I was extremely disappointed with Punisher: War Zone. Nobody told me it would be a slasher film. I expected a lot of killing, yes, but not gore. This movie leaves nothing to one’s imagination. In terms of how people are brutally murdered, there is too much reality and too little art. Do we really need to see a murderous psychopath chewing on the flesh of a morbidly obese man to realise how evil and violent we humans have become? As the Yiddish Americans say: “Alright, already!”
And it was supposed to be PG-13. Seeing a senile old lady’s head cut in half (or so I was told, I looked away) was no different than watching a little girl’s leg getting chewed by two dogs in Watchmen (which was extremely disturbing, by the way). At least, Watchmen was rated R; this movie was inappropriately rated suitable for teens.
If I have not convinced you enough, below are my favourite review comments from Rotten Tomatoes:
– Unlike more high-powered Marvel heroes like Spider-Man and X-Men, The Punisher has never enjoyed much box office success and this excruciatingly terrible film certainly won’t change that.
– The IQ is as low as the body count is high and the uncharismatic Ray Stevenson might as well have been wearing a mask for all the emotion he shows.
– You couldn’t call it shoddy, exactly, and the actors take it painfully seriously; it’s just dispiriting to see all this endeavour in the service of something so humourless and disgusting.
– The punishment doesn’t end there, with anyone who hands over good money to watch this dreck also likely to feel the pain.
– Another violently unsuccessful attempt to bring this comic book character to screen.
– ‘Oh God, now I’ve got brains spattered all over me,’ exclaims The Punisher’s slippery inside man, Detective Soap. You may feel the same at the end of this messy, sadistic reboot of the Marvel comic-book series.
– Once in a while someone will come up to me and ask why movies are so violent. Generally, they’re talking about a war movie or a horror movie such as ‘Saw.’ In the future, I will throw out ‘The Punisher: War Zone’ as a comparison.
– The film boasts some of the more revolting special effects ever conceived. There isn’t really any acting to speak of, although Jigsaw and Loony Bin Jim get to chew people and scenery; the dialogue is pretty much what you’d expect.
– At one point, the Punisher is asked who punishes him. The better question for those who made this inane bloodfest is: Why punish us?
– The film actually wants us to ponder its moral and ethical implications — which is like a stripper telling you she wants to go to law school. Yeah, sure, whatever you say, movie. I’m not paying you to talk.
– Bodily fluids and the sounds they generate are a big part of this gory and wholly unsatisfying slasher film.
Need I say more?