Death Wish II (also known as Death Wish 2 in more recent years) is a 1982 sequel to the 1974 film. It stars Charles Bronson, was written by David Engelbach and directed by Michael Winner. The soundtrack, also titled Death Wish II, was composed by Jimmy Page. The film was made on a $2 million budget; it profited $16 million domestically. Death Wish II was released in the United States in February 1982. It was produced by Cannon Films, which had purchased rights to the Death Wish concept from Dino De Laurentiis. First planned for Cannon executive Menahem Golan to direct, Winner returned on Bronson's insistence. The sequel makes a complete break from Death Wish and Death Sentence, Brian Garfield's novel series, and redefines the Paul Kersey character. Unlike the original, in which he hunts down every criminal he encounters, Kersey only pursues his family's attackers this time. His weapon of choice is a Beretta Model 85 .380 ACP.
A news broadcast details an increase in crime in Los Angeles. At his new home, Paul Kersey's maid, Rosario (Silvana Gallardo), is preparing dinner. He seems to have picked up the pieces of his New York life and moved on, now dating KABC news/radio reporter Geri Nichols (played by Bronson's real-life wife Jill Ireland). They go to pick up Kersey's daughter Carol from the hospital. Her doctor says that despite traumatic catatonia, Carol has begun to speak again. (Her husband, Jack Toby, not seen or mentioned, has presumably left Carol.) Paul, Geri, and Carol spend the afternoon at a carnival. While waiting in line for ice cream, Paul gets mugged by five gang members. He catches up with one who denies taking Paul's wallet. Geri heads to do an interview with a senator while Carol and Paul go on a boat ride. The same five muggers come to his house, where they rape Rosario. Paul arrives home and is beaten unconscious. Rosario tries to call police, but the thugs kill her. They take Carol with them and one rapes her. She jumps from a window, becoming impaled on a railing. Paul regains consciousness as Geri and the police arrive. Lt. Mankewicz (Ben Frank) asks for help identifying the muggers. Paul learns about the death of his daughter. He views mug-shot photos at the station, but says, "There really isn't any use." After the funeral, Paul takes a handgun kept hidden in his closet. He uses a low-rent inner city apartment as a base of operations. The next night, he spots one of the muggers, Stomper, and follows him into an abandoned building as a drug deal is about to be made. Kersey kills one of the men, then orders the others out and kills Stomper. Next night, patrolling the streets, he hears a scream from a man and a woman being assaulted. One of the muggers is Jiver, the one Kersey chased the day of his daughterâ??s death. He kills two. Jiver is wounded, but he and a fourth mugger get away. Paul follows a trail of blood and kills Jiver at a warehouse. The L.A. police hear about these murders, as does New York's. Kersey falls under suspicion and Detective Frank Ochoa (Vincent Gardenia) is called by the LAPD to help. Fearing that Kersey, when caught, will reveal that the cops let him go instead of prosecuting, the NYPD sends Ochoa to make sure that does not happen. Ochoa meets with Lt. Mankewicz, who suspects Frank is hiding something. Ochoa breaks into Geriâ??s apartment. He tells her about Paul's past and present vigilante sprees. Geri confronts Paul but he denies it, ascribing the tale to Ochoa's imagination. Paul drives Geri to work. Ochoa follows Kersey to a local square where Kersey spots the three remaining gang members who attacked him: Cutter (Laurence Fishburne), Punkcut (E. Lamont Johnson), and Nirvana (Thomas F. Duffy). Kersey follows the trio on a bus to an abandoned park, where a major drug deal goes down. Ochoa follows and decides to help Paul when the criminals are about to spot him. Ochoa is shot by a hail of gunfire. Paul manages to kill Cutter (who vainly tries to shield his head with a boom box). Punkcut is also wounded. Paul kills the getaway driver and seller of the firearms, who plummets off a cliff to a fiery doom below. The final mugger, Nirvana, gets away. Paul goes to Ochoa and asks why he saved his life. Ochoa felt it better to side with Paul than these criminals. He tells Paul to kill one for him, then Ochoa dies as the police arrive. Paul flees. The police get the name of Ochoaâ??s killer from a badly injured Punkcut before he dies. Paul later learns, from one of Geri's colleagues at KABC, that the police are preparing to a tactical unit to take down Nirvana. Paul also obtains a police scanner and begins monitoring the police radio traffic, and shortly finds out when and where the arrest of Nirvana is taking place. He goes to the same location to exact his own justice on Nirvana before the police can arrest him but he is not successful. Nirvana (real name Charles Wilson) runs when he sees the police approaching. He gets TASERed, but with no effect due to the influence of PCP. He is finally arrested after stabbing several officers and slashing Paul on the arm during a chase. Tried and found criminally insane, Wilson is sent to McLarren State Hospital. Geri and Paul visit, requesting an interview with Wilson, but are turned down. The visit allows Paul to steal a doctor's ID card. Paul proposes to Geri the next day and she accepts. That night, Paul uses his fake ID at the hospital and confronts Wilson. They have a violent fight and Kersey is stabbed repeatedly with a scalpel. But when Kersey ducks a punch, Wilsonâ??s hand smashes through a machine and Kersey turns up the power, electrocuting Wilson. Donald Kay (Charles Cyphers), an orderly on duty, witnesses Wilsonâ??s death. But he sympathizes with Kersey and gives him three minutes to escape before sounding the alarm. Geri goes to his apartment, where she finds a scanned copy of the stolen ID. She realizes that Paul is actually the vigilante Ochoa claimed him to be, hearing a report of Wilsonâ??s death on the radio. She places the paper and engagement ring on the table and drives off. Paul arrives home to an empty apartment. A few months later. Paul is seen speaking about a new architectural design. His boss Elliott Cass (Michael Prince) invites him to a party, and when Paul is asked if he's free, he answers: "What else would I be doing?"