Punisher: War Zone
Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, has been on a killing spree ever since his family got murdered. Six years after he started his vigilante war against crime he raids a party to celebrate the return of mob boss Gaitano Cesare, creating a bloody massacre only upcoming crime lord Billy Russoti manages to escape from. Castle follows Russoti to his hideout where he gruesomely disfigures the mobster and kills a gangster who afterwards appears to have been an undercover cop. Due to this, Castle wants to give up his war but Russoti is out for revenge so Frank has no other option than to pick up his weapons again one last time to get rid of the mobster once and for all.
Sound and Vision:
This blu-ray comes with decent image and sound quality without being anything special. The amount of detail is decent, the contrast is good and there’s nothing to really complain about but nothing to brag about either. Decent quality but nothing more.
– Audio commentary by the director
– Making Of
– Creating the Look
– Meet Jigsaw
Again a pretty standard bunch of extras
In 1989 we got to see a dark-haired Dolph Lundgren as the very first Punisher on the big screen. It wasn’t the best movie we had ever seen, but it was enjoyable due to its over-the-top nature. In 2004 a more realistic view on The Punisher was released with Thomas Jane in the lead. No superhero movie but a more “foots on the ground” type of film that delivered an entertaining experience. Now we get War Zone, the so-called sequel to that 2004 movie.
Ok, now forget about the whole “sequel” part. Except that Punisher’s war is six years further in time there’s nothing that even remotely resembles the previous movie. A different director, a different cast, a different setting and a different tone are what we get.
Director in charge, Lexi Alexander, clearly had no idea what she wanted to do with this film. Ray Stevenson is a similar Punisher as Thomas Jane was, but the rest of the cast must have thought they were playing in Batman&Robin or something. The more the movie progresses, the more everything becomes over-the-top and not in a funny way.
Dominic West – who we know from The Wire – tries in the beginning to still give a decent performance but towards the end he too is over-acting so hard that it starts to become painful. One would almost become ashamed in his place. And then we haven’t even talked about Doug Hutchison who is a complete disaster as “terrifying bad guy”. It would be better to say he’s playing “terrifyingly bad”. He’s like a mouse trying to imitate a panther! Ray Stevenson, who gets to play The Punisher himself, on the other hand doesn’t do much wrong. Not that there’s much opportunity for him to do things wrong though, he’s got like six sentences or so to say in the entire movie.
If the performances of the cast haven’t annoyed you already, the rest of the movie surely will. The action is boring as hell, the story makes hardly any sense, the dialogues are plain stupid and even Mortal Kombat is filmed better.
War Zone is a Punisher movie as much as Batman&Robin manages to touch the dark side of Batman. Stay far away from this one and we’re hoping someday we’ll see something more in the line of Punisher Begins.