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punisher war zone poster

A 2008 film based on the Marvel Comic.

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Over The Top And Fantastic For It

  • May 10, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
One of the best things about Comic book movie adaptations are the sheer over the top action sequences. The over the top action is no more apparent than in this sequel to the original Punisher movie which was released in 2004. The difference between the two movies has to be the violence level is turned up to the max in this one. The over the top villain is also something that has managed to make this film much more enjoyable than the first. Replacing Thomas Jane, I still have my reservations about even after seeing this movie. Ray Stephenson did an excellent job don't get me wrong, but I would have preferred Jane reprise his role, and would have found it easier to get into had he taken the role once again.

Anyway, the story is set six years after Frank Castle initially became the infamous Punisher. Starting off the film Frank interrupts a mob meeting held by mob boss Gaitano Cesare. The events lead to him severely disfiguring the face of Billy "The Beaut" Russoti (Dominic West, that guy from The Wire), and killing an undercover agent. These events lead to the creation of a ruthless new foe for Punisher who makes a pledge to bring the city's gangs together to kill the Punisher, and Frank questioning his own mission in life. Not only that but Agent Paul Budianksy (Colin Salmon) is on the tale of Frank as the head of the FBI's Punisher task force.

The story has quite a few interesting side and filler characters, much like the Russian from the first film, Frank must fight against a few "lower level bosses" to get to Jigsaw. The character of Jigsaw is an interesting one. That guy from The Wire plays the role perfectly, starting off as this cocky, vain power mad mobster before his mutilation; then turns into the broken down insane mobster only concerned with revenge. One of the scarier foes for Frank, however, has to be the quite frankly intimidating "Looney Bin Jim" (Doug Hutchinson) the brother of Jigsaw. He is as the name suggests, a complete and utter Psychopath who upon being broken out of the "Looney Bin" by his brother proceeds to eat one of the people who were meant to care for him.

In the first movie, the violence was a bit graphic from time to time but it was nothing we hadn't seen before. This time around under the helm of director Lexi Alexander, she was determined to turn up the brutality to a million times more graphic. The violence and graphic nature of some of the gore is helped by some excellent special effects, some possibly CGI to help make the blood more splatter effective and general makeup genius to make Jigsaw look as disgusting as possible. The script is a bit cheesy at times though and can also get a bit boring, this in my eyes takes a lot away from what could have possibly been one of the best films of 2008. Marvel are apparently now more determined than ever to create more R Rated movies which would no doubt broaden their audience demographic.

It's a brilliant film and as reported I'm hoping for another sequel to be brought out more closely to this one rather than having to wait another 4 years for it to happen. Now I'm used to him, I suppose Ray Stephenson isn't that bad a Punisher and he does make the role his own. Comment

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More Punisher: War Zone reviews
review by . August 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   I liked the last Punisher movie that came out with Thomas Jane and John Travolta but it was just OKAY. You would think with a character like Punisher who really is just a highly train rogue special agent with lots of guns it would fit in the recent trend of trying to ground superheros in the "real world" but for that movie somehow it just made it one of those movies that you rent once and maybe don't change it if comes on TV on a weekend afternoon. Punisher: Warzone isn't …
review by . August 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Finally a hardcore Punisher adaptation!
Punisher: War Zone is a bloody, violent and grim sequel to the reboot of The Punisher.  This time around, the film is more like the comic book, it's very dark and grim.  Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) goes toe-to-toe with the sadistic Jigsaw (Dominic West) and his psychotic brother Looney Bin Jim in a no holds bloody showdown that pushes Frank Castle to the limit.  I was so glad to see this film because I really didn't care for the first remake.  Julie Benz is still sporting …
review by . November 11, 2009
Punisher War(ning) Zone
   Wow, just sat through the "thrilling" and "tense" sequel to Thomas Jane's original Punisher, Punisher 2: War Zone. As in my headline, let this be a warning to all those tempted to throw this little shiny nugget into their movie maker machine thingy at home.   Don't do it.   This is a direct to dvd movie, and that is for a very good reason folks.   If this movie was a character in the original movie, then Thomas Jane's Punisher would …
Quick Tip by . November 14, 2009
For diehard fans only. A definite backwards step for Marvel.
review by . March 18, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle
Let's get one thing straight; Marvel Knight's comic series "The Punisher" isn't exactly a grand piece of comic book ingenuity. The comic was gritty, brutal, violent and full of blood and gore. Upon seeing this latest film based on the popular comic character, I wasn't expecting much. Lexi Alexander's "PUNISHER WARZONE" isn't a sequel to the wimpy rendition with Thomas Jane, this one's a reboot; so any continuity issues is not a mistake. The two films are totally different in formula and feel. So …
review by . March 20, 2009
While I thoroughly enjoyed Thomas Jane's turn as Frank Castle in 2004's The Punisher, a part of me wanted the title character to get just a bit nastier, a bit dirtier and a heck of a lot more violent. Enter Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo of Rome), a bigger, badder version of Frank Castle. Not only does Stevenson fully claim the role of the Punisher in Punisher:  War Zone, he dominates every scene he is in.     In Punisher:  War Zone, we are …
review by . April 12, 2009
Before I start, I'd like to say this about the previous 2 punishers. The first one was "acceptable" since it was an 80s movie. You don't expect great plots and great acting from 80s movies. You accept them for what they are, just low budget action flicks. The 2nd movie, with John Travolta as the villain, had no excuse to suck that bad. I mean it wasn't a low budget movie and the previous comic book movies that came out before it like spiderman and xmen were big blockbuster hits. But enough about …
review by . April 23, 2009
Punisher: War Zone was a big surprise for me.  I wasn't impressed with the first reboot of the Punisher series (but I did enjoy the Dolph Lundgren version) so I was very skeptical when this one came out.  I saw it on Blu-Ray and the action just blew me away.  It was totally hardcore and.  ultraviolent  I really enjoyed it because it captured the feel of the comic book with it's dark tone and violent gun battles and bone crunching action.  Too bad the first …
About the reviewer
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #47
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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Punisher: War Zone is a 2008 American comic book Action film directed by Lexi Alexander; based on the fictional Marvel Comics vigilante/anti-hero The Punisher. The 3rd film to depict Marvel Comics character of Frank Castle "The Punisher". The film is a reboot which follows the original telling of Frank Castle's war on crime and corruption rather than a sequel to 2004's The Punisher, or 1989's The Punisher and is the first film to be produced under the Marvel Studios and Marvel Knights production banner, which focuses on films for mature audiences. English actor Ray Stevenson replaced Thomas Jane as Frank Castle. In the film, Castle wages a one-man war against a horribly disfigured mob boss known as Jigsaw (Dominic West). Punisher: War Zone was released in North America by Lionsgate on December 5, 2008, and was released February 6, 2009 in the United Kingdom.
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Details

Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2008
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: 2009
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