Death Wish ★★½

2018 is turning out to be a truly inclusive year for on-screen representation. “Black Panther” invited African-American audiences to see themselves in a massive superhero movie that wasn’t about their own oppression, “A Fantastic Woman” gave transgender women the chance to see themselves in an acclaimed film that wasn’t terribly retrograde, and now Eli Roth’s dangerously enjoyable “Death Wish” gives right-wing lunatics the opportunity to see themselves in a fascist fairy tale that wasn’t directed by Dinesh D’Souza. To each their own cinema.

Set in an alternate-reality Chicago where the police are so overwhelmed by inner-city crime that they can’t spare the resources required to solve the murder of an affluent white woman, this contemporary riff on Charles Bronson’s vigilante classic is a pulpy reaffirmation of the idea that a good guy with a gun is the only thing capable of stopping a bad guy with a gun. And while the world has changed a lot since 1974, the movies are still the perfect vehicle to forward that flawed ethos, because the movies are still the only place where the good guys can be incorruptible.

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