Punisher: War Zone
is proof of just how tenacious the people at Marvel Comics are. They're going to keep remaking and rebooting their characters' franchises whether anyone likes it or not!

This is the third time they've taken a stab at Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, the sourpuss vigilante who's been murdering villains in comic books for over 30 years. The first film, in 1989, starred Dolph Lundgren. It turned out as well as could be expected, considering it starred Dolph Lundgren. The reboot, in 2004, starred Thomas Jane and was ridiculed by critics and ignored by audiences.

But hey, third time's the charm, right? Punisher: War Zone, which is as laughably campy and violent as ever, follows the same procedure as this summer's Incredible Hulk in that it's not another origin story, but it's not really a sequel to the last entry, either. 2004's Punisher had Castle's entire extended family being murdered; here, it was only his wife and children. Maybe they realized it's hard to relate to a guy being upset that his mother-in-law was killed.

Castle, now played personality-free by Ray Stevenson (HBO's Rome), has been living in the shadows of New York City and killing bad guys for either four years or five years, depending on which character in the movie you ask. He has an endless stockpile of weapons and some military training. He also has a serious grudge against organized crime -- not just the specific Mafiosi who murdered his family (he dispatched them long ago), but all Italian-named thugs, gangsters, and racketeers.

His primary opponent this time is Billy "the Beaut" Russoti (Dominic West), who renames himself Jigsaw after suffering a Punisher-related accident that tears up his face. An undercover FBI agent is killed during the same scuffle, which Castle feels incredibly guilty about. That guy had a wife and kid, after all! Of course, so did many of the hundreds of criminals Castle has murdered over the last four/five years, but never mind.