Saturday, March 28, 2009

Punisher: War Zone - DVD Review

PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (*1/2) - Starring Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Doug Hutchison, Colin Salmon, Dash Mihok, and Wayne Knight.
Directed by Lexi Alexander.

Julie Benz (Dexter) appeared in two movies in 2008 with a character named Jigsaw, the other being Saw V.

I would say at least 100 people get killed in this movie, and at least 90 of them are by the hands of Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher. This movie is a reboot, ignoring the Thomas Jane movie. As such, I didn't feel a lot of sympathy for Castle and what he became. He's just a killing machine who tends to blow people away willy-nilly. Yes, he assumes they're bad, but when he shoots an undercover agent, he feels remorse, and he befriends the widow to try to make amends. I found myself hoping he wound up dead by the end of the movie.

But it's based on the Marvel comic. It uses the name and he has the skull on his front, but the skull is just a slightly less-black shade than the rest of his outfit so you can barely tell it's there.

The police tend to wink and nod when it comes to the Punisher because he kills bad guys, but seriously, they made it clear he's already killed hundreds of people before the opening credits; by the end, I would have found any cop justified in just putting one in the back of Frank's head, especially after he blows a mobster's head right off as a cop is trying to handcuff said mobster.

(There's a reason in the comic-book world why the Punisher started out as a villain.)

But at least Dominic West and Doug Hutchison have fun as the malevolent brothers Jigsaw and Loony-Bin Jim, respectively.

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