Director: Lexi Alexander
Cast: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Doug Hutchinson,
Colin Salmon, Wayne Knight, Dash Mihok, Julie Benz, Romano
Orzari, Larry Day, Mark Camacho
RunTime: 1 hr 43 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: M18 (Strong Violence)
Official Website: http://www.punisherwarzonemovie.com/
Opening Day: 22 January 2009
his one-man war on the world of organized crime, ruthless
vigilante-hero Frank Castle sets his sights on overeager mob
boss Billy Russoti. After Russoti is left horribly disfigured
by Castle, he sets out for vengeance under his new alias:
Jigsaw. With the "Punisher Task Force" hot on his
trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand
up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before
more of his evil deeds go unpunished.
After two misfired attempted in bringing this character to
life on the big screen, Punisher War Zone tried to reboot
the franchise character once again and hoped that it would
be third time lucky. There three words to describe this comeback
manner of killing people in Punisher War Zone was so gruesome
that it felt like Jigsaw (from the Saw franchise, not the
villain from this movie) is the one directing this movie.
Not that we are complaining as the gory sights of heads being
ripped off, impaled and bullet holed felt right at home in
no-hold barred dishing out of punishment to the guilty is
part of the essence of Punisher’s popularity with comic
readers and it was presented way above expectation here. From
the decapitating of a mob’s head to the overkill of
Parkour artist with unexpected weaponry, it just made fanboys
like us turn out head in disgust and came back anticipating
for more on screen brutality.
take no prisoner approach also help differentiate Punisher
from other vigilantes. It came as a surprise for certain scene
as we are so used to do-gooders to round up the bad guy(s)
for the police when Punisher would come and show the kick
asses-ness of being a judge and executioner at the same time.
There are no code of honor for dealing with these criminal
in Punisher’s book and if that doesn’t fulfill
fanboys’ wet dreams getting revenged against those who
bullied them, I am not sure what could.
it’s not all about wham bam. This film actually explores
Punisher’s acts of vengeance and the collateral damages
he brings to innocent family members during his killing spree.
It nicely ties down to Punisher’s origin and his motivation
without spending too much time going through his well known
loss of family members again.
all the gore and drama seriousness, there were some comedic
elements in Punisher War Zone that were touchy-ly funny. Particularly
Jigsaw (the Punisher’s enemy in this movie)’s
recruitment drive for his army against Punisher. The recruitment
poked fun at USA army recruitment tactics as how they target
financially needy and bait them with rewarding promises while
sending them to a certain doom.
what weren’t funny were the two colorful villains that
were supposed to add that extra flavor to Punisher’s
rogue gallery. Although I am not familiar with the character
Jigsaw and Looney Bin Jim, they came across as a poor man’s
Joker and a deranged Jackass cast member. They tried hard
but nothing that they did (except that recruitment drive bit)
actually register much with the memory.
than not having memorable villains, the story for Punisher
War Zone didn’t have a smooth narrative flow to it.
Events in this movie felt like it’s being slap together
hastily to allow Frank Castle to shoot them up. The pacing
of this movie also felt weird, especially the recruiting of
the villain solders which occurs very late in the movie. It
was as though the film makers forgot to prepare this bit at
the beginning or were making things up as they go along with
the filming process.
Punisher War Zone makes up what they lack with the balls to
portray Punisher as a bad ass with the right excessive amount
of horrific slaying to bring the essence of Punisher out.
Punisher War Zone had done well enough for me to look forward
to the next bit but it’s sad to say that it didn’t
do that well in the states box office so having another kick
ass sequel might be unlikely.
(So Brutally Gory that Punisher War Zone makes the
previous Punishers looked like Pussy)
Review by Richard Lim Jr