Monday, December 15, 2008

Punisher: War Zone

This movie is probably the most unrelentingly violent 103 minutes of imagery that I have ever seen.

For those who don't know the story or the character, let me break it down for you: Frank Castle is a man whose wife and child are brutally murdered by the mob. Having Special Forces experience, Castle becomes a vigilante, "The Punisher," hunting down and brutally killing not only those responsible for his family's murder, but mob bosses and criminals as a whole. The police have a love/hate relationship with The Punisher, as he technically commits murder, yet also takes down high-class mob bosses that the police can't get in jail.

This film is in no way connected to the 2004 film The Punisher, starring Thomas Jane. While that film was an attempt at a more melancholic, sorrow-driven story, it ultimately drowned in its own boredom and lack of depth or fun. Punisher: War Zone is a reboot of the film franchise, and forgoes the ill-fitting poetry of the first film in lieu of straightforward, brutal action.

Punisher: War Zone has a relatively simple plot. It begins when The Punisher, on one of his crime-boss-killing-sprees, murders Nicky Donatelli—not initially realizing that Donatelli is actually working undercover for the FBI. Donatelli is posthumously revealed to have been an FBI agent, thus leaving his wife and daughter alone and defenseless against the vengeful mob. At the same time, Castle severely disfigures and humiliates a mob leader, thus creating a new psychopath who is hell-bent on revenge against both the Punisher and the Donatelli family. From a filmmaking perspective, this is essentially just a reason for the Punisher to deal out bullet-laden justice to the skulls of the corrupt.

In this film, I saw heads being punched, shot, stabbed, cut up, sliced off, broken off, blown up, blown apart (yes, there is a difference), blown off, and punched in. It's basically the ultimate guy movie. I can't recommend it to any females, however. It's essentially a crazy, action-laden crime war film. The plot isn't anything special, but this is one rare film where the sheer insanity of what's happening on-screen outdoes what's written in the script. If you're a male above the age of 17, GO SEE THIS MOVIE.