Punisher 12
Opening this weekend is that other comic book-themed movie, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE. The movie stars Ray Stevenson as violent, vengeful Frank Castle. We hear it’s very, very violent and vengeful, in a kidney-ripping, kidney-chomping, chair leg-through-the-eyeball kinda way. Fun, fun. Somehow we managed to miss a screening, so here’s Tom McLean’s review at Bags and Boards:

The first thing this movie does right is cast Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle. Not only does Stevenson look and sound the part, but in the action sequences he moves with the confidence, poise and apparent skill that an ex-Marine like Castle would have. And that makes a big difference, compared to the goofy and limited fights of the previous Punisher movies. He also has the right touch in the story scenes. Castle’s never been much of a talker, but Stevenson for the first time on screen really evokes the character’s smoldering rage and seeming genius for dealing out death.

Bonus material: Here’s some footage online.

And Marvel has, cunningly, decided the way to lure in any potential comic book readers is by making a comic book entitled Punisher Saga #1 available for free online. Hm. Free gateway comics available to everyone. Online. Wish I’d thought of that.


  1. Finally – something comes along to make my weekend.

    I found out that I can’t afford that trip to San Diego for the IDW lawn sale after all- so this movie, paired up with Transporter 3 should make it a easily affordable alternative.



  2. I think that might be the most violent superhero movie yet. I can’t decide if it was more brutal than SIN CITY or not. SIN CITY was so dream like that it almost softened it. This one is not dreamlike, but it’s so over the top that it doesn’t quite feel real, either.

    It’s visually very strong, if a little cliched (the sad shot from above in the autumn graveyard – the church – the aerial tour of nyc). The hand to hand stuff is very sweet, though. They get very technical in the ways that they disarm people and mess with their guns in short order with hand to hand.

    I did not like, though, the general lack of strategy. Frank pretty much just runs straight into everything. That’s lazy. The denouement of the porch scene: very lazy. The issue of the disappearing Russians: lazy. Plea bargain: insane lazy. And this thing at the end that I guess doesn’t matter but is really stupid: lazy.

    Still, it delivers on punch and verve. It also delivers on the character of Frank Castle. And on getting The Punisher back in New York. I liked the Thomas Jane version, but Florida? Seriously… Florida? It’s a little weird how they couldn’t decide between the Ennish Punisher and the old school Punisher, but, either way: I like the crazy collar. What artist used to do him that way? That collar is sweet. All the kids will be wearing that this Winter.

  3. Oh, right… and they previewed some superheroish movie that I don’t think is based on a comic. Like, mutants and a government agency and something.
    there’s a telekenetic and a precog and they are in hong kong.
    Is this some Image book I don’t know, or is Hollywood getting all Hancock on us again?
    Sorry i can’t remember the name. i think the evil agency was called Division.

  4. But then I remembered if I could think of an actor in it I could figure it out… and I did. What do we know about this:

    Push (2009/II)

    The action packed sci-fi thriller involves a group of young American ex-pats with telekinetic and clairvoyant abilities, hiding from a clandestine U.S. government agency. They must utilize their different talents and band together for a final job enabling them to escape the agency forever

  5. I believe Push has a comic-book tie-in, but it is not based on a comic. I like the looks of it.

    The Thomas Jane Punisher film had all kinds of problems, but I liked it. This new one just looks bland and dumb. Did there even need to be a Punisher movie much less a sequel?

  6. I absolutely lfreakin’ oved it! Casting Ray Stevenson was a stroke of genius. He looks just like a Tim Bradstreet cover come to life.

    Dominiac West as Jigsaw? Brilliant!

    Doug Hutchinson as Loony Bin Lonny? Unexpected surprise ( Eugene Tooms rules!!) and hands down, one of my favorite character actor of all time, completely stole the show!

    Maybe it was a little over the top – but wasn’t it the point of the screenwriters to invoke the mood and tone of Garth Ennis scripts? Indubitably!

    This movie has succeeded on all levels for me!!