Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Saw Punisher: War Zone

I'm sure that many of you are appalled. Would it shock you more to learn that I thought the last Punisher movie, starring Thomas Jane as Frank Castle, was excellent? Even my wife thought it was good.

Note for fanboys: Straight to video Dolph Lundgren version isn't being counted here.

Being the stupid person that I am, I actually thought that this more recent effort might be of similar substance. Of course, this did nothing but affirm my dumb-headedness.

The first movie focused a lot less on violence than it did on Frank's inability to cope with his tragedy. Much of it centered on his family relationships, then his attempts to forge new relationships with his neighbors. His activities against Howard Saint, while featuring some bloodshed, were of a more cerebral nature, as he gradually eroded Saint's organization from within.

This second movie is almost(?) pornographic in its violence. More explode than in the entire Scanners franchise. People being blown to bits, cut into pieces, etc. is supposed to be interesting, I guess. Not only that, Frank is basically a moron.

About once every 20 minutes or so, the movie attempts to show some humanity on Frank's end, usually with about ten seconds of flashback to his family, Ray Stevenson (who really mails it in) staring woefully at someone who reminds him of his family, or some sad sounding music. Did I mention what happens to MicroChip? Probably best not to.

Anyways, the result is a bunch of people getting blowed up real good with a couple of "Let's all go to the lobby" moments inserted to make it look like someone tried to manufacture a plot. I should have anticipated this. Why bother making something that even vaguely resembles a real movie when you can cater to the base urges of the masses by depicting slaughter?

The first movie was good because it wasn't about slaughter. It was about the person of Frank Castle and his reaction to the bad things that happened to him. The comics are the same way. Frank is only interesting when someone talks about who he is, rather than what he does. The latter is a consequence of the former. When folks try to portray what he does as being identical to who he is, the door is opened for things to suck. Punisher: War Zone kicked the freaking door open, lobbed in a crap grenade, then laughed while it splattered all over the audience.

Anyways, avoid this movie. It is awful. Oh, and the ending is blasphemous (in the literal sense), but hopefully, even if you began watching this cinematic turd, you had the good sense to turn it off before you got to the blasphemy part.

No comments: