Sunday, December 21, 2008

Punisher: War Zone Review

"Punisher: War Zone"

I love comic books and movies. When the two combine, it can be something amazing or something terrible. There have been bits of both over the years. "War Zone" treads a very thin line over those two extremes.

"War Zone" is about Frank Castle, a man not killing criminals for revenge, but for justice for theirs sins. I enjoy the tale of the Punisher and to see the awesome ways he kills people. This movie offer a lot of killing.

It starts off so-so, what with a mansion shoot-out and killing everyone (regardless of age or gender). The creation of Jigsaw is seen in a gruesome manner. The setting of this opening (and of the rest of the movie) is supposed to be in New York, but it doesn't feel like the place. Wasn't a problem for me. I was interested in other things.

The movie gets better as you watch it, it really does. A film will usually start of well and then suck at the end, but "War Zone" does the incredible of making up for its first half with its truly entertaining finale.

The one downfall of this film are the villains. Jigsaw and Looney Bin Jim (made for the film, not from the comics) are extremely campy, but this feels like it was intentionally done. They just get annoying that you love the ending when the Punisher has to take them down.

I thought I was going to be drowned in excessive gore, but it wasn't that bad. Was there a lot? Yes, but with movies like "Saw" and "300" around, it didn't feel excessive. And the film had interesting moods with the lighting. Green and blue hues filled the screened, especially in the Punisher's hideout or while walking in the streets.

This film also has a good amount of shout outs to the fans, but so did the previous "Punisher" film. The Thomas Jane version let Frank Castle live in a complex that housed residents straight from the "Welcome Back, Frank" storyline from the comics. "War Zone" gives us Microchip (played by Wayne Knight), a accomplice of the Punisher who provides him with weapons and intelligence, and Martin Soap (played by Dash Mihok), a cop character also taken from the "Welcome Back, Frank" comic storyline.

By the end of the film, I felt satisfied and wanted to see more since the film got better as it went along. The ending was also very iconic for me, as a religious sign behind the Punisher fades from "Jesus Saves" to just "Saves" and the skull image brightens before the sound of a final gunshot.

The film is not perfect, but it is still fun to watch. If you don't know who the Punisher is, you will surely find out from this film.
7.2/10 "This is just the beginning."

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