MovieChat Forums > The Evil That Men Do (1984) Discussion > Man, was this movie frustrating

Man, was this movie frustrating

I finally saw the Evil DVD this week and when it ended, I was annoyed...This could have been a GREAT movie, the concept and production values were all there...Instead, it had a worse script than many of Bronson's other films from the 80s...So much more could have been done here. Did anyone want to know more about Molloch and his sister? They're the most interesting characters in the film! And why, why does Hidalgo's widow begin LIKING Holland after fainting from the bloodshed every three minutes?

By the way, I love the plot that must have been typed on a napkin - there would be no hostage showdown if Holland didn't jet her daughter down to Guatemala and senselessly risk her life!

Bronson, somehow, is great in this. If the film had semblance of a good plot, it could have been his best role of the decade.


It is one of my top five favorite Bronson movies. I agree there could have been a better screenplay. But at the time those were the types of scripts he was getting. I just like this movie so much because as in "Death Wish" and "10 Till Midnight" there is a theme of vengeance. You know they are bad people, so you enjoy seeing Holland hunt them down. Well, I do.


I grant that seeing Bronson clean house makes it very watchable. But it irritates me that scriptwriters wouldn't give Bronson a revenge part and also a plot that makes complete sense. It was more than possible to do both.


I thought it was a great movie. i love how the do gooder human rights activists actually want to hire an assassin.
Then when Holland sees how evil the "Doctor" is he agrees to do the job for free! So that kind of redeems him from all the bad things he has done in the past. Naturally he gets the girl (it's Hollywood afterall.)


I finally re-watched this film, and I have to say my intial reaction of thinking it one of the lesser of Bronson's 80's work has changed. But perhaps that is because I no longer have so much of a running list.

I will say you are about 99% correct ... it is a frustrating film. It should and could have been better. Bronson's eyes as he watched the documentary tape in his house demands this film to be better (so does, for the record Mr. Ferer's voice).

As with so many other almost-good films, this was an opportunity missed. But unlike so many of those good films, this one is rewatchable (okay, so maybe if your human, you should fast-forward the torture sequence in the begining).

I used to hold onto my anger after watching a film that had so much potential, but now I try to let it go more. But based on the chance I could take a timemachince back to 1984 these are some of the things I would have done differently:

1. The car bomb? Illogical sequence, even IF the doctor was going to get in the car, he's not the one who would start it and most likely wouldn't get in the car until it WAS started. At best he COULD HAVE been hit by the explosion, but that's not a sure-kill by any means. I suppose the filmmakers wanted to show that Holland was the only one good enough to kill the doctor ... but to do that perhaps they should have allowed the doctor's men to capture and kill a few other "lesser" killers.

2. The wife. There have been better actresses. Might I suggest Lauren Bacall. She would certainly have the screen presence and acting chops to show us the transition to loving Bronson (still it would have been better if she never did ... making for more complicated interactions).

3. The doctor. I am tempted to say Burt Lancaster in this role might have proven to be amazing, but the original cast really had the implied incest thing down-pat.

4. This goes back to point 1, but lets us see the henchmen do more, or be more effective ... more of an opponent to Holland.

5. An over-all re-write.


I saw this at the movies. It made more sense than the book did.


This film is a real missed opportunity. It starts out extremely strong, but oddly enough, once Bronson's involved it loses its momentum fast. It has a few memorable action scenes, but I expect more from Bronson movies. 6/10 star from me.


WHY would you want to know more about Molloch? He was a disgusting, emotion-less psychopathic torturer and KILLER. The way he killed the guy in the beginning and his reason (the guy was writing the TRUTH about his torture in newspapers worldwide) was really disturbing and disgusting to watch. I SO wanted Molloch to be tortured himself, but at least he was bludgeoned to death by many of his victims.
Now I just found out that the actor who played the murder victim at the beginning (electrified to death) committed suicide a year before this film was even released, and do not know the reason!


I don't know about frustrating, but they did leave out important points to the plot. For one thing, I didn't know why they killed the guy at the beginning until I read about this movie on Wikipedia, then I realized how truly disgusting a pig Mulloch was (and that there ARE people like him in this world, mixed in with every day society). They could have given some more details about things.


I agree with most of what you (OP) write. They could have made this a great film if they had touched on some of the human rights issues/violations that were rampant in South/Central America at this time. They just paid lip service to it and Joseph Maher -- not a bad actor -- just wasn't right for this role. Someone else mentioned Burt Lancaster. I seriously doubt he'd be in such a low budget (was it Cannon?) film but someone like him would have been great for this role!

I remember Ebert/Siskel reviewing this and Siskel said something about how the many people Bronson kills in this are like "clay pigeons" (or something along those lines) and he's right. They could have beefed up the script a bit.

Not the worst film Bronson made in the '80s, in fact it's probably one of the best, but that's not saying much!