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The Evil that Men Do (April 2/01)

Charles Bronson is the sort of everyman hero who behaves in a way most guys aspire to. He's not particularly good-looking, he's short and his physique leaves a lot to be desired, yet he can still take down a seven-foot-tall Mexican badass.

In The Evil that Men Do, Bronson seems to be trying something a little different. Sure, he still kills a bunch of people, but the difference is, he doesn't have a pithy remark after they're dead. He stars as a retired hitman (I think; they never really say what he used to do, but I would assume it involved killin') called into action one last time after his journalist friend is brutally tortured and murdered by an infamous character called The Doctor. The Doctor is a particularly nasty guy - he's essentially a torturer-for-hire - and is consantly surrounded by a bevy of bodyguards. Bronson quickly begins dispatching said bodyguards and eventually zeroes in on his prey...

The Evil that Men Do places a heavy emphasis on cruelty and torture, but that's a necessary evil. When The Doctor finally gets his comeuppance, you want to be able to cheer. And in this case, you do, since we already know about his atrocities. And Bronson is quite good, as always. He kills with ease rarely seen in movies (such as the death of one bodyguard via knife to the throat) and always manages to look cool while on the prowl. I particularly enjoyed one sequence in which he's up against two baddies sporting shotguns and still manages to emerge victorious (this is after he shoots one guy in the chest, discovers he was wearing a bulletproof vest, then shoots him in the face).

If you don't like excessive violence, then The Evil that Men Do most certainly won't appeal to you - it begins with a rather gruesome torture scene. But if you dig this sort of thing and wish they still made movies of the Death Wish ilk, you'll probably love The Evil that Men Do.

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