I recently got a chance to watch Punisher: War Zone. I was tempted to do so after listening to Patton Oswalt rhapsodize over it on an episode of How Did This Get Made. I have to say, he’s pretty much spot on.
This is an amazingly entertaining movie. It is not a great movie. Nope. But it delivers. Boy, does it deliver. It is a fun movie, an exciting movie, and absolutely the best Punisher movie yet made. This movie seems to get it. This is a comic book movie about a comic book vigilante and it has comic book sensibilities.
It’s also gritty. Frank Castle’s world is dirty and depressing. It is always night and wet. It is also incredibly well shot for what is basically an homage to B-movies wrapped in a violent comic adaptation.
And Ray Stevenson: this man needs much more work. Much. More. Listen, I have a soft spot for him and Kevin McKidd due to HBO’s Rome. Stevenson was outstanding in that. But he’s been outstanding in everything I’ve seen him in, whether he’s supporting—as in Book of Eli—or starring—as in Outpost, which I’ve also reviewed. This is Frank Castle—massive, intimidating, beefy but not pretty-boy cut. And the costume is great, just enough of the comic influence while providing something that looks like it could protect one from a 9mm.
If you like the Punisher comic, found the Dolph Lundgren vehicle appalling, but weren’t totally enthralled by Thomas Jane’s turn, give War Zone a shot. I wish there were a sequel with the same cast and crew coming out way, but that doesn’t look likely.
More information on this movie can be found here.
The Punisher: War Zone episode of How Did This Get Made is here.
My review of Outpost can be found here.