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Punisher: War Zone
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Reviews & Ratings for
Punisher: War Zone More at IMDbPro »

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249 out of 335 people found the following review useful:

Exactly what you'd want in a Punisher movie

7/10
Author: cbhoov1 from United States
6 December 2008

I saw this a couple hours ago in Fullerton, CA. I was a reader of the comic, and am a fan of what we've seen from Marvel lately. This movie is just what I wanted, and what I expected.

Ray Stevenson is perfect as Frank Castle, and everyone else is at least good enough for an action movie. Dominic West is over the top as Jigsaw - which is what Jigsaw should be! A horribly disfigured mob boss with a vendetta is not a subtle thing to begin with.

As for the "respectable" critics' complaints: 1. Violence: Of course it's violent! What part of the title "Punisher: War Zone" implies peaceful conflict resolution? He's not the "Admonisher". The gore and violence is not at the level of a "Saw" film, but it is high. It is rated "R" for a reason.

2. Dialogue: I think the critics have been spoiled by "Dark Knight" and "Iron Man". Those were comic-book movies with extraordinarily good dialogue. "Punisher: War Zone" is no worse than a "Predator" or "Rambo: First Blood". Not great, but not awful. This is not supposed to be "Hamlet".

3. Script: The story moves along well, and when there's a break in the action (which isn't very often), the film doesn't drag- it's always going somewhere. Not perfect, but good. Much better than the critics have made it out to be.

All in all, a good time, and one that I'll buy and re-watch as soon as it comes out on DVD.

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201 out of 290 people found the following review useful:

A movie for the fans, not the critics

10/10
Author: kisskide from United States
5 December 2008

Just came back from watching the movie and I was definitely pleased. I was a bit worried that I would be let down after reading some of the early reviews, my suspicious about the reviewers not understanding the character were confirmed though.

Stevenson is a brilliant Frank Castle, the guy is a tank in this movie, shredding through his opposition just like a on screen manifestation of the character should. The critics complaining about the gore prove them unfit in being tasked with stepping anywhere near the film with a pencil and paper, doling out stars or thumbs.

While Im afraid the film will not get the critical recognition it deserves, with the majority of critics not understanding the character, I as a fan of Castle say I'm thoroughly pleased by the work the entire cast and crew have put forth.

While I agree that the movie was loyal to the source material and worth my dollars, there was one main area I think should have been retooled.

Jigsaw and Jim's accent is over the top, and in the end took away from the character, especially in the case of Jim.

At a glance

Pros: Unapologetically Punisher Level Brutality Stevenson is a compelling Frank Castle Movie pacing is great

Cons: Cliché accents Could have used some more dialogue from Frank

Overall: 8/10

Bottom Line: If you are a punisher fan, you're in for a blast

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186 out of 291 people found the following review useful:

The First True Punisher Film is not for People with Weak Stomachs, but Extreme Action Lovers Will have a Hell of a Good Time!

10/10
Author: Dave Kaminskas (Cyber256702000@yahoo.com) from Royal Oak, MI
5 December 2008

The Punisher has been portrayed twice on film so far. First in the 80's flick with Dolph Lundgren and more recently in the 2004 flick with Thomas Jane. While both were OK in parts the movies as a whole just weren't that good. Being a huge fan of the comic series I have always felt that they had never pushed the violence far enough for a Punisher film. He was always to restrained. So how did the third attempt at a Punisher film work? Lets see...

Punisher: War Zone starts a few years after the death of Frank Castle's family. Since than he has been killing mobsters at a steady rate and the police see him more as a help than a hindrance..although they won't admit it. When the Punisher fails to kill an up and coming mobster named Billy Russoti, Billy decides to start a war against the Punisher and he won't quit until the Punisher is dead.

While the story may seem fairly basic it serves its purpose perfectly. This is the ultimate Punisher movie. There are more bullets and blood in this movie the most action movies and the action never lets up.

Acting is well done by everyone. While I like Thomas Jane as an actor I think Ray Stevenson is a better Punisher. Dominic West is good as Jigsaw, but I felt he might have hammed it up a bit in a few scenes.

Lexi Alexander has made the quintessential Punisher film that dares to show you the gritty world of the Punisher without shying away from all the gore. I can only hope that a sequel will be on the way soon.

Fans of the Punisher comics and extreme action lovers will eat this up, but know that this is not a movie for kids or people who can't take a ton of gore.

*** out of ****

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129 out of 209 people found the following review useful:

A good action movie that does justice to The Punisher comic book

7/10
Author: Danny Boy from United States
7 December 2008

Roger Egbert was spot on when he wrote - ""The Punisher: War Zone" is one of the best-made bad movies I've seen". Viewed independently, it is an ultimate men's movie and more fun to watch than all Steven Seagal movies put together. This movie does not hold back on anything like the wimpy Thomas Jane's Punisher, who was more of a schemer than a punisher. That movie had its own reason to be liked in that it was a brave move to bring an ultra-violent (Punisher has even used nuclear bomb to kill an otherwise unkillable villain), gory and very dark comic, which only had a cult following, to the mainstream cinema. While that movie did not feel like a comic book adaptation at all, the story being pretty ordinary and plot being too heavy, war zone is much closer to the source material. Corny situations had corny, and extremely violent solutions. Villains were perfectly cast and did feel like Punisher villains and got what they deserve from a Punisher. The accents were distracting in the beginning, but once you get used to them (which is pretty fast, since everyone uses a fake sounding and bad accent), you stop noticing it and focus on action, which is plenty. Ray Stevenson was a perfect cast and comes across the perfectly believable, imposing and intimidating killing machine as the Punisher. The much-maligned first scene actually set the tone for rest of the movie for me, when Punisher goes on a killing spree on the dining table, killing everyone on the table, men-women alike, in different, but extremely bloody way. That is Punisher for me. Perfect movie for fans of Punisher and violent action movie fans in general.

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123 out of 209 people found the following review useful:

A Perfect Punisher Movie

10/10
Author: johnnysexkiller from United States
5 December 2008

I am a Huge Punisher fan. This movie destroys the other two in my opinion. I was expecting a piece of crap from the reviews I read and boy were they wrong. This movie is a non stop kill fest. It shows everything from heads exploding to decapitations. As a horror fan I love that. As a Punisher fan that's the way it should be. I wanna see the scum of the world get their heads blown off, not cut off at the last second like most movies do. Ray's portrayal of the punisher is perfect. In the first scene of the movie when he's wiping out the dinner guests and he breaks the neck of the mobsters wife I knew I was in for a treat. Loooooooooooved IT.

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124 out of 215 people found the following review useful:

Hands Down one of the Best Punisher adaption, and one of the best comic movies ever!

10/10
Author: wrathchild1387 from United States
6 December 2008

Just got back from this tonight and I was not disappointed! This is a better adaption then the 2004 version and 1989 version. For me, Ray Stevenson is THE PUNISHER!!!!I like Dolph and Tom's interpretation are good (though Tom Jane's performance is more of a Taxi Driver character then a Punisher), Stevenson was the best and showed a wider range of emotion, a great voice, fighting, guns, and all together look and feel of Frank Castle.

This is one of the best adaption of a comic in a long time, the back story for Frank Castle was right on target and though Jigsaw's origin is modified its a better origin. The casting for all characters was great (way to go Wayne for Microchip and Dominic for Jigsaw). Everyone fit perfect.

The story for the movie felt like a comic book, as The Punisher takes out criminals and how Jigsaw and his brother Looney Bin Jim wants revenge makes for great entertainment. But I do not want to spoil anything for moviegoers, if you enjoy comics, action, or revenge movies, check this one out.

For all the people who reviewed this movie and either bitch about the violence or didn't like this incarnation of The Punisher had no idea about the character nor even read the comic book or didn't start reading until after the 2004 version. So this is a great tribute to almost all incarnation of the Punisher in the comics and even a nod to the 1989 version too.

Though I like all the Punisher movies, I liked the 1989 version better then 2004 version, I think this is better then the 1989 and best adaption (it may seem like a broken record, but I feel it is necessary).

By all mean check out one of the best action and comic book movie in a long time. This brings back what action should be like. I too hope this will have a good box office return, as well for rentals and sales to bring more sequels! The producers are already in talks in for more and Barricuda could be the next villain!

Way to go Lexi and Ray and everybody involved working on this film, thank you for bringing back the PUNISHER!!!

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47 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

Not much of a plot at all...nothing but mindless violence, blood, guts, and splattered heads!

10/10
Author: KilRydLoad from United States
27 April 2009

OK, folks...here's the deal with this movie...if you go to the video store and you're looking for something deep and meaningful, Punisher: War Zone is going to seriously disappoint you. If, however, you are in the mood for just senseless violence, blood, guts, exploding heads, and a lot of cool ways to watch people die, like in Friday the 13th, then I can PROMISE you Punisher: War Zone will NOT disappoint! Go into it and take it for what it is and what I've told you it is. You're not going to come out of this movie with some new profound sense of the universe or some profound understanding--again, if that's what you want, stay far, far away from this movie. But if you wanna see a lot of people get killed and dismembered in a lot of different, gruesome bloody fashions, then this movie is right up your alley! A dude I know told me this, I went into this movie knowing this, and was NOT disappointed in any way, shape or form--it's what I wanted and it's what this movie delivered, and that's why I'm giving this movie a perfect 10 stars!

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99 out of 172 people found the following review useful:

Cult Classic in the Making

10/10
Author: thekeeperscages from United States
5 December 2008

Ray Stevenson did an amazing job portraying exactly how the Punisher should have felt. You were able to get a real glimpse into why he does the things he does. No remorse for the wicked and evil.

This film was action packed and had a different feel for the storyline. Dominic West did an outstanding job as the Jigsaw and there was always a feeling that he was going to get his. A nice surprise was Doug Hutchinson who did a good job as the physcotic brother. The film flowed very nicely and had made sense which is very important in a film that is this fast paced. There was never a moment where there was to many screen cuts or to much camera motion. It flowed very smoothly.

The Music alone is worth seeing this film.

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110 out of 195 people found the following review useful:

Eats the previous films for breakfast

10/10
Author: klinefelter3 from United States
5 December 2008

Taken on its own terms, "Punisher: War Zone" is everything it is supposed to be: excessively violent, larger than life, fast paced, and almost always loads of fun. War Zone doesn't take itself seriously and it doesn't ask the audience to do so, like the '90 and '04 films did. It never ponders the morality of its hero any more than necessary; it's The Punisher for gods' sakes.

The casting of Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle is, in a word, perfect. He is commanding, intimidating, and always fun to watch. If you can't enjoy Stevenson as The Punisher, you shouldn't even be watching the damn movie. Though the film is shot tongue-in-cheek, Stevenson stays consistent but is almost always interesting to watch. The supporting cast, led by Dominic West as Jigsaw, also shines in several scenes. There are no weak links in the cast to undermine WZ the way, say, John Travolta undermined the already-suffering Thomas Jane-"Punisher" movie.

There are many reasons to fault the first two Punisher pics for perhaps giving the character a bad rap, because the critics sure seem to be roasting this more than necessary. One perplexing review comes from Roger Ebert, who seems to praise the film in several ways while outright damning it to the same exact two star rating he applied to the first two (far dumber and less entertaining) Punisher movies: "The Punisher: War Zone is one of the best-made bad movies I've seen. It looks great, it hurtles through its paces and is well-acted. The soundtrack is like elevator music if the elevator were in a death plunge. The special effects are state of the art. Its only flaw is that it's disgusting."

I don't see what's wrong with that. This isn't an average mainstream film. This is an extremely gory film, with a level of violence that is rarely seen on the big screen outside of the "Saw" movies. And yet it remains entertaining, even comedic in how far it goes. The superb and colorful cinematography, action choreography, sound effects, score, and editing make "Punisher: War Zone" a must for (dark) comic book fans and action film junkies.

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39 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

About as good as a bad movie can get

7/10
Author: Simon_Says_Movies from Toronto, ON, Canada
8 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The newest Punisher movie lies at about the extreme of how good a bad movie can get; so bad it's good should be this movies motto. I enjoyed the previous Punisher movie with Thomas Jane as a guilty pleasure and it continues as such with every consecutive viewing. Punisher: War Zone takes this principle to a delirious high and former fighter, director Lexi Alexander certainly has a flair for directing high quality dreck. On a purely visual level, this film trumps its predecessor and is indeed quite slick and well shot. Along with such artistic clarity however, follows copious amounts of blood and brutal sadistic violence, which at times repulsed me to a certain extent. For those who found the previous outing violent, will find themselves wincing more then in any other movie this year. It is this choice to turn The Punisher, Frank Castle, into a purely animalistic killer (Which truthfully is probably what he should be) that distances the audience from his blight and makes this B movie a pure action film; and features little dialogue, no character development, just pure unadulterated havoc. Replacing Thomas Jane, is Ray Stevenson, who I loved from HBO's short-lived series Rome and he certainly suits the part; Brooding, ruthless and savage in his ways. A reboot, more then a sequel, Punisher: War Zone features all new characters, a fresh back-story and a pristine batch of baddies to dispense of. Following a crimson soaked encounter at a Cosa Nostra summit, The Punisher has found a true nemesis (A disfigured Mafioso calling himself only Jigsaw (Dominic West)). However, during this encounter an undercover FBI agent is killed by Frank Castle, the former Special Ops agent, and wracked with guilt, hovers behind the widow and daughter of the agent. Feeling a sort of connection to the two with his own slaughtered family, he fosters a protective tendency over the pair, which ramps up when Jigsaw seeks revenge against the family of his crony who was, obviously, an undercover operative. Recruiting his imprisoned brother Looney Bin Jim (Doug Hutchinson) following a feisty prison break to aid in his revenge, Jigsaw wages a war against The Punisher, his friends and goodness in general. The high point of this film is undoubtedly Dominic West as Jigsaw, who oozes malice and over-the-top sadism and is certainly the best villain sincewell Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight......never mind. His brother is equally insane, but is more laughable in his place then West's portrayal. Wayne Knight as Castle's ally, plays the role surprisingly straight and departs nicely from Newman on Seinfeld. Really, truthfully, don't believe for a second that this film is a good movie, it is corny, clichd, supported by minimal dialogue, and by all standards a bad, bad movie. Yet, damn was in fun.

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