrubbed and powdered. This sweet 'n' wholesome gal visits the amusement park with her boyfriend, and ... well, this is one of those places where my mind wandered. The next thing I knew she was dead of a big crack overdose. Chuck unholsters his gun and goes on a short-lived kill-spree, then convinces his "journalist" squeeze, Kay Lenz, to do an investigative piece on the drug problem. Kay approaches the neighborhood dope peddler and then just sort of disappears for about 75 minutes (much like Kurt Russell in The Strongest Man in the World). Meanwhile, Chuck is hired by a multi millionaire to instigate a war between rival druglords, then we get a whole bunch of scenes where Charlie guns down bad guys. The standout is when he kills a passel of bastards with an exploding bottle of fine wine! Anyway, a whole bunch of other crap happens, most of which made my eyes glaze over, then Kay Lenz reappears, now the captive of an evil druglord. Some stuff blows up, and there's an attempt at a "twist ending," but I dunno. Whatta ya gonna do? On the cool side, the millionaire is played by John (It's Alive) Ryan, one of the bad guys is the great Danny (From Dusk Till Dawn) Trejo ("Lowly dogs!"), and if you don't blink you'll spot Scully and Mulder's boss Mitch Pileggi as a warehouse guy. I don't know what the hell was goin' on. (Media)

--Scott Phillips

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