When I started to watch this movie…I thought it was going to be Charles Bronson randomly mowing down the people in New York City…but it had a purpose and was a pretty good movie.
There was some controversy when this movie was released because of Bronson being a vigilante in the movie. The critics who disliked the film complained that it irresponsibly exploited fear. They also claimed the film gave an exaggerated picture of crime in New York and that it glorified vigilantism… that it endorses violence as a solution to violence.
I enjoyed the film. New York in the mid-seventies makes a great atmosphere…although not a safe one. The movie is brutal but realistic.
On a side note…this movie is Jeff Goldblum’s film debut.
Open-minded architect Paul Kersey returns to New York City from vacationing with his wife, feeling on top of the world. At the office, his cynical coworker gives him the welcome-back with a warning on the rising crime rate. But Paul, a bleeding-heart liberal, thinks of crime as being caused by poverty. However, his coworker’s ranting proves to be more than true when Paul’s wife is killed and his daughter is raped in his own apartment. The police have no reliable leads and his overly sensitive son-in-law only exacerbates Paul’s feeling of hopelessness. He is now facing the reality that the police can’t be everywhere at once. Out of sympathy, his boss gives him an assignment in sunny Arizona where Paul gets a taste of the Old West ideals. He returns to New York with a compromised view on muggers…