Punisher: War Zone movie review



The third cinematic incarnation of The Punisher has been variously described as “disgusting” and “hyperviolent.” Whilst that may be enough to deter most Guardian readers, it was exactly these words that made me choose to seek it out.


Disgustingly hyperviolent it is indeed, but it’s a lot more than that. Remember how when you watched “Crank” you couldn’t work out if it was Supposed to be a comedy or just accidentally bad and painfully over the top? Multiply that feeling by ten and you have P:WZ. I refuse to accept that this film was made to be anything other than tongue-in-cheek, and as a ridiculous spectacle of carnage it succeeds on every front. It is so wilfully terrible that it genuinely subverts your preconceptions of what you thought a bad film was; and yet strangely, its very well put together.


The film exists almost entirely in neon-lit night time, borrowing heavily from Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin“; Dominic West and his cartoon baddies chew the scenery so zanily that they make “Dick Tracy” appear positively diagetic; and as for The Punisher himself, he looks like one of those fake “gangsters” who appear on EastEnders every now and then.


Being a threequel and a reboot at the same time, there is not a minute wasted on characterisation or backstory. Punisher himself rarely speaks when it’s so much easier to shoot someone’s limbs off, shove a spike through an artery, or just nonchalantly mutilate a Mobster’s face with a conveniently placed glass-recycling plant.


Punisher : War Zone is a cult film in the making. I’m well aware that every critic slated it, and so they should, but put it on with a few gore-hound friends, crack open a beer and have the best laugh you will have until Crank 2 gurns its way into the cinemas.


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