By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox.
Death Sentence Poster
In a world of PG-13 action movies, Death Sentence returns to the Hard R style of the classics. From the author of Death Wish, the revenge film has Kevin Bacon hitting the streets to go after the gang who killed his son. This revenge will be bloody, no cutaways from implied violence.
Bacon Finds Death Sentence Violent
"It’s violent," said Bacon. "It’s an R. I think it’s an R so it’s definitely violent. I mean it’s not like horror violence, there’s no torture. It’s ground level. It’s street level. And because I wanted to play a guy who didn’t know how to use a gun, who’d never been in this situation, the violence is very scrappy and very kind of gritty. It’s very visceral. Very visceral."
The film's intensity intends to put viewers inside the action. "One of my favorite sequences in the film is a chase scene that starts on foot. It’s on foot, the whole thing is on foot, and then ends up with a fight inside of a car that’s rolling back over the edge and I mean, you really feel like you’re inside this car. And it’s very, very visceral."
Actors always brag about doing their own stunts, but Bacon put it all in perspective. "I did a lot of them. My feeling about stunts is if I can do it I’ll do it. I don’t like to push it for two reasons. One is that I am a father and I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stick around. And the other is that I don’t want to get injured so that we shut down and the movie takes nine months as opposed to two. But that being said, I like to try to get in there if I can and make it look good and it’s always a discussion and a balancing act about how much they let me do basically."
Just the physical acting of the piece was a relatively new experience for the veteran actor as well. "It’s fun because it’s challenging to see how we’re going to script things and rig things and what we’re going to do in terms of the guns. James Wan is incredible in terms of his placement of camera and I was always amazed to see what kind of rigs he was going to do."
While it may be a visceral thrill, Death Sentence is not a free ride. Expect it to make you think about what violence actually means. "I wanted to make sure that as a film it wasn’t just cut and dried kind of good guys/bad guys and the fact that the violence that this guy perpetrates, brings on himself, is tragic and has a terrible effect ultimately on his life so that it wouldn’t be in a way straight up glorification of picking up a gun. But in terms of bigger kind of political and social issues, we never talked about any of it as being some kind of a statement."