Genre: Action, comic-book adaption
Director: Lexi Alexander
Running time: 103 mins
Released: 25 November 2008
Plot: Bad ass vigilante Frank Castle dispenses his own brand of justice using many rounds of ammunition and pointy things, as he goes about massacring the underworld he hideously disfigures gangster Billy Russoti only to see him return as Jigsaw.
First off, this is not a sequel to the 2004 Punisher film starring Tom Jane. The Tom Jane version was a great film, it had gritty realism, extreme violence and a good solid story that broke away from the generic action revenge film genre by incorporating psychological warfare.
Punisher Warzone starring Ray Stevenson forgoes the gritty realism and instead opts for a more camp, comic-book atmosphere, so expect crappy dialogue, over-the-top sound effects and cheesy acting. This film does have a few things going for it though, firstly, Ray Stevenson makes a great Frank Castle and resembles his comic-book counterpart more than Tom Jane. It’s also the first Marvel film to be produced under the Marvel Knights banner and because of this, has insane amounts of violence, even more so than the previous film. Decapitations, exploding heads, people being blown apart, ripped apart, knifed, axed, you name it and because of this fact the film has received generally negative reviews from critics who have deemed the film too violent or disgusting. This is because the critics are stupid oversensitive fuckheads and simply don’t understand the character of Frank Castle. Warzone’s Frank Castle is exactly as he should be a cold, merciless killing machine out to ‘punish’ the wicked.
It’s light on plot, the 2004 Punisher film did a much better job of getting the viewers to care for Castle’s family and feel saddened when they were eventually all wiped out whereas Warzone only gives the audience a few fuzzy flashbacks of a ‘picnic massacre’ and it has a somewhat generic action film plot but that doesn’t matter as the extreme violence more than makes up for it, so if you’re a Punisher fan I’d recommend watching it, you probably won’t see anything this violent or true to its source material for a while.