Punisher: War Zone Lexi Alexander

Punisher: War Zone Lexi Alexander
Following in the footsteps of the Hulk franchise, Lionsgate and Marvel reboot The Punisher with a new director and a new lead by picking up the storyline years after ex-Special Forces officer Frank Castle's violent transformation into vigilante the Punisher, as portrayed in the self-titled first movie of the series (itself a reboot of the 1989 film debut of the character). In War Zone, the Punisher (Ray Stevenson) is still eliminating criminal organizations with his special brand of excessive force but when he kills an undercover F.B.I. agent during one such (botched) operation, life becomes more difficult. His guilt over this "collateral damage" drives him to quit, and the dead agent's partner (Colin Salmon) is hot on the trail, especially once he starts to realize that the police are not only turning a blind eye but they might even be offering assistance. All this and he still has to stop Jigsaw (Dominic West), a crime boss intent on revenge for the horrific scarring he received at the hands of the Punisher. In other words, it's a fairly typical Punisher storyline. And new director Lexi Alexander's reboot captures that same spirit, delving deeper into the depths of depravity, drenching everything in dirt, shadows and blood. The latter paints the sets during superb action sequences that perfectly capture the Punisher's tendency for overkill, combined with great orchestration and cheesy special FX and make-up. And speaking of make-up, West's disfigured Jigsaw channels Jack Nicholson's Joker, adding a bit of necessary comic book camp to War Zone. While not of the calibre of Iron Man or the first two X-Men movies, Punisher: War Zone is the best contribution to that franchise yet, and also is far, far better comic book fare than Daredevil, Elektra or Cat Woman. The special features are lacking though. (Maple)