Punisher: War Zone Is a Slasher Movie with Guns

It really shouldn't have been so hard to make a decent Punisher movie; after all, the character is basically just Death Wish's Paul Kersey on steroids, in spandex. How come it took Hollywood so long to figure that out? Following a direct-to-video '80s version starring Dolph Lundgren, and an unfortunately campy 2004 reboot with Thomas Jane, Lionsgate has gotten back to basics with Punisher: War Zone. Rome's Ray Stevenson plays the skull-clad Frank Castle like a cross between Steven Seagal and Jason Voorhees. Early on, he fixes his own broken nose by jamming a pencil up his nostril; nobody else in the movie gets off quite so easily, as blood, brains, intestines, and chunks of flayed skin fly. (It's not technically a horror movie, but nobody told the effects guys that.) The plot, such as it is, involves Castle second-guessing his life as a vigilante after accidentally killing an undercover fed, while fighting off a mobster (Dominic West) who has fallen into a giant glass-crusher and been recycled as a lethal Leatherface lookalike called Jigsaw. But the script isn't what matters here: This is a slasher movie with guns, and, uh, huh-huh, that's pretty cool.

 
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