Who Punishes the Punisher?
So today I took a break from papers (oh there are soooo many papers!!!) to see Marvel's latest box office offering "The Punisher: War Zone". Now, i should make one thing clear, if you do not like the following, this will NOT be the film for you:
- Blood, Guts and Gore
- All out Action, Swearing and Violence
- Frank Castle (the Punisher) from Marvel's MAX series.
Now with the OBVIOUS objectors out of the way, allow me to speak to those of you who may enjoy this film. Go in with an open mind. Again this is going to be a film that's not HUGE on plot (although the plot that was there was decent. Sure it's not CRASH or VANTAGE POINT, but its certainly better than transporter 1, 2 or the upcoming 3). As i sat there, I realized one very simple thing: Marvel has FINALLY got a film version of the Punisher that has gotten Frank right.
No more are we stuck with pretty boy, "waaaaa my family is dead so I must drink myself into a bottle and tease a guy with a popsicle stick" Thomas Jane (I've ALWAYS believed he looked too little to play giant-assed jacked up Frank). ANNNNDD we may have finally shaken off the horrible acting of Dolph Lundgren (hey i give props to him being a genius in real life and having a masters in chemical engineering, but the man's acting SUCKS).
Thankfully, Ray Stevenson (who you may know from HBO's hit ROME) ROCKS as The Punisher. He has the acting chops (what a man that can act?), but he also seems to understand the character. Frank is a man of few words, but the emotions which Stevenson conveys with just a few facial expressions, are priceless.
I don't want to give away much plot (I try to avoid that at all costs in my reviews) but I will say this, the director and writer's choice to stray from telling the Punisher's origin story is perfect. We do not need a replay of the overdramatic, overhyped crap that Thomas Jane's 2004 Punisher gave us. John Travolta's (yeah you read right) mobsters wiping out Castle's ENTIRE family (3rd cousins included!) at a reunion in the Bahamas, was PAINFUL. I wanted to get up and leave (sadly I had not drove that night). That film ruined the crux of the Punisher franchise.
But what IS the point of the Punisher? Well, Frank Castle was an average man. He was military (although I've heard other versions where he was just a cop) and he loved his wife and TWO kids (a boy and girl). Sadly, they went on a picnic and saw something they shouldn't have. He survived and vowed to remove the world of ALL criminals. In the end he'll have to rid the world of himself (and he knows this) as he views himself as a criminal as well. Frank's a complex guy. He won't touch cops, the innocent and has a HUGE respect for Captain America. Punisher: WARZONE certainly delivered this depiction of Frank. The criminals were formidable and amusing, in all this film delieverd. Honestly, after today Stevenson is MY Frank Castle.
Interested in this film? Watch the Trailer below!