Monday, February 09, 2009

Punisher: War Zone - Insane Violence!

A heartwarming drama centering on the poignant tale of a troubled man, bereft of love since those he cherished were forever taken from him on a warm Summers day. His subtle actions are an expression of a tormented soul as he... - Ah Bollocks to that! Punisher: War Zone is the loudest, most insane no-holes barred, brainless action movie of the decade!!! It eclipses Equilibrium and even Shoot 'Em Up not for sheer body count but for a glorious variety of personal kills that almost reaches Rambo on a scale of death and mayhem.

The movie opens with a prominent mob-boss hosting a party. Frank Castle aka The Punisher now played by Ray Rome Stevenson, crashes in laying waste to the obviously criminal guests in attendance. Castle, always showcasing a multitude of methods to assist the cold hand of death; dispatches a guard by breaking his back with his knee, decapitates the mob boss and his wife with a blade, breaks another's neck with his legs, shoves a chair leg through a man's skull and shoots about 25 other nefarious people too. This is in the first 4 minutes!!! This is not for the feint of heart.

If you're looking for any semblance of plot or even vaguely competent acting in this movie you're going to be seriously disappointed. There's far less of either here than in the 2004 Punisher movie when Tom Jane played the vicious vigilante. Stevenson was the only guy working on screen, remaining faithful to the more modern adult depiction of The Punisher of this decade. While I think Jane is a great action star - Ray Stevenson is a better Punisher by far, he has both look and the edge to portray the character faultlessly. Now only if they had gotten Garth Ennis to write the story - then this would have been a masterpiece.

Dominic West and Doug Hutchinson (right) play the villains of the piece, Jigsaw and Looney Bin Jim respectively. It's a shame that that such credible actors would sign themselves up for this and proceed to sidestep the talent that has earned them a half dozen major acting award nominations between them. Both of them ham it up in an almost laughable fashion; their performances [sans gore] would have been better off portraying villains in a more family-oriented super-hero movie - not in the dark, adult themed word that is home to The Punisher.

Final Verdict: Despite being a badly acted, plotless mess with some bizarre and somewhat laughable sequences verging on the ridiculousness of the original 1989 Punisher movie with Dolph Lundgren; it has always been assumed to be firmly in the the realm of brainless ultra-violent action movies where more ammo is used than lines of dialog are spoken and Punisher: War Zone delivers - with a full mag!

Colonel Creedon Verdict: *****

IMDB / Wikipedia / Official Site / Body-Count Information @ ReelzChannel / List of Firearms @ The Internet Movie Firearms Database / The Punisher @ Marvel Comics


Anonymous said...

I'm guessing there's no dumb-ass Stan Lee cameo in this - As I don't think it would be right to have Stan The Man's head blown off?

Anonymous said...

No , there's no Stan Lee Cameo ...although was there none in Jane's Version either?But Colonel why didn't you mention McGinty...the rastifarian Jamacian with the over the top "Faith and begorrah Oirish" Accent
Or how about the Scene where Punisher takes out a man with a heat seeking missile or how about the fact that the Punisher has no transport in this film so instead walks around the city fully armed full costume!! And no one even bats an eyelid???
Still to say the Colonel was "Enthusiastic" watching this film would understatement!

Anonymous said...

"no-holes barred"?? What holes are not being barred?

You and Vaughan both make it sound like a comedy! An Irish Rasta? Hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Actually it was the funniest film of the year so far!

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

@ Vaughan: I didn't mention Maginty or the "Man-seeking-missile" because I didn't want the review to bet bogged down in ridiculous examples of characterisation and comic-book physics - it's enough to say there was "somewhat laughable sequences verging on the ridiculousness of the original" and leaving it there.

As for The Punisher walking around the city fully armed full costume!! And no one even bats an eyelid???; I think this is director Lexi Alexander's comment on the social degradation of modern New York. I honestly don't think most people riding on the NYC subway give a flying fuck what you're wearing or what you're armed with so long as you don't hassle them! I say most of course noting the exception of those that are fascinated with our "wicked" futuristic European technology such as phones with no antennas :)

I have bruises on my arm to prove how "Enthusiastic" I became - make of that what you will folks.

@ Constance: The 25,000 holes Frank Castle put into the bad guys and the surrounding features.

Anonymous said...

Creedon , four years ago , you were held up as a god because of your technology ....they were in awe of you because of a phone(,,,and of course our charming Irish ways)however no one and I mean NO ONE bats an eyelid when a heavily armed vigilante wanted by the police goes up to a ticket booth and says "One Please!"

Anonymous said...

@ Vaughan:
Let me guess - about 4 minutes in the Col. had to go change his underwear?

Anonymous said...

No he waited til he got home....this time!