Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome back, Frank!

I’ve really gotta wonder — why all the griping about Punisher: War Zone, the newest effort to launch a Punisher movie franchise? Not only do the mainstream critics hate it, as I’d expect, the online geekboys are piling on the shit as well. But as a longtime fan of the Punisher in most of his comic book versions, and a fan of 2004’s movie with Thomas Jane, I have to say that War Zone is just about everything I’ve wanted in a Punisher film. It’s over-the-top, it’s unrealistic (as it should be, right?), and it’s a veritable merry-go-round of blood-drenched kickass mayhem. The movie’s got Ray Stevenson doing a fine turn as Frank Castle, and it’s moved Frank to Manhattan (where he belongs), and it’s got hundreds and hundreds of mobsters and street punks ineffectually throwing themselves at Frank, and it’s got Dominic West playing Jigsaw fer crissakes. It’s got it all, and it’s all wrapped up into a balls-to-the-wall gangbuster of an action movie.

Unfortunately, Punisher: War Zone is tanking at the box office. But there is, after all, a long life promised in the DVD world. However, if you’re a fan of the character, you might want to run out immediately and see this new take on the Punisher while it’s still on the Big Screen.

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