Thursday, December 4, 2008

Punisher War Zone Review

The Punisher War Zone picks up 6 years into the Punisher storyline. Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson), a.k.a. the Punisher, continues to enforce his vigilante style of justice on mobster families in order to get the bad guys that always find a way to beat the system. During an attack on a mob party, the Punisher unknowingly murders an undercover FBI informant and later in the same attack, he severley disfigures the face of one of the leading mafia gangsters - Billy "The Beaut" Russoti (Dominic West). This facial mutilation leads the gangster to proclaim his new villain name, Jigsaw. These two events set up the plot of the film as the Punisher learns of his wrongful kill and his ensuing remorse leads him to want to leave the punishing business, but he can't because the monstrous looking mobster Jigsaw is alive and seeks revenge on the FBI informant's wife and child and revenge on the Punisher for being the cause of his disfigurement. Predictably, the dead FBI informant's wife and child get kidnapped by Jigsaw and in order to save them a huge war-like battle ensues between the Punisher and Jigsaw's army of mobsters, gang-bangers, and thugs.

This film falls under the Marvel Knights brand which is basically the grittier and darker division of Marvel comics. Marvel Knights products are intended for a maturer 15 years or older audience so that the stories and characters may be re-envisioned without the limitations on explicit content that are in place with the regular Marvel brand. The Punisher War Zone definitely exercised pulp style violence and gore to the point of gratuitousness. Perhaps the excessive and gratuitous violence will create box office interest because overall the story was predictable, the script and acting was painful at times, and the film was 20 minutes too long. I would recommend this film if you are in the mood for a mindless shoot 'em up massacre, otherwise wait for the dvd so that you have the options of fast forward or doing something else while you watch it.

Punisher War Zone Official Site

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