14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I am a fan of the Punisher, mostly because he is mortal. His driving motivation is not to do good, it is to revenge the deaths of his family. There have been several attempts to turn the Punisher into a movie franchise but none seem to have gained enough of a following to define that franchise. That is until now.
For me War Zone is the best of all the Punisher movies. Sure it is low budget, the dialogue is often very much in keeping with the comics, there is a lot of testosterone and some very over the top performances. But that is its strength. Punisher War Zone is a movie that knows exactly what it wants to be. It is very well made, very violent and very bloody. The action is very well put together. You could almost draw a parallel to this and Sin City although this is not that comic.
The key for the franchise for me is Ray Stevenson as the Punisher. He has a quality onscreen that draws you to him. There is something almost graceful and predator in his movements and at the same time quite vulnerable in his features. As I frequently do with characters of this genre I weighed Ray Stevenson's worth as a possible Jack Reacher and he came very close to the ideal.
So all told, within the context of the genre I have no hesitation in giving this four stars. A great Friday night movie with the boys and for a fan of the comics.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2010
this is for me,hands down,the best Punisher movie hands down.i liked the story and there's plenty of action.also,there's no lame dialogue in this version.in fact the dialogue is kept to a minimum.but that works here.Ray Stevenson makes for A good Punisher.he seems very natural in the role. and delivers the lines he does have well.a word of warning though,this incarnation of the Punisher franchise is ultra violent and very graphic compared to the two previous Punisher movies.i was actually very surprised to find that this movie made almost no money at the box office.i guess maybe it was due to the fact that there weren't a gajillion explosions.anyway,for me Punisher:War Zone is a 4/5
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2010
Utterly brilliant mindless trashy rubbish. A direct translation of comic book (sorry graphic novel) spatter to the silver screen. Villains are vile, heroes anguished, cops equivocal about the vigilante, damsel in distress is gorgeous (as is her little girl - aaaaahh!), bloodshed is, errrr.... graphic, justice is done. What more could anyone ask? Especially at the ridiculously cheap price this film is available - less than a pint of beer, even including postage. Buy it now - you owe it to yourself.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2014
Was wary with this one as i really liked Thomas Jane's Punisher but have to say Ray Stevenson was awesome as Frank Castle..great screen presence.
The action was pretty good but graphicallly violent with many heads coming apart which elevated the experience for better effectiveness.
My only gripe is why they can't keep follow on films storylines consistent, i like Tom jane's Punisher as i said so why dismiss that storyline altogether by showing a different way his family died, unless they are going by the comics which i have not read..they could have just moved the story along and have this as the next chapter in Castle's life.
All the supporting players were quite OTT but was fun to watch and the running time flew by.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ray Stevenson,from Rome - Season 1-2 - Complete [DVD]and Outpost  [DVD] stars in this comic book,violent action-packed sequel to The Punisher [DVD]  .
Stevenson has grasped the chance to play tough guy roles and again he plays the vengeful hero with gusto.
He is somewhat wooden but perhaps that"s the fault of the scripts he has to work with,not his Thespian abilities.
If he ever gave up acting he could easily get a job as an arms dealer: there isn"t a weapon he hasn"t fired as far as I know.
Entertaining to watch if only for its simple pure action formula.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
There are two generally easily definable groups of fans of Marvel's The Punisher, those who appreciate the Punisher who originally appeared in The Amazing Spiderman comics, going on to have his own series really beginning with Circle of Blood, and those familiar with the Punisher from Marvel Knights, the Marvel Max label (which was aimed at a mature audience) and the PS2 game.
The earlier incarnation of the Punisher was a vietnam vet, had a virtual team of compatriots in the form of a hacker called Microchip, his son, a corrections officer, later that officer's widow and a series of other Marvel characters who would make cameos, such as Blackcat, Wolverine and others. This Punisher was a paragon of soldierly virtue and spent a fair amount of the time contemplating the ultimate paradox of his position, carrying out summary justice and by the same token deserving the same. In some ways this was Marvel's answer to Batman or a comic book version of Cobra.
The later incarnation of the Punisher was a darker, much more sinister characterisation, with a death wish, with more than a hint of a psychopathic 'true nature' underlying any supposed reason detre of vigilante rough justice. This is the version which featured in the recent PS2 game, Marvel Knights and Marvel MAX label. This version of the Punisher is a little like Rorschach from The Watchmen.
It is not so much the case that "never the two shall meet", because there are clear continuities between each for instance brooding dark humour, gun culture, characters shared by each such as Microchip. This movie is definitely going to appeal to the fans of the second, later characterisation of The Punisher more. Much more.
This is very much an actioner, however it can at times suffer for it, as though there where a series of fights and shoot outs filmed and a dirth of dialogue scenes added as an after thought. Attempts are made to cover a lot of ground from both incarnations of The Punisher and spanning almost the whole of the publishing history. The result was a little hit and miss. As a fan sometimes this was welcome to see keynote scenes from the comics featured, while at other times it felt too much as though it where something which deserved to be serialised, like The Shield or The Wire. So the continuity and pace may not be that great.
There are some amazingly gory and violent scenes in this movie and some of the characterisation I felt was all wrong, for instance there is a scene in which Castle/The Punisher, suggests he is going to quit and Microchip forcefully talks him out of this decision, Micro seems to be living out vacariously his own vigilante dream and he's also gun running throughout the movie. This is really upside down and back to front in my recollection of the comics (and earliest arcade/video game outing), although I should say that I'm a fan of Frank Castle's earlier, some how less malevolent or insane, incarnation.
As a movie it stands up and is watchable but I doubt it will be enjoyed as much by viewers who are not fans of the Punisher franchise. It may not be enjoyed as much by fans of the franchise who are waiting for the studios to get it right at last and produce something which is at least in the same league as Dare Devil or Electra. I'm also not sure there is a lot of rewatch value in it either, so perhaps rent it rather than buy it.
I hesitate to call this an improvement over the Thomas Jane version, which I think does recommend itself, particular to fans of the earlier Punisher even if the feature felt like it was only beginning at the very finish. It is a vast improvement over the woeful first cinematic outing of The Punisher (which hopefully can one day be dismissed as a totally non-canonical Dolph Lundgren vehicle). Perhaps hollywood is getting closer with every attempt.
The extras include commentary, the making of, the weapons of the punisher and the making of jigsaw.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2013
Where Thomas Jane's Punisher movie felt like it largely had a very confident sense of identity, this film is both stronger and weaker all at once. Stronger in the sense of the violence and the willingness to go further with it - weaker in the tonal unevenness. It veers between solemn (Stevenson's Punisher is a sullen depressive with limited acting range), gangster movie bravado (Mafiosi bravado and politics) and tacky (a cheesy and badly executed faux-patriotism recruitment montage where bad guy 'Jigsaw' recruits a few extra hands).
As the Punisher, Stevenson is more physically imposing - however he's slightly overwhelmed by his overly large costume, and gets little to do besides impressive violence, depression and mulling over the car-crash that his life has become.
Dominic West is initially vile and memorably sleazy as bad guy 'Billy', but becomes almost a re-run caricature of the 1989 Batman's Joker for the rest of the movie. The supporting cast are weak, the plot even weaker, and the set-pieces aren't memorable save for a few moments of excessive violence. However - it is interesting and fun, and worth whiling away a few hours with.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The film kicks-off with a 'one-man' killing spree. 'Frank' makes
short work of Mobsters and their gun-totting side-kicks.
What 'Frank' hadn't immediately realized is that 'Mobster' 'Billy
Russoti' had survived the onslaught, badly dis-figured.
'The Punisher' had also killed on e of the good guys in the rapid
fire-fight, he now has problems on two fronts.
There are scores still to settle.
Plenty of 'action' and 'gore' on offer, best way to describe it
in truth is 'entertainingly' O.T.T.
The story-line perhaps a little thin, dialog not the best.
The 'Thomas Jane' / 'John Travolta' 'Punisher' movie was in my
The disc does have several additional features on board.......
# Training for the Punisher # The making of the Punisher #
# Creating the look of the Punisher # Meet Jigsaw # Weapons of the
Punisher # Director and Cinematographer commentary ~
The current purchase price of the 'DVD' £2.95....no money in truth.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2009
First off I admit that I have never once read a Punisher comic so no none of the backstory to them however, I thought the first effort (Dolph) was passable, the 2nd was a step in the right direction and this one just blew the other 2 away, its made in a more comic book and I'm guessing that its a truer (word?) reflection of how the comic looks.
I found Stevenson's Punisher character to be excellent and loved the character of Jigsaw, the effects are OTT and really well done but deserves its 18 rating, not one for the kids.
I was put off watching the film as I had read too many bad reviews but rented it as there was little choice available and I'm really glad I did and in future will pay little attention to these, and will judge a film for myself in future, give it a try you might even enjoy it.
After two attempts at getting the vigilante with a personal vendetta to the screen this outing serves justice better.
Whilst the previous efforts had there merits thry were somehow lacking, the Dolph Lundgren version a little to grimy and lacking style, where as the Thomas Jane version was almost to glossy and not grimy enough.
This version of Frank Castle mixes glossy stylish scenes with a gritty story that takes the best of the previous movies, namely the action and adds to it.
Stephenson is perfect as the anti hero, snarling and stern faced, yet fragile and tortured at the same time.
His nemesis is Jigsaw played by Dominic West, in a very Jack Nicholson Esq Joker performance, which is apt as his story runs the same path of that as the Jokers, except rather than being dropped into a vat of chemicals he's dropped into a glass crushing machine by the hero.
A ruthless gangster Jigsaw wants revenge on the Punisher who was in turn trying to get revenge for his families murder.
Plot wise it's pretty much that simple, and an excuse for some serious fights and gun shootouts, all shot in glorious dizzying camera tricks and atmospheric lighting to a cool music score .
A good supportijg cast including Wayne (Jurassic Park) Knight and Colin (Tanner from Bond films) Salmon add to the quality feel of the film.
This is stylish, violent and fun film making, shame its not as well regarded as some of the more childish comic adaptions of recent years but fans will get a kick out of it.