Here is the good news for Frank Castle fans. Punisher: War Zone is far and away the best movie based on Marvel Comic‘ vigilante anti-hero The Punisher to date.
Of course, anyone who has cable-surfed upon the 1989 Dolph Lundgren embarrassment or was re-gifted the DVD of 2004’s Thomas Jane vehicle The Punisher knows that’s a backhanded compliment if ever there was one.
War Zone is a relentlessly grim and unapologetically violent mess of a movie that pays tribute to comic book creators Garth Ennis and Tim Bradstreet’s dark, twisted take on the character as well as give the cinematic finger to the first two films. But it’s still not very good…full story [newsarama]
I remember growing up and loving The Punisher comics because Frank Castle would do what the good guys were not allowed to and kill his enemies. (And really at a time when girls have cooties what could be more interesting to a twelve year old boy?) But the Punisher on film had none of the charisma and excitement as The Punisher on the pages. It didn’t help that the budget for the film was about equal to the amount spent on straightening Kirsten Dunst’s teeth in the Spider-man movies (I know they’re still not straight, that’s how little Punisher cost).
The lessons learned from the first Punisher were these: 1) don’t hire Travolta to ever be in a comic book movie. He approaches ever role as though he were still Vinnie Barbarino on Welcome Back, Kotter. Even though the source is comic books, the audience needs to believe in what they’re seeing so go hire Ed Norton or Tobey Maguire. 2) Frank Castle’s world does not involve supernatural powers and super villains that fly, but he still exists in a comics world and the films require a budget to show that…full story [M&C]The script is well written and it feels just like in the comics.The visuals are more darker in War Zone than the 2003 version,every detail is amazing and the death scenes are awesome,but it will make you puke..a lot.
The acting is also a step up with Ray Stevenson as the Punisher,hes the right guy for the role and why?Because he’s the one who could really pulled it off instead of Thomas Jane.The film”s director Lexi Alexander did afantastic job with the movie,the stuntswere pulled off right,every action scene is really belivable and eveythingis just awesome…full story [MovieWeb.com]
The key performance in Punisher: War Zone, though, is Dominic West as Jigsaw. This performance is the one that will either key you in to what kind of movie you’re watching or will completely alienate you. West is a great actor, and his accent work is amazing – check out The Wire and you’ll see why I didn’t guess he was British until I saw him in 300. Armed with that knowledge, his work as Jigsaw is all the more delightful. His accent is so over the top as to be in the stratosphere. You can see him savoring each distended, overblown vowel as it comes out of his mouth. The level of his performance is legendary – bigger than life doesn’t even begin to cover it. Ham is just not enough. Throw in every other pork product and you’ll maybe begin to grasp it. And it’s wonderful. West is playing in the same sandbox as Cesar Romero and Frank Gorshin and he’s making them proud. It’s a fun performance, filled with maniacal life and glee. I loved every second of it…full story [CHUD]
Look we’re three separate Punisher movies into this character. I know Punisher fans don’t want to hear it, but I think it’s time we all step up and accept that this particular hero simply wasn’t meant for Hollywood. I’m sure the comics are fantastic, but the idea of a revenge-driven vigilante has already been done to death in American cinema and it’s been done without the need for silly, skull-head logos and villains with goofy names like Jigsaw. Kill Bill still has the revenge flick market cornered for at least another ten years, and that’s probably as close as we’ll ever get to seeing something which hits the mark these Punisher movies are shooting for. The notion of a proper, violence soaked revenge tale is too much at odds with Hollywood’s expectations when it comes to a standard superhero film. It’s never going to work. Punisher: War Zone will almost certainly win the award for best use of a rocket launcher (should such an award ever be given), but sadly that’s all this latest Punishment has really accomplished. It’s time Frank Castle called it quits…full story [CinemaBlend]