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fact that charles bronson represents one of the most important movie icons of the 1980s represents one of the biggest and almost tragic ironies of that decade .
tragedy lies in the fact that the icon status was earned less by quality of his work in movies , but the quantity .
most of those movies were produced by cannon group , company led by israeli producers menahem golan and yoram globus .
those two men probably thought that they could be the next roger corman , b- movie mentors of future hollywood legends .
unfortunately , that didn't happened , and when cannon finally went bankrupt at the end of the decade , behind it stood the huge pile of cinematic garbage , that would require at least few centuries before it reaches the camp appeal .
sadly for bronson , that garbage also contained numerous movies in which that capable character actor and action hero of the 1970s tried to raise their worth simply by being the main lead , and lowering his own reputation in process .
on the other hand , bronson could take comfort in a fact that those movies were extremely popular , especially among the audience 3 or 4 times younger than bronson himself .
one of such movies that seriously marred bronson's reputation is death wish 3 , third sequel in the series which began with death wish in 1974 .
in the original movie , bronson played paul kersey , mild-mannered new york architect who turns into deadly street vigilante after his family fell victim to urban violence .
that movie was far from masterpiece ; yet , in it the director michael winner was skillfully offering the cinematic remedy for very real disease of growing crime rates of the time ( on the same lines like siegel in dirty harry ) .
unfortunately , six years later cannon group got rights to the character of paul kersey and began destroying it by pumping out sequels ; even the presence of its original director didn't stop the rapid decline of the quality .
death wish 3 begins when kersey comes to visit an old friend , living in the urban wasteland of east new york , populated by young criminals and people too old or too poor to move out .
before the reunion , kersey's friend falls victim to the street gang led by evil fraker ( played by gavan o'herlihy , probably the only noteworthy role in the film ) .
kersey decides to avenge his death and slowly prepares for his crusade , while the police inspector shriker ( ed lauter ) , ants to use him as a secret weapon in his losing war against the urban crime .
bronson , the main asset in this movie , plays the character who is nothing more than an efficient killing machine .
although bronson's charisma does help in overcoming some implausibilities ( single man in his 60s and armed with a single pistol manages to wipe out dozens of opponents with superior firepower ) , the lack of emotions or bronson's own commitment could be seen in a very few lines spoken in a film .
the movie authors were somewhat aware of that emotional shallowness , so they added romantic interest for their hero - public defender played by deborah raffin and conveniently terminated in order to give some more motives for kersey's crusade .
on the other hand , emotions are much better played by confronting law-abiding , yet ethnically stereotyped citizens with their daily nemesis of street punks - ruthless enough to exercise their reign of terror on the entire city blocks , and stupid enough to be killed in droves by kersey .
unfortunately , michael winner doesn't know how to work out the plot , and after torturing the viewers with mostly uninteresting characters and cliched and formulaic situations , ends this movie with a bang .
the big showdown at the end - that turns east new york into the sarajevo-like battle zone - is probably the worst part of the movie , because of the poor editing and the cheap sets and props that give away the low budget .
in short , this movie could be recommended only to the most fanatical charles bronson fans or for the people who are already desperate for 1980s nostalgia .
( special note for trekkies : marina sirtis , the actress who played counsellor deanna troi in star trek : the next generation could be spotted in a small role of portorican wife ) .
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