Watch Self Defense
Self Defense is a suspenseful drama from 1983 that centers around the theme of vigilante justice. The movie is directed by Paul Donovan and stars Tom Nardini as Zeke, a middle-aged carpenter who becomes a one-man vigilante force to protect his neighborhood from street gangs. The movie is set in the gritty streets of a rundown city that is riddled with crime and violence. Zeke is a simple man who is content with his modest life until his peaceful world is turned upside down after a group of thugs target his neighborhood. The gang repeatedly harasses and brutalizes Zeke's neighbors, including his friend Charlie (Daryl Haney), who is left paralyzed after an attack.
Zeke, who is a skilled carpenter and handyman, takes it upon himself to defend his community from the violent street gangs. He arms himself with various power tools and metal pipes, and sets out to fight the gang members whenever they terrorize his neighborhood. Zeke's vigilante acts may be illegal but he believes his actions are necessary in order to protect his community and his loved ones.
Later, Brenda Bazinet joins the cast as Leona, a young woman who moves into the neighborhood and becomes a target of the gang. Zeke takes Leona under his wing and helps protect her from the gang's brutality. However, as the situation intensifies, Zeke's vigilante actions become more violent and reckless, leading to a confrontation with the police and his motives being questioned by some of his neighbors.
The movie effectively portrays the gritty and violent atmosphere of the inner city and the desperation of its residents. The acting is decent, with Tom Nardini delivering a great performance as the tough and determined Zeke. Daryl Haney's portrayal of Charlie, the paralyzed friend, is poignant and heartfelt. Brenda Bazinet's performance as the frightened and helpless Leona is adequate, but her character seems underdeveloped and one-dimensional.
The action scenes in the movie are well choreographed and intense, with Zeke using his carpenter's tools to fight off the gang members. However, some of the scenes drag on for too long and become repetitive. The film's pacing and storytelling suffer from some unevenness and the screenplay lacks depth in its exploration of Zeke's motives and the consequences of his actions.
The movie's theme of vigilantism and the fine line between justice and revenge is timely and compelling. The movie raises important questions about the role of law enforcement and the responsibility of citizens to protect themselves and their communities. However, the movie's execution is not as effective as it could have been, and some of the messages and themes are lost in the movie's uneven pacing, lack of character development and unclear intent.
Overall, Self Defense is a watchable and entertaining movie that delivers some gripping moments of action and suspense. It is a decent effort that will appeal to fans of vigilante movies and those who enjoy a good action flick. There is room for improvement in terms of its storytelling and character development, but the movie's themes and its message remain relevant even today.
Self Defense is a 1988 thriller. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.