Punisher: War Zone

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Punisher: War Zone
‘Oh God, now I’ve got brains spattered all over me,’ exclaims The Punisher’s slippery inside man, Detective Soap. You may feel the same at the end of this messy, sadistic reboot of the Marvel comic-book series. ‘Rome’ stalwart Ray Stevenson brings great conviction to the role of vigilante Frank Castle, previously essayed by Dolph Lundgren and Thomas Jane. But even he can’t save a recycled plot in which vain gangster Billy the Beaut (‘The Wire’ alumnus Dominic West) is sliced up by a bottle-crushing machine.

The movie’s McGuffin is a bio-weapon destined for ‘the ragheads in Queens’, but the threat to National Security takes a back seat to director Lexi Alexander’s gleeful depiction of the flesh-slicing, kidney-ripping, head-exploding violence meted out by The Punisher and his two nemeses: the now hideously mutilated ‘Jigsaw’ (West) and his brother Loony Bin Jim. Despite myriad production problems, ‘Green Street’ director Alexander says this is the movie she set out to make, which is both oddly admirable and slightly worrying.

By: Nigel Floyd


Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday February 6 2009
Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lexi Alexander
Cast: Ray Stevenson
Dominic West
Doug Hutchison
Colin Salmon

Average User Rating

1.3 / 5

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Usually action films can get away with not having a plot if there are lots of action scenes - see Face/ Off for example. However, this film only really has one action scene at the beginning and one at the end. In between is a lot of boring exposition that masquerades as a plot but doesn't convince. There really was just not a lot in the way of a story and The Punisher takes a back seat to the supporting characters. Stevenson was suitably moody in the lead-role but was never given any standout scenes. He simply grunts and shoots his way through the film. While Ray Stevenson may be a better Punisher than Tom Jane, Tom Jane's film was better than this one.