Punisher: Warzone (2008) (DVD)


What Lexi Alexander and Lions Gates attempts to accomplish with this new title in the Marvel movie lexicon is a complete restart of the Punisher franchise and they do this by completely forgetting any and all of the events from the Thomas Jane version and in some respects it’s nice to have a movie that pays due attention to the original origin of madman Frank Castle. Hell, I loved the John Travolta vehicle and still do in spite of fans belly aching, but god help me, “Warzone” is a better film. Why? Frankly because there are very few liberties taken with the mythos and we get down to the nitty gritty.

The whole appeal of The Punisher anyway is to watch a stealth warrior take down all the pedophiles, rapists and criminals he can with the help of his skills as a soldier. “Warzone” hooks its audience immediately with a classic Punisher shoot out that will almost leave the action buffs foaming at the mouth and begging for more, and Lexi Alexander pulls no punches. You’ll be happy to know that the blood does indeed flow to over the top lengths and this assures us that this adventure is for guys only. Anyone looking for the days of eighties shoot em up’s will love with Lions Gate cooks up.

There’s almost no evidence of the difficulties Alexander had with the film as the director portrays the man with vulnerability and a cold resolve that he has to punish the slime of New York city come hell or high water. I enjoyed Thomas Jane as one version of Castle but Ray Stevenson has the man’s bulking physique and cold gleam down to an art form. This man is an unstoppable killing machine and he leaves no one standing. Alexander and co. further correct the mistakes of the aforementioned predecessor by bringing to life the infamous Jigsaw, Castle’s primary enemy in his journey to snuff out local crime.

He’s a bane to Castle’s mission to secure the delivery of a couple of Macguffin’s that involves a potential biological out spread while Jigsaw looks to the underworld to bring down the Punisher once and for all. “Warzone” is nothing short of a movie for guys, a two hour ass kicking bone crunching shoot em up that splatters blood, severs heads and blows brains on to the big screen. In spite of the problems Alexander experienced during the making of the movie, the end result is one hell of an excellent adaptation of one of the best comic book series to come from the Marvel repertoire. “Warzone” is a movie that fans of titles like “Stone Cold” and “Cobra” will eat up with a spoon and it’s a shame we weren’t given a chance to properly see how it could perform in front of a crowd. God I love my revenge films.