Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Punisher: War Zone

Punisher: War Zone
Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Doug Hutchison, Colin Salmon

Rated: R for pervasive strong brutal violence, language and some drug use
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: December 5, 2008 Released by: Lions Gate Films

We know immediately that Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) is a tough guy, after a prolonged gun battle and hand to hand combat he straightens his broken nose by inserting a pencil in and moving it back in place. He also takes out about 25 guys while he is twirling in a circle from a chandelier with an automatic weapon at hand.

For motivation we learn that Frank's wife and children were violently wiped out by the sick bad guy Jigsaw/Billy Russoti (Dominic West). That is the excuse he uses to go after every gang in town. He is very effective. But his violent motivation at one point kills a federal agent who leaves a wife and a little girl. That weighs on him but not enough to stop him in his quest for justice against the bad guys and part of that action grinds Billy Russoti in a bottle recycler which destroys his face and garners him the nick name Jigsaw.

The dead agent's wife (Julie Benz) becomes the target of Jigsaw who believes she has loot hidden and he wants it back. The mother and daughter in mortal danger become the next reason for revenge.

The action and tough talk becomes so dark that we begin to laugh even when the script appears to present danger to all the good guys. It all takes place in a desperate, depressing, dark world shown in such an over-the-top fashion that we can't help but compare it to Kill Bill. But in making the comparison we recognize that it is a film that does not provide the emotion, artistic style and creative value that Quentin Taratino molded into his violent revenge film.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Punisher: War Zone  C+      D-                  C- 

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