Eli Roth’s Death Wish‘s first trailer was a mess, and not just for it’s use of “Back in Black.” In a country rocked by gun violence, racial tension, and terrorism, a movie about a white guy going out and killing a bunch of “urban” felt incredibly out of touch. Maybe if the series had ever held some social commentary you could get away with it now, but the first trailer didn’t hint at that at all. It went all out action and murder, which felt even more off thanks to the mass shooting that had just occurred.
The studio clearly noticed the criticism. It was already delayed once to distance it from the shooting, and now this new trailer is chalk full of commentaries on vigilantism. My guess is the actual movie is still mostly about killing people in revenge-filled ways, but at least it doesn’t feel as tonally off as before. Revenge thrillers can be great, and they’re fun as hell to watch. Just look at John Wick, but times change an you need to handle these things within the current culture, and I’m not sure if this new Death Wish is going to be able to do that.