THIS is more fucking like it. Not that Punisher: War Zone is the next RoboCop or anything, but it is one thousand times better, bloodier, and more bad ass than 2004's shitfest The Punisher (starring Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). P:WZ is a hard "R" rated flick, filled with mutilations, death, and vulgarity (that I believe all movies should contain). Plus, in it the Punisher isn't a pussy (like in the '04 movie), and he's mental... Just like the REAL [comic] Punisher is. Like I stated in my '04 review, the Punisher is what Batman would be like if he crossed the line and started slaughtering the bad guys instead of just delivering them to the cops. Both are crazy enough to play dress up and run around in the night taking bad guys down, only the Punisher really does punish the crims of his world. Usually with an automatic or a rocket launcher. And I love him for it. I HATED the '04 flick for this LACK of bad assness in the main character. Grrrrr! I really hated him! The Punisher in the '04 movie looked like a slightly more built Christopher Lambert, right down to that mildly retarded look in his eyes. No thank you.
Okay, enough of the fake Punisher bashing; you know that that movie made Spider-Man 3 look like The Dark Knight. War Zone isn't the best movie of the year, nor is it the best comic book movie ever made... Hell, I don't think it's even in the top 20. But it's fun and violent as fuck. Oh, and get this, the writer and director actually READ some of the comic books it's based upon before they made their movie! Wow! What a concept! It's amazing how just PLACING IT IN NEW YORK CITY (gritty, grimy, mob infested NYC) makes pretty much all the difference in the world for the Punisher. So does making him psycho and NOT living in a tenement building with with Forrest Gump's reject brothers as "comedy relief" neighbors (who were neither comedic NOR agents of relief in any sense of the words). But I digress.
Punisher: War Zone is all about the Punisher (6 years into his "job") punishing bad guys (and not acting like a complete woman for most of the movie) — mostly organized crime. The opening assassinations that he takes part in put the Christmas dinner murders in the beginning of Santa's Slay to shame... Though the Punisher unfortunately never get's the chance to kill Chris Kattan, Fran Drescher, and Rebecca Gayheart like Santa does in his movie, so that's a couple of cool points to Bill Goldberg's demonic Kris Kringle there. The Punisher DOES get to pal around with Newman from Seinfeld, and Darla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer though... So there's that.
Anyway, the Punisher goes after the head of the Cesari mob family while he's holding a big dinner party for a bunch of his crooked associates. The Punisher takes them all out (beautifully), and then is informed by a police officer who appreciates how Frank Castle (the Punisher's real name, you worthless dick-ka-bob) actually gets things done when the cops have to sit on their asses (and get pesky things like "search warrants," and follow "arrest procedures," while Frank doesn't have to worry about "due process" and "defense attorneys" in acting out his duties. Heh, doodies) that mob assassin Billy Russoti had escaped and is headed down to the docks in order to receive a shipment of some bad shit (really BAD *ka-blooie* shit) from some ruskies. Frank crashes the party, fucks up Billy "the Beaut" Russoti but good, but he accidentally kills an undercover federal agent in the process. Castle gets out alive himself, but he's wracked with guilt over killing "one of the good guys." Then Frankie gets depressed.
Meanwhile, Billy (whose entire body got shredded by broken glass... You had to be there) gets all fixed up by his plastic surgeon... Actually, he only get's kind of sort of fixed up, with some skin grafts from a horse, and he turns into the even-more-psycho than the Punisher bad guy known as Jigsaw... "Jigsaw" because his face looks like ground beef stitched together in a patchwork pattern by Helen Keller. Then Jigsaw busts his even more crazy brother, Loony Bin Jim, out of the nuthouse, and the two of them (and some cronies) go hog fucking wild in trying to get some mad cash back that was taken from them by the undercover G-man who had infiltrated their group. They do this by going after the dead man's wife and kid. Needless to say Frankie doesn't like it when vermin attack the innocent. With Newman supplying some mad ammunition, Frank goes "Hammer of God" on all the bad guys AND their hoodlum armies that they've bribed into service.
It's a fairly straight forward storyline (Frank kills mafioso, he feels guilt over whacking a feddie, everyone declares war on each other, big, bullety gang-land massacre in the end), but that's all the Punisher is really about. He PUNISHES douchebag bad guys (by killing them... sometimes many times over) for doing bad things. I'm not even sure if he gets the irony. Unlike Batman (whom I'm sure the denizens of Gotham soon learn not to fear so much due to his well-known "not killing people" shtick), the underworld pisses themselves over the idea of Frank Castle paying them a visit. This is very evident in this movie. Not only does the Punisher show up to kill you, but he usually does it in the most brutal and painful way he can think of. This flick's real only flaw is that it's an actual Punisher movie. There was no way general movie audiences were going to fall in love with a sadistic psychopath who kills people for enjoyment (oh, and he does). That is why this thing bombed in the box office... People just didn't get it. They must have thought, "Oh, another comic book movie! Oooh! He's dressed all in black and leather too, and he's got that cute little skull emblem on his chest, just like Superman! He looks swell!" Then came word of "BLOOD! BULLETS! BODIES!" by the film critics of America, and War Zone was left to flounder in the a sea of family flicks, and retarded holiday feel-good movies. Honestly, who releases a movie about a serial killing "hero" in the Christmas season?
Anyway, WZ has no real comedy beats in it. No, it doesn't take itself seriously in the least, but it's far from a comedy (it plays like the aforementioned RoboCop and Starship Troopers — almost surreal in its hyper violence, but so over the top that you know it doesn't take place in this universe). Some of the characters are just caricatures of people, and not fleshed out in the least, but it's a movie about a mental vigilante who kills more people in an hour and a half than John Rambo over the course of 4 movies... What do you expect?
Niiiiiice! That's more like it. The Punisher in this movie actually punished tons of bad guys and not just the audience, like the John Travolta movie in '04 did... My eyes and ears still bleed a little when I think of that horrible abomination interpretation of my main man Frank Castle and his one-man war on crime. This Punisher is tough, doesn't smile, and doesn't room with a bunch of fat tards in a shitty slum neighborhood in Miami. The Punisher has always been my favorite comic book hero, even more so than Batman (who doesn't use guns, like a pussy).
I'm honestly shocked that they went ahead and made this movie! Most of the world is made up of prissy little anti-gun nuts, so that right there is going to piss off a lot of potential viewers when your main character is a dick who packs about two dozen firearms on himself at any given time... But even if the rest of the world hates Frank Castle, I'll always love the big galoot. In fact I tend to go out in a skull T-shirt at night and punish all those who deserve it. There was that one time that I punished that mugger with a fist to his face and hob-nailed boot to his groin (at least I say he was a mugger), that other time I punished that grandma for not giving her cute, little grandson that Snickers bar he wanted, oh, and that time I punished that hot co-ed for thinking about illegally feeding the meter by spanking her for a couple of minutes... Though truth be told that last one was her idea.
I saw it. I liked it. But I'm too lazy to really get into a review, so instead I'll just paraphrase what some goomba on IMDB.com wrote in defending this Punisher movie over that really terrible Thomas Jane led one from a few years back:
For the tenth time: Thomas Jane was not the Punisher. The Punisher does not defeat villains by breaking up their marriages or outing their gay henchmen. He does not prank phone call people, he does not give people parking tickets. He SHOOTS people with guns. VERY BIG guns. Lots of very big guns. He shoots lots and lots of people. He does not cry while drinking his troubles away like Thomas Jane, or pray naked in a sewer like Dolph Lundgren. Ray Stevens [in War Zone] pretty much was the Punisher. Honestly, Denzel Washington was more brutal in Man on Fire than Thomas Jane, and all they did to him was steal a little white girl. She wasn't even hurt.
That pretty much sums it up.