review for Death Wish 4: The Crackdown on AllMovie

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)
by Donald Guarisco review

The tacky but successful Death Wish franchise has earned great notoriety among B-movie fans over the years because it grew more exploitative and implausible with each entry. By Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, the luster of the series' brain-damaged revenge scenarios had worn off, leaving a tired comic book of a movie. The best thing about the film is its trio of leads: Charles Bronson (as Paul Kersey) goes through his paces with stone-faced reliability; John P. Ryan does some inspired work as Kersey's conspirator, Nathan White; and Kay Lenz is likeable despite being given next to nothing to do. Beyond those three actors, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is a singularly tired affair: the script is a mess of bizarre plotting and ripe dialogue, and virtually all of the other performances are awful. Even worse, J. Lee Thompson directs with all the enthusiasm of a hired hand and the resulting film is extremely sloppy in its attention to detail (note all the visible squib wires on the actors who get shot). It all adds up to a film that is more deadening than exciting.