The just-released Punisher: War Zone is what has been referred to as a “reboot” and not a sequel to 2004’s The Punisher which starred Thomas Jane. And thankfully, the movie has absolutely no ties to 1989’s The Punisher that starred Dolph Lundgren.
Stepping into the role of Frank Castle for the 2008 reboot is up-and-coming Irish actor Ray Stevensen. Stevensen succeeds where Lundgren and Jane failed; unlike the aforementioned actors, Stevensen’s portrayal of The Punisher is much more authentic and true to the character that has been depicted for years in the comic books.
In fact, Stevensen brings such an edge to the role that outside of Saw V and Rambo IV, The Punisher: War Zone rates as one of the most violent films of 2008.
After hunting down and killing hundreds of criminals, Castle graduates in this film to going head-to-head with the mob, and we’re not talking about the silly little crime syndicate spearheaded by John Travolta in the 2004 film.
But much like a tragic turn of events created Castle’s alter-ego as “The Punisher,” Castle creates his most formidable opponent in the form of Jigsaw, a man formerly known as mob kingpin Billy Russoti (played Dominic West of The Wire). Russoti takes on his new identity after a violent attack from “The Punisher” leaves him disfigured.
With a run time of 103 minutes, The Punisher: War Zone is best experienced in Blu-ray as the film’s ballet of violence takes on a new dimension.
Fans of The Punisher will also enjoy the special features that are included with the two-disk edition. In addition to audio commentary from the film’s director Lexi Alexander as well as the directory of photography, Steve Gainer, there are a host of featurettes such as the making of The Punisher: War Zone; the weapons of The Punisher; a character piece on Jigsaw; creating the look of “The Punisher“; and more.
If chick flicks and art house films are your deal then The Punisher: War Zone is not for you. But if you’re a guy who enjoys movies for guys, you won’t be disappointed.