Depending on your view point Death Sentence is a decent and decidedly bloody revenge flick or a series of what not to do’s.
The revenge flick line goes like this: When his son is a victim of a gang initiation killing Nick (Kevin Bacon) decides not to let the case run through the justice system but to handle his vengeance all personal like. This decision has ramifications for all. Far, far, far fetched ramifications.
Everyone knows who did it, but no-one seems to know where they are or how to stop them, including the cops. So Nick ignores all advice and common sense and tools up to get ‘er done himself.
Now while the saying might go ‘If you want something right do it yourself’, the reality is somewhat different, especially if you are ill equipped to actually do the job in the first place.
Now the things not to do:
- Don’t run out of gas in a ‘sketchy area’
- Don’t reach for the silent alarm with all eyes on you and a shotgun barrel inches from your chest
- Don’t trust the justice system
- Don’t think the gang that justifies murder as a condition of entry will have qualms in killing again. In broad daylight. On a main street…
- Don’t trust the police who can’t show up in the 15 minute shootout and chase listed above
- Don’t sweat the fact that a seedy kid in a hoody shows up at your office spouting loud unveiled death threats. Your colleagues will surely listen and report it to the police?
- Don’t trust your colleagues to listen and report to the police…
- Don’t trust the police (see above)
- Don’t ever think things can’t get worse
That said, here are a couple more about the film in general
- Don’t mess with Nick (Kevin Bacon)
- Don’t think John Goodman can’t be one menacing mo-fo
- Don’t think that a couple of sob speeches will make us think that this is anything deeper than a (pretty decent) schlocky revenge flick filled with violence and despicable characters
- Don’t think that a heavy handed soundtrack of poorly chosen songs won’t be a constant annoyance
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. Ultimately this is a film that requires a deliberate ignorance of logic to permit enjoyment. If you can do that it’s not terrible. If you can’t it becomes a warning film for idiots, a la Edgar Wright’s great fake trailer ‘Don’t!’ from the Grindhouse films.