In our Punisher: War Zone Revisited video, we look back on the under-appreciated sequel starring Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle.
When people think of Frank Castle on the silver screen, actors like Jon Bernthal and Dolph Lundgren come to mind. However, the late Ray Stevenson‘s portrayal in Lexi Alexander’s 2008 crime-drama Punisher: War Zone hides in the shadows of the character’s cinematic history. The film was planned as a sequel to 2004’s The Punisher, starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta. War Zone picks up five years into the anti-hero’s journey into darkness, with Frank encountering his most significant threat in the villain Jigsaw, played by Dominic West.
Jonathan Hensleigh, who directed The Punisher, was supposed to return with Jane reprising the title role. However, setbacks kept the film from progressing, with Hensleigh and Jane hard-quitting the project out of frustration. Jane expressed his exasperation by saying, “What I won’t do is spend months of my life sweating over a movie I don’t believe in. I’ve always loved the Marvel guys and wish them well.”
While some reviewers find Punisher: Warzone a mediocre sequel with wooden performances and uninspired story progression, today’s video errs on the positive with our writer, Kier Gomes, sharing his enthusiasm for the movie and journey toward loving the dark horse Marvel spectacle. Starting the film with Frank already established as the Punisher is a breath of fresh air for fans who’ve grown bored of origin story retreads every time a new movie hits cinemas. This positioning cuts to the quick, putting audiences directly in Castle’s warpath already in progress.
Gomes points out the duality between Punisher and Jigsaw’s motivations, too. Both characters have defining aspects of their lives ripped away from them by violence, leading them down different paths toward self-destruction. Alexander’s film also explores Frank’s motivation and whether he deserves punishment for his crimes. Who polices Frank Castle? Who keeps him in check? Is that even possible?
Gomes explores the overall look of the film as well, in all of its neon and rain-soaked glory. While some fans could find the presentation to be too early 2000s, the aesthetic could grow on you, much like the vibes from 2021’s G.I. Joe spin-off Snake Eyes.
We’ll dig into these themes in the new video while reflecting on Punisher: War Zone. Grab a flack jacket and join us! by Kier Gomes wrote, narrated, and edited Punisher: War Zone Revisited.
Do you think Punisher: War Zone is underrated? Let us know in the comments.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/punisher-war-zone-revisited/