Punisher: War Zone came, the weekend box office was tallied, and ... well, it looks like Frank Castle might not come back again. Do we want that? I don't.

In truth, I can't mount a very spirited defense of the film. I liked it all right, but I left feeling disappointed – something bound to happen after the orgasmic reactions from my esteemed colleagues all over the Internet. I went in expecting to be blown away by B-level madness, but instead felt kind of bored in the talky middle. I don't want to say something like "Leave the dialogue out of a Punisher movie!" because I'm not that shallow. Plus, Castle is a character with gravitas, he has to have some strong and silent moments. I just felt the film veered a little too wildly between camp and solemnity ... and I can't even say which of the two I wish War Zone should have been.

I can let most of my criticisms slide as petty, though -- my main complaint is that there just wasn't enough of the Punisher. I thought that Ray Stevenson was fantastic as Frank Castle, which is probably predictable given the way I heaped praise on the casting choice whenever I could. But he was perfect, putting it all in the eyes and weary posture, a stoic center to a lot of freaky moments.
categories Cinematical