It may lack the budget to be spectacular but Death Kiss is still massively entertaining just to see (what is essentially) Paul Kersey kicking ass once more. Let’s stick Kovacs in Expendables 4 as that could be something special.
Plot: DEATH KISS concerns a vigilante with a mysterious past who goes to a crime-infested city and takes the law into his own hands, at the same time protecting a young mother and her child.
Review: When we first saw images and early trailers for Death Kiss I think we couldn’t believe our eyes – Charles Bronson Lives! The star of the movie Robert “Bronzi” Kovacs has an uncanny likeness to the deceased star but watching him on screen pointing a gun at bad guys was a bit of a fanboy moment for me.
There is of course that slight awkwardness at first where you wonder if it’s really in the best taste to essentially mimic someone who has passed away but the way I see it Death Kiss is a love letter and tribute to Bronson and specifically the Death Wish series.
One thing you will notice even from the trailers is that Death Kiss doesn’t have a big budget and it is pretty evident so don’t be expecting any big set-pieces. This is indie fare so go in with an open mind and just enjoy it for what it is.
Kovacs certainly has the look and feel of Charles Bronson even if his voice isn’t anything like him however, I think if they tried doing that then it maybe would have been a step to far and would have seemed more like a caricature.
The plot of Death Kiss is a straightforward vigilante tale but watching the mysterious K (“Kersey?”) take down criminals in brutal fashion is satisfying and it also has a few controversial ideas about taking justice in to your own hands rather than calling the cops.
Daniel Baldwin’s DJ character says things which I’m sure will upset many viewers but I liked how it wasn’t afraid to take various digs at modern society.
Richard Tyson (Kindergarten Cop) is the big bad of the movie and is suitably overly theatrical especially at one point where he covers someone in BBQ sauce to encourage wildlife to come and feed.
Eva Hamilton was very sympathetic as Ava and the acting was generally better than you’d maybe be expecting from such low budget fare.
Rene Perez wrote, directed and even provided the music score to the movie which is no small feat. I really enjoyed the music too as it was a fabulous 80’s infused piece of synthwave.
Perez clearly was a big fan of Charles Bronson and the Death Wish series as there are several nods including K wearing the same hat Paul Kersey wore in Death Wish 2. It also wouldn’t be Death Wish without a rape scene but it is at least quite brief and yet still manages to disturb… it’s always something I hate seeing on screen though.
I would certainly watch a sequel which would hopefully have a bigger budget as that was the main complaint; I also would love it if Sly brought Kovacs into Expendables 4 even just for a cameo.
Overall, Death Kiss is everything you’re expecting it to be and watching Robert Kovacz taking out the trash is satisfying even if the budget can’t quite live up to the ambition. It’s still a fun ride though and essential for Bronson fans.