Thursday, March 19, 2009

Super-Powered Movie: Punisher War Zone

I stopped by my local Redbox and picked up the third Punisher film on Tuesday, and like many other reviewers come out of the film with mixed feelings.

Honestly, War Zone is probably the most accurate Punisher story ever. Microchip and Soup are both included, the action is set in a very seedy New York, and every villain must die. Frank Castle spends much of the movie broken up over his accidental killing of an undercover FBI agent, which allows a perfect tie-in to his origin without replaying it (or butchering it the way they did in the Thomas Jane Punisher ). Ray Stevenson ably brings Frank to life, even though the collar of his flak jacket costume looks goofy on his frame.

But the movie derails when it gets to the action sequences. Director Lexi Alexander seemed inspired by a hodgepodge of 300 and Saw in her design of ultra-violent battles that make no sense and lack any level of realism entirely. In the film’s opening battle, the gore oozes in amounts no human could produce as Frank forgoes the use of guns for nearly a minute in order to walk in to a Mob dinner and cut down the city’s boss. His tools are idiotic at best, and his foes are absolutely worthless in stopping an essentially unarmed man.

Jigsaw as portrayed by Dominic West is an inspired choice, and West plays the crazy crime boss with a perfect combination of malice and glee.

If you can look past the excessive nature of the violence, War Zone is a good solid movie that treads some familiar ground. If you are a Punisher or Marvel New York fan, you should definitely take a looksie.

1 comment:

Matthew K. said...

This was at our local cineplex one week and I missed it, and have yet to get the disc. It's a shame they still haven't got the Punisher right yet. Could be great in the right hands. Agree, the 2nd one was laughable. Tampa instead of New York? BTW- I thought Marvel made a huge mistake in not saving the Punisher for Spidey 4. Of course, they could still do it, but now people might be sick of him.