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Death Wish: The Face of Death

4.2 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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(Dec 11, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The New York vigilante goes back to work after a mobster's thugs kill his girlfriend.


Drifting as far from Michael Winner's original and interesting 1974 Death Wish as possible, this belated sequel in an often ugly series is nevertheless a harmless, fairly conventional thriller featuring a watchable cast. After his life of loss and misery at the hands of criminals, vigilante Paul Kersey is ready to settle down in romantic bliss with a fashion designer named Olivia (Lesley-Anne Down). Unfortunately, the lady happens to be the target of her mobster ex-husband (Michael Parks), who has a tight grip on New York's garment district. Disfigured and finally murdered by her former spouse, Olivia is avenged in very creative ways by Paul, who resorts to such esoterica as using a remote-controlled soccer ball to deliver an explosive punishment. Bronson largely phones it in for this potboiler, though even in the winter of his life he can look quite compelling in his stoic way. Helping to keep things interesting is Parks's kinky cruelty and Saul Rubinek's vaguely bemused performance as a well-meaning prosecutor. --Tom Keogh

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Bronson, Lesley-Anne Down
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Trimark
  • DVD Release Date: December 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305245487
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,007 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Death Wish: The Face of Death" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on November 10, 2003
Format: DVD
When Charles Bronson died recently, he left behind a body of work spanning four decades. One of his last film projects was an entry in a memorable franchise, the final installment of the "Death Wish" films. "Death Wish V: The Face of Death" marked the end of more than one era. Gone forever is the reliable low budget Bronson actioner that predominated the 1980s. I grew up on a steady diet of Chuck Bronson films, so paying homage to this enjoyable actor by watching this film was quite easy. It was a surprise to notice that one member of the Golan-Globus team that ran Cannon films in the 1980s produced "Death Wish V," giving the movie even more of a nostalgic feel. The "Death Wish" series introduced America to Paul Kersey, an architect by trade who, through a series of unfortunate and violent circumstances, sought bloody revenge on criminals who murdered his family. The first film did wonderfully at the box office, providing a measure of vicarious thrill for a population weary of rampant crime on the streets of America. Then the series got ridiculous as Kersey literally became a death wish for anybody who associated with him. In each subsequent film, a girlfriend or soon to be wife bought the big one, inspiring the architect to hit the streets one more time in search of retribution. This guy lost more people close to him because of criminals than would ever be possible, but such is the dangerous world of filmmaking.
In "Death Wish V," Kersey, now in the witness protection program after his last outbreak of bloody violence, again decides to look for a wife. He finds one in Olivia Regent, a one time model who now runs her own fashion studio.
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Format: DVD
I love the first Death Wish sequels, but lets face it...they were trashy entertainment. They had little plot (basically shoot the hell out of scum), they portrayed unenthusiastic performances by supporting cast, they had characters that you didn't care about, silly love interests for Bronson, and paltry directing. All this is what actually made those films so much fun. You won't exactly get that with Death Wish 5. The filmmakers actually seem to have tried to make a decent film with this sequel. The villains seem to have more depth and there's actually a plot. It try's to develop characters you care about, though it doesn't quite succeed on some levels. What I found amazing is that Bronson's love interest is actually somewhat believeable, unlike in Death Wish 3 & 4 which it was more laughable. I actually found myself very surprised by this film, in a good way. You could say that Death Wish 5, should I dare say, is the best Death Wish sequel. Though I said best, it does not mean most entertaining. Death Wish 5 may have the most developed plot, better acting, and overall better filmmaking than its predecessors, but the first sequels are actually more entertaining. You can't beat the final shout-out in Death Wish 3 or the roller rink ending to Death Wish 4. That's pure entertainment! So in conclusion, Death Wish 5 is not your average Death Wish sequel. This could be a good or a bad thing. If you absolutely love the other Death Wish sequels and think they are the best films ever made; you may not like this one. But if you, like me, love the other Death Wish films for what they are and are able to accept change, then you will find Death Wish 5 to your much liking.
TRIVIA: The original VHS release portrayed the title DEATH WISH V: THE FACE OF DEATH on the box art and in the film itself. The newer DVD release has the "V" removed from the title so now the film and box art portray DEATH WISH: THE FACE OF DEATH. Why Vidmark Entertainment removed the "V", we may never now.
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Format: DVD
I'm at a point in my life where watching movies like this goes against my nature. But that said, this final chapter in the "Death Wish" series was not only a great conclusion, but it was a great way for Mr. Bronson to finish his acting work. (According to my research, this was the last film Charles Bronson made.) In earlier "Death Wish" movies, Bronson's role as Paul Kersey was limited to revenge and shooting down thugs of a low nature. "Death Wish V" seems to have overcome the problems of the previous chapters. Paul Kersey is at a point where he has fallen in love with a woman and just wants to live the rest of his life in peace. However, he realizes that the woman in his life (Lesley Anne Down) has a past with a mobster Tommy O'Shea that she can't sever. One really memorable comment from Bronson is: "Guns have their uses. Idiots with guns make me nervous." (A real proverb!) To make a long story short, Down is killed because she plans to testify against her x husband O'Shea. While earlier DW movies focused on revenge, Part V takes it to the next levels. While revenge is certainly part of Bronson's motive, he underlines that it is not just about revenge. He emphasizes that these mobsters go around just doing what they want and ruining the lives of people who are just trying to live honest lives. Part V also indicates that just because someone has a title or position in the justice system, that does NOT automatically mean you can trust them. I know some people knocked this 5th chapter for Bronson's unusually strategic methods. But it really made a lot of sense. To be sure, at this point in time, Bronson was in good shape for someone in his 70s. But remember, in this chapter, he is fighting organized crime. (Not just gunning down street thugs.Read more ›
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