The only substantive thing I’ve said about The Brave One is that it’s better than Michael Winner‘s Death Wish, which sounds like damnation with faint praise. But it really is better crafted, more emotionally supple (it’s truly a vigilante film made to appeal to sensitive older women) and more highly polished — a smarter, more fully considered A-level studio film compared to the bordering-on-exploitation crudeness that went into Winner’s.

That said, Death Wish has a much better ending — i.e., Bronson eyeballing some street hooligans as he arrives in Chicago (having been ordered to leave Manhattan by the NYPD), and then forming a pistol with his thumb and forefinger and pretending to take them out, and faintly grinning as he does this. (I won’t spoil The Brave One‘s ending, but it absolutely doesn’t fly.)

And The Brave One doesn’t have a moment as satisfying as the one in which Bronson, having shot two or three street malignants, is asked by an office colleague (or is it his son-in-law?) how he’s feeling, and he says in a mellow nonchalant way, “I feel…..good.”