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Punisher: War Zone
There have been a lot of superhero reboots coming out of Hollywood lately. Batman Begins, The Incredible Hulk, Superman Returns and now Punisher: War Zone. Here's the thing... and I'm not the high paid CEO of a multi-million dollar movie studio... but I think that if you're gonna start over, the reboot should be better than the original. Most of the recent reboots have been better than, or at least as good as the previous installment. Punisher: War Zone was not.
Punisher (2004) was actually a good movie. I've spoken to several people about this and the most common response is "I actually like the first one, it was pretty good." It may not have been perfect, but it was a well acted, well produced comic book movie. With comic book movies pulling in a good portion of the money in Hollywood, I would expect Lionsgate to put every dollar they had behind the only superhero franchise they've got. I hope they didn't because if they did, it was a colossal waste of money.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you can't get the original actors to sign on to a sequel, you really should go into rewrites. Most actors have some level of dignity that they need to maintain. Thomas Jane isn't making an awful lot of movies these days, so for him to turn down a role is big. Especially if he had the opportunity to be immortalized on screen as a superhero. For someone to turn down a role like that, the material would have to be ridiculous... and in this instance, it absolutely was. I mean they didn't even keep the origin story the same from the original movie. Whether or not it's the correct one is irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned. Stick to your guns... the origin of Punisher is not an overwhelming concern of mine. The original movie's origin was good. It made sense. It did not need to be changed.
It's never a good sign when you're laughing at the movie instead of with it. War Zone was so bad it was funny... for some of it. Then it dragged on for another hour and fifteen minutes. There was more blood and gore in this than was necessary for even the most horrifying of horror movies. Peoples faces being blown off, of punched through. Hearts being eaten, necks being broken... you get the point. There was blood squirting everywhere. Every New Yorker, apparently, has a very thick ethnic accent, mostly either Italian or Russian. The blacks and Latinos also had ridiculously thick accents (Jamaican and Puerto Rican).
The acting as a whole was terrible. They tried to trick us into believing that Ray Stevenson is a big name in Hollywood by constantly advertising the movie with his name before the title of the movie... This season you can see Tom Cruise in Valkyrie, Adam Sandler in Bedtime Stories, or Ray Stevenson in Punisher: WarZone. We're not idiots. He's a nobody, and he acts appropriately.
Every aspect of Punisher: War Zone is awful. Do not go see it.