If you like Charles Bronson and “Death Wish,” then you’ll want to see “Death Wish 2.” It’s not the best entry in the series, but it’s decent. In it, Bronson and his daughter have moved to L.A. at the behest of N.Y.C. police chief Vincent Gardenia. Bronson plans on having a quiet life but then his maid and daughter are raped and both die. Time to get out his trusty Beretta 84 and get revenge. As Jimmy Page’s score wails in the background, Bronson proves that every other action hero is a total wuss by comparison. By the time the ending electrocution occurs, your jaw will be on the floor as Bronson finishes his revenge.
This film got no stars from Roger Ebert, and I think that’s because the rape scenes are way too graphic and go on too long (now that the late 70’s, early 80’s are over) . If you can handle those scenes, the movie’s fine. Jill Ireland and Vincent Gardenia give good performances in support and a young Laurence Fishburne amuses as one of the criminals. The big difference between “Death Wish 2” and other entries in the series is that Bronson only goes after the criminals who killed his daughter and maid.
Jimmy Page did the score for the second and third installments of this series. His music was experimental disco sounding, but effective and memorable. What’s cool about it though is it keeps a dark tone. Ominous sounding disco like that is unique and fit the era of what the film was about. Page was awarded a Razzie for this score. However, its under-appreciated and has aged well. It is worth checking out. There’s some gritty British rock overtones as well.