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Film / Death Wish II

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Death Wish II (1982) is the second movie in the Death Wish series starring Charles Bronson.

Paul Kersey and his daughter settle in Los Angeles. After an incident with muggers in an amusement park, brutality hits too close to home again when the muggers attack his new home, and Kersey's poor daughter is raped again along with his housekeeper before both of them are killed. Unlike the last movie, Kersey doesn't target random muggers this time, instead focusing his wrath upon the five scumbags who victimized him and his family.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Warehouse: Paul foils a rape by the gang in one.
  • Animal Motifs: Kevyn Major Howard (Stomper) waxed his eyebrows and shaved the front of his head to make himself look like a snake.
  • Big Bad: Nirvana leads the gang Kersey's going after.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Kersey shoots one of the thugs right through his boombox.
  • Cartwright Curse/Disposable Woman: Kersey's daughter and his unfortunate housemaid. His girlfriend as well, although unlike most of his women, she's still alive at the end, having left him upon finding out about his vigilantism.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted, with fatal results for those who try it against Kersey. Paul shoots Cutter as he tries to retreat. Cutter is holding his boombox in front of his face. Kersey's bullet goes right through the boombox and catches him between the eyes.
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  • Cool Guns: Paul Kersey's weapon of choice is a Beretta Cheetah.
  • Crooks Are Better Armed: In the climactic shootout, Paul Kersey and Detective Ocha, an Inspector Javert cop (both armed with handguns), end up fighting a gang of crooks armed with black-market assault rifles and submachine guns.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The gang of scum includes two white, two black, and one Hispanic member, all buddies.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: A car blows up after it falls off from a cliff. Justified because it was the car of a small-time Arms Dealer.
  • Fanservice Extra: Nirvana is hanging out in his apartment with two naked girls. Unlike the other characters who appear nude in the film, these women have absolutely no relation to the plot. Interestingly enough, the more buxom of the two women, actress Leslie Graves, had been a regular on Sesame Street before her untimely death from AIDS at age 35.
  • Forklift Fu: Bad guys try to kill protagonist Paul Kersey with a forklift, but he escapes.
  • Hope Spot: After the gang of scumbags have had their way with Kersey's daughter, she takes advantage of a moment of distraction of their captors and runs for it. It seems she might be able to escape, but alas...
  • Inertial Impalement: After Kersey's daughter has recovered from being raped into catatonia in the first film, she is kidnapped and raped again, and while running from one of the rapists, falls out a window to where she's impaled on a fence. Kersey's response is a second Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Inverted. Unusually for a plain clothes adventurer of 1970's and 1980's film, Paul Kersey did in fact maintain a dual identity/alter ego, since the general public did not know that Paul Kersey acted as the vigilante and Kersey continued his work as an architect while acting as a vigilante. Paul Kersey gave an engagement ring to radio announcer Geri Nichols, and they had scheduled their marriage and honeymoon in Acapulco. Nichols did not initially know that Kersey acted as the vigilante, and she strongly opposed the death penalty and unlimited punishment of criminals. When she discovered that Kersey acted as the vigilante, she left the engagement ring behind for him, since his actions as the vigilante clashed with her code of ethics.
  • Mercy Lead: A hospital orderly discovers that Kersey has murdered a patient. After learning that the patient raped and murdered Kersey's daughter, the orderly gives him three minutes before he sounds the alarm.
  • Obstructive Vigilantism: Paul Kersey tells the police he didn't get a good look at the people who attacked him and killed his daughter and housekeeper. He then goes out and hunts down every last unrepentant piece of garbage involved in the attack.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Jimmy Page did the score.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    Paul Kersey: "Do you believe in Jesus?
    Stomper: "Yes I do."
    Paul Kersey: "Well, you're gonna meet him."
  • Rape as Drama: Paul's daughter is raped again, along with Kersey's housekeeper before both are killed.
  • Retirony: Detective Ochoa.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The first sequel fits more into this trope than the others, with Kersey hunting down and killing five gang-punks who rape and kill both his housekeeper and his daughter.
  • Sequel Escalation: The body count rises in this film and continues to do so as the series progresses.
  • Sequel Hook: The movie ends with Kersey walking into the night followed by the sound of three gunshots.
  • Sickbed Slaying: Paul Kersey enters the hospital asylum posing as a doctor to kill Nirvana, who was arrested and committed there. It starts out as a struggling fight until Kersey kills him by electrocution.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Both Kersey's daughter and Detective Ochoa.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Paul Kersey himself. In the previous film, Kersey relied on his gun to face criminals. He demonstrated no other fighting skills. In the second film, Kersey is actualky able to beat up his younger opponents.
  • Wretched Hive: This time, it's Los Angeles. While Paul searches for those responsible for the death of his daughter, he wanders through the sleazy areas of the city. He comes across other criminals which he mostly ignores, including thieves, drug dealers, and one violent pimp. Non-criminal bystanders include various weirdos such as drug addicts, a drag queen, Hare Krishnas and bikers. All included by the director in an attempt to get an authentic feel of the streets of Los Angeles.

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