Thursday, March 20, 2014

Punisher: War Zone (2008)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Punisher: War Zone (2008).

I didn't remember how rough and gloomy this movie was. It is almost overly so. If it wasn't stupid, this could have been classic like Dredd. I liked Thomas Jane's Punisher, because action was realistic. This doesn't put any effort to be realistic. Punisher doesn't take cover. Action scenes are like from shoot 'em up games. Rest of the movie is too gloomy for shoot 'em up action. Over the top violence worked, when Punisher met parkour guys. That is one of favorite action scenes. First Punisher shoots one guy mid-air with missile and then drops two other, before they realize what just happened. That was only action scene I really liked. Other were too unrealistic.

This movie is not sequel to Thomas Jane's Punisher. This time origin story is from comics. We don't see it as it happened, only flashbacks. Frank Castle's family was killed, when they were at park and saw mafia execution. That started Punisher's war on crime. He happens to kill undercover FBI agent. That makes Punisher want to stop. Guy kills people like nothing and first friendly fire is end of the world for him. He killed agent, when agent came out of the toilet wrong time. If he kills people as casually as he does in this movie, he should have accepted collateral damage or he hasn't spent any time to thinking about consequences of his actions. One death is important, every other death doesn't matter a thing to anyone. This is not only movie, which does that or the worst example. It always feels like lazy writing.

I don't know, what kind of character Jigsaw is in comics. In this movie he is like Joker in Tim Burton's Batman. They even have same scenes with minor differences. Some of Joker's madness is given to Jigsaw's brother Loony Bin Jim. He is more gory than Joker. The movie is more gory than Burton's Batman. To me pair works ok, but they are too much of Batman's villains for Punisher movie. Now, that I start to think it. This movie tries too much to be gory Batman movie. Movie has interesting lighting, but it suits better for Schumacher's Batman movies than Punisher movie, which should be more realistic.

Movie tries to be rough and gloomy action movie, which looks like Batman movie and have Batman's villains. That was the problem. It tried to be two things that doesn't work together unless you are Christopher Nolan and Nolan's Batman movies weren't are rough and gory as this was. I told Thomas Jane is my favorite Punisher. Ray Stevenson gets close. He is great in this movie. As good as script allows him to be. Internal struggle over collateral damage  was so lacy writing, that it made character look thin. Without Batman and shoot 'em up and with more meaningful internal struggle, this could have been action movie classic.

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