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Thirty-Three Years Ago, Charles Bronson made 'Violent Revenge' fashionable; taking to the streets of New York to avenge a horrible crime in 'Death Wish'.
It is back to those 'Bad Old Ways/Days' with 'Death Sentence'. A tale based upon the novel written by Brian Garfield; (whose other novel inspired 'Death Wish'). Directed by 'Saw's' James Wan; starring Kevin Bacon as a suburban white-collar Dad pushed past the limits of reason in a taut, visceral, and unapologetic portrait of brutality. It is an ugly movie; (a compliment given that it has an ugly story to tell).
Wan effectively sketches in the Hume Family dynamic in an opening montage of home videos ending at New Year's in the Present Day. The biggest conflict in the household is the sibling rivalry between high school senior and hockey star Brendan (Stuart Lafferty) and 14-year-old, second-string soccer playing Lucas (Jordan Garrett).
A Risk Analyst Executive at an Insurance Firm, Nick (Bacon) has provided his boys and his wife Helen (Kelly Preston) with a comfortable life. All of that changes in an instant when Nick and Brendan stop for gas in a bad neighborhood one night and get caught in the middle of a gang initiation. Brendan dies.
For Nick, the idea that he failed as a father, that he could not protect his child, is almost as unbearable as the loss. Then he finds out that the killer would probably only serve a few years in Prison - max.
While he tells a co-worker dispassionately, sounding every inch the insurance man, "We compensate for our loss and move on," the reality is that he has become a man obsessed. He wants to get even and not just with the killer, but the killer's whole gang. What he sets in motion is something out of Shakespeare, as the gang itself is a family enterprise; lorded over ultimately by Crime Boss Bones Darley (John Goodman) and managed on the street by his eldest son Billy (Garrett Hedlund). And if Brendan was the natural born athlete in the Hume Family, Billy is the Natural Born Killer among the Darleys.
Wallis (Aisha Tyler), the Homicide Detective assigned to his case, warns Nick that if he seeks revenge, it cannot end well.
But that's kind of the point, isn't it?
He is "Everyman"; living through a Nightmare that could take place anywhere. While the film was shot in North Carolina, Wan takes great pains not to identify the location. Even license plates give no clue, just generic numbers with no state. There is a warning here; this is what happens to decent people when they stray too close to an urban milieu — it will reach out to harm you even if it has to track you into the haven of your suburban home.
It makes no concessions that good people live in even the worst neighborhoods and that bad people can live in good ones. The movie may be about revenge, but its true theme is paranoia.
Truly a tough story to view; with heartwrenching scenes to drench the violence in. Make some room 'Death Wish', this film is destined to sit aside you on the Classic Revenge Thriller Catharsis of the Everyman !!
Frankly, Bacon's Best-to-Date !!
5-Star Performances !!!!
** From the Makers of "SAW"; film-fans take close watch. In all films made by "SAW's" creators they slip in "Jigsaw". In "Dead Silence" (SEE MY REVIEW) the Jigsaw Puppet was in Mary Shaw's Lair as a doll against the wall; in "Death Sentence"; "Jigsaw" with the Red Circles Cheeks is Muraled on the Bridge where "Billy" (Garrett Hedlund) is selling drugs.
Hitchcock-Like Touch by Director James Wan !!
...Death Sentence is a gripping revenge thriller loaded with in-your-face action, bone-snapping violence, and nail-biting suspense!
This film utilizes the typical revenge plot; i.e., a law abiding white-collar executive/family man with the perfect wife and/or kid(s) has member(s) of his family murdered by street thugs. After obviously receiving no justice in court or any help from the less than empathetic police detective(s), and without any prior weapons training/knowledge, he then goes on a one-man rampage and single-handedly 'takes-out' the 'bad guys' throughout the rest of the film.
Kevin Bacon stars as (Nick Hume) an upper-class business executive with the perfect family, until his eldest son is brutally murdered during a gang initiation act staged as a gas station robbery. In the style of 'Death Wish', transformed by grief and dissatisfied with courtroom justice and police, Nick takes the law into his own hands waging his personal revenge upon the perpetrator, as well as upon another of the perp's fellow street thugs. Upon doing so, Nick infuriates the gang leader (played by Garrett Hedlund) who leads his gang to take retaliatory revenge upon Nick, Nick's wife, and their youngest son...leaving all three of them for dead. Miraculously, Nick survives the brutal home invasion and regains consciousness in the hospital. While still in protective custody and with a bullet wound in his chest, Nick escapes through a hospital window, purchases his arsenal from a underground weapons dealer (played by John Goodman), and then proceeds to finish where he had left off - to eliminate the rest of the gang of vicious street thugs in retaliation for them brutally murdering his wife and his eldest son...the actual fate of his youngest son is still unknown at the end of the film.
BTW, the film's ending presents the opportunity for a sequel...or two, in the same spirit of Charles Bronson's 'Death Wish' film series.
There was only one film Kevin Bacon is in that I love "Flatliners" now the count is up to 2..This film keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout...Film starts with a loving Family, a pretty Mom, a rich successful Dad and two Boys the oldest a would be Hockey pro and a young soccer star..Dad attends the oldest Boys Hockey game where he watches proudly as his Son helps his team win the game, he happily informs his Dad he wants to go to college in Canada..on their way home they encounter two strange looking cars racing! (gasp) They need to stop for gas..they find a dingy little gas station and the Son goes inside to buy a drink..in comes some street thugs they pull guns and knives one kills the clerk then orders another to kill the Boy he hesitates, but in the end he gets stupid and slits the boys throat..Daddy races to his sons side as the killer is struck by a car and injured he holds his dying Son in his arms and screams for help..fast forward Dad is appalled to find out the killer will only get a few years in prison he has a better idea..and that is where all hell break loose..sadly, there are gangs everywhere and in their warped thinking they believe the only way they will be seen as men is to do the cowardly thing and take a human life..in his quest for revenge Dad starts a violent cycle of hate that can only end one way..watch this flick and see how it ends you wont be disappointed!
What would it take for you to commit unspeakable acts? For Kevin Bacon, it was the slaying of his oldest son. In this movie you will go through a roller coaster of emotions from sorrow, to excitement, you are guaranteed a very enjoyable evening with Death Sentence. Kevin Bacon is just a normal white collared suburban father just going through the day to day, until 1day his whole world was turned up side down by a gang member waiting for initiation. When this destroyed father comes to the realization that the law was not going to get the killer the justice he deserved, he decides to take matters into his own hands. From foot chases in Downtown areas, to massive shootouts in gang populated areas, Death Sentence will keep you on the edge of your seat. Thanks for taking the time to read my review.
The family man and senior vice-president of the insurance company Starship Capital Nick Hume lives a comfortable life with his wife Helen and his sons Brendan and Lucas. While driving back home with his son Brendan after a game of hockey, Nick stops his car in a gas station in a dangerous neighborhood and he witnesses his son being murdered by the punk Joe Darley in the convenience store. When the prosecutor tells the grieving Nick that Joe would get a maximum of three years in prison, Nick tells the judge in court that he has not recognized Joe as the killer of his son. In the night, Nick goes to Joe's place and stabs him to death. When Joe's brother Billy is informed about the death of Joe, he summons his gang in a war against Nick with tragic consequences. Kevin Bacon gives an excellent performance as a traumatised father who witnessed his son's murder and decides to punish the killers himself, rather than depend on the police. The action scenes are truly suspenseful and keep you on the edge of your seat. This is an exciting and gripping movie, the violence shown is not for those with weak stomachs. It's graphic, brutal, edgy and tense. I definitely recommend this movie.