Posted on 1/29/13 05:59 PM
Viewing this movie was an oddball experience. Bronson's "performance" is so wooden and uninteresting (he has zero charisma). The script is banal, the characterization is nonexistent (there's no insight to Bronson's character), and the dialogue is flat and not particularly memorable. YET, Winner's direction is stylish and I found the film solidly entertaining and never boring (which makes no sense given the flat characters and dialogue). All the vigilante scenes are intriguing and Winner knows how to stage tense action sequences.
However, the film's message addressing a complex issue like rampant crime is oversimplified, frivolous and bigoted. It advocates fascist ideologies like vigilantism (the novel denounced it) and gun ownership. It suggests the answer to solving crime is swift, brutal execution, unquestioned and unregulated (Hitler felt the same way). It feels like a film the NRA would produce.
I can't quite recommend the film due to its bland writing and acting, and its irresponsible advocacy of fascist ideals, but it succeeds in stylish, mindless entertainment.