My friend and fellow reviewer Marcus Pinn was kind enough to ask me for a review for his EXPENDABLES 2 countdown at his blog, Pinnland Empire. Have a look and check out all of the great reviewers over there now!
I just heard that Fox has picked up The Punisher as a television program. I think that this could work, actually, because of his villains. Does anyone remember how much the TV series The Flash blew? How the only two episodes worth watching were Mark Hamill’s “Trickster” episodes, because he finally had a supervillain to face? Well, the Punisher has no such problems, as all his villains are mobsters or mildly superpowered mobsters. Few of them need special makeup or costuming outside of suits. I’d still rather see this on Showtime, though, being as gory and ridiculous as Punisher: War Zone. I’ll take Irish Rastafarian tumblers being exploded out of the sky over simple gunshots any day.
Punisher: War Zone is a hard movie to rate. It is insanely over the top and hilarious in its excess and utter lack of knowledge of the real world. Its as if the filmmakers watched the Boondock Saints and wondered why they held back so much. The characters are so broadly sketched that nothing they do feels remotely true and the dialogue is cheesy and the delivery hammy. The violence is the selling point of the film, first, last and always. No single bullet (or even punch in one case) fails to destroy the victim’s skull entirely. Certain characters serve no purpose other than target dummies, particularly the Irish Rastafarian and his crew (though that was one of the film’s top moments). In the end, though, the reason I can only give the film two stars is the callous, bad spirited portrayal of the hero. His first and last dealings with Jigsaw are so pointlessly cruel that you are left with no one really to sympathize with. Wayne Knight’s Microchip was the only character to make any sacrifice and this was presented in a heartlessly thrown away moment. I will admit that this mess was entertaining but afterward I just felt a little dirty for having watched it. 2 stars