Vengeance Has a Name

Punisher: War Zone is the most faithful Punisher ever put to screen. No wonder it’s so unwatchable. Gory shootouts, decapitations, non-stop profanity, Punisher: War Zone takes full advantage of its hard R rating in only 1 hour & 47 minutes. Becoming the biggest Marvel box-office bomb to date. Punisher: War Zone is notably the last Marvel movie I didn’t see in theaters. Punisher is the first superhero character to receive three separate movie adaptations. The Punisher (1989), made before the genre took off and The Punisher (2004), made when the genre was in flux. When The Punisher 2 lost its star and director, it was reworked into Punisher: War Zone. The first to be made after the start of the MCU. So you can’t blame me for not knowing the best time to review them.

Although it bares the logo Marvel Knights, Punisher: War Zone is a lot closer to Marvel Max. A very adult imprint formed in the 2000’s. Ray Stevenson is perfectly standoffish and looks just like the Punisher. Although I fully understand Frank Castle’s methods and need for vengeance, the excessive violence does cross a line with me. Only because a child is in harm’s way and it’s just so freaking graphic. Granted, the kills are over-the-top in an occasionally darkly humorous way. The Punisher literally punches a guy’s face in, shoots off faces, blows someone up mid-air, and guns down criminals while hanging from a chandelier.

I wish it didn’t distract from the faithful comic elements. Like the use of Wayne Knight as armorer Microchip and archenemy Jigsaw played by an extremely evil Dominic West. His stitched up face is grotesque and his cannibal brother is just overkill. The movie is so macho that it’s sort of surprising that it has a female director. One who didn’t even want to use his trademark skull logo. What is with adaptations and not embracing the skull?! She comprised by having it be barely visible. Frank’s only desire is cleaning up crime in a brutal war zone. Maintaining his Punisher image no matter what. Punisher: War Zone may please fans of the anti-heroes bloodier tendencies, but I’ll take his Marvel owned Netflix outings over anything else.

The Punisher 3

The Punisher guns people down

2 thoughts on “Vengeance Has a Name

  1. It is always amusing, isn’t it, when someone gets blown up mid-air and things like that. Like it’s not enough to be falling off the top of a building–let’s have a cannon fired at you at the same time, or better yet, have a pterodactyl swoop in and scoop you up. Strange that the director half-ignored the skull logo. The kind of question a good interviewer should ask her.

    Liked by 1 person

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