Why Punisher: War Zone Deserves Cult Status

Sub-Cult is Nathan Rabin’s ongoing exploration of movies that have quietly attracted devoted followings and are on the verge of becoming full-on cult sensations.

by | October 13, 2015 | Comments


As its title suggests, Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane Raphael’s wildly popular bad movie podcast How Did This Get Made? exists to provide a comedic post-mortem and dissection of flops so terrible, their very existence defies comprehension. It is a podcast about bad movies that, at its best, enthusiastically celebrates the dregs of cinema as much it humorously condemns them.

But every once in a while the podcast turns into something much different. That was the case in October of 2011, when national treasure Patton Oswalt and Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander came on the podcast not to derive schadenfreude over a terrible movie’s failure but rather to herald the oft-overlooked virtues of the third attempt to bring Marvel’s bloodthirsty vigilante to the big screen.

Alexander told riveting behind-the-scenes stories of how the filmmaker behind the well-respected English soccer drama Green Street Hooligans became the latest caretaker of one of Marvel’s trickiest anti-heroes, providing fascinating insight into the complicated and fraught manner by which filmmakers balance their personal visions with the commercial demands of making a contemporary superhero movie. Oswalt was on the podcast in his capacity as a widely beloved stand-up comedian and podcast fixture, but more than that, he was there in his unofficial but essential role as a pop culture evangelist, a man of deep and deeply informed passions who has devoted much of his life and career to convincing other people to love the art and trash and entertainment that sings to him as much as it does. Oswalt was able to re-contextualize what had been roundly dismissed as another grim mistake as a movie that came closer than the two previous Punisher movies in bringing the Punisher of the comic books to the big screen with his brutal, uncompromising intensity intact.


“Ray Stevenson doesn’t just cut an unmistakably bleak and tortured figure; on a physical level, he looks deeply unwell.”

As Oswalt articulated on the podcast, Frank Castle/The Punisher, as played by Ray Stevenson, doesn’t just cut an unmistakably bleak and tortured figure; on a physical level, he looks deeply unwell, like the soul-sickness afflicting his spirit seeped into his body as well and contaminated him on a biological level. But it isn’t just Frank Castle’s body that is rotting and unclean. The city he protects has also clearly seen better days, and has devolved into a grim, nightmare dystopia of rust, filth and grime. It’s as if the sun went away the moment Castle’s wife and children were brutally murdered by hoods and never came back, and the haunted expression on Stevenson’s face and his thousand-yard stare convey that grief artfully and effectively.

For Castle, action is character, and the Punisher is nothing if not a man of action. Punisher: War Zone doesn’t waste a lot of time on exposition — no mean feat for a movie tasked with re-introducing an iconic comic book character a lot of the audience will not be familiar with — and what little exposition War Zone does possess feels wholly unnecessary. Stevenson does not talk much; he prefers to let his impressive, oft-employed arsenal communicate for him, and its primary message seems to be that there are far too many bad people still alive in this sick, sad world, and that Castle will do everything in his power to change that. In the film’s impressive first set-piece, he furtively infiltrates a massive mob gathering and, lit only by a flare that gives him a demonic, unholy glow, proceeds to slaughter an entire mob family in a gorgeously choreographed symphony of bloodshed. It’s gun-fu at its finest, and highlights Lexi Alexander’s gift for staging action sequences that are visceral and exciting but also clean and comprehensible.

As an icon, the Punisher is defined by his eagerness to go too far, to routinely transgress the perpetually blurry boundaries separating good and evil for the sake of both vengeance and justice. So in order for a film adaptation to be true to the character, it similarly needs to make a virtue of going too far. For Punisher: War Zone, that means allowing the Punisher to rack up a body count that approaches the population of a small island nation and to amass that body count in the bloodiest, most graphic manner imaginable. Frank Castle is an artist who paints in gushing spurts of blood and exploding skulls, a mad scientist — complete with a shadowy, nightmarish lair — whose science, as it were, is mass bloodshed.

As a result, this is a Marvel movie unlike any other, if only because it isn’t just a distinctly unfamily-friendly R — it’s a hard R, the kind that could easily veer into NC-17 territory with a few more exploding skulls or a little more messy viscera flying in every direction. That R rating goes a long way towards explaining why Punisher: War Zone is, if not the single least commercially successful Marvel film of all time, then at least one of them.


“For Castle, action is character, and the Punisher is nothing if not a man of action.”

Much of the appeal of the Marvel universe lies in the inter-connected nature of everything, in the sense that Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy for that matter, all share the same universe and could stop by and visit each other if the fancy struck them. That’s true of comic books as well. Hell, the Punisher debuted in an issue of Spider-Man and shares some super-villains with Daredevil (whose Netflix show he is currently a character on) and your friendly neighborhood webslinger.

But it’s difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the Punisher of Punisher: War Zone sharing a screen with Thor or the Incredible Hulk or Iron Man. If Hulk were to pop up for a cameo in Punisher: War Zone the way Falcon pops up briefly in Ant-Man, it would be so jarring and surreal that it would completely destroy the brutal realities of the film, a reality rooted in grief and misery but also one that could not, and will not, support appearances from radioactive spider-people or gamma ray-damaged green rage monsters. Castle lives his entire life in the agonizing, endlessly painful shadow of the brutal massacre of the people he loved most in the world, so it would seem pretty damn bizarre if he were to, say, take a break from his endless mourning to joke around with Captain America.

Still, Punisher: War Zone benefits from a deep vein of gallows humor that complements the almost cartoonishly over-the-top violence rather than undercuts it. In the film’s most inspired running gag, an insufferable group of parkour enthusiast bad guys leap and sashay their way around a grim urban hellscape, hooting and hollering with glee at their robust athleticism. It’s a loving parody of action movies’ weird momentary fixation on parkour (a fixation that has led to actual parkour-based action movies) exaggerated to comic extremes that has an awesome payoff when the freerunning showoffs are leaping about and Castle kills one with bullets, one with a rocket, and the last one by hurling him off a building and onto a spike. It’s a funny gag, but it’s also a statement of purpose: other action movies can waste their time with trendy nonsense that already looked silly and dated by the time Punisher: War Zone hit theaters in 2008; Alexander’s film understands the power and deadly force of a scowling, stationary man with an arsenal and deadly aim.

Since Castle doesn’t do much talking, Dominic West is free to ham it up as Jigsaw in a performance that owes a great deal to Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman and is never more compelling than when Jigsaw is buddying around with Loony Bin Jim, the brother he springs from the mental hospital to assist him in his crime spree. And as Loony Bin Jim, a lunatic with an intense interest in human anatomy more homicidal than medical, veteran character actor Doug Hutchinson is incredibly creepy and disturbing, albeit not as creepy or disturbing as in the other role Hutchinson is known for: the “veteran character actor in desperate erotic thrall to nightmare teenage exhibitionist Courteney Stodden” in the tacky, vulgar reality show known as real life, and alternatively, in Couples Therapy.


“Dominic West is free to ham it up as Jigsaw in a performance that owes a great deal to Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman.”

Loony Bin Jim and Jigsaw clearly love each other. In a sweet — if wholly deranged — display of affection, “LBJ” tries to make Jigsaw feel better about the horrifying prospect of being reminded of his grotesque disfigurement every time he looks at his reflection by flamboyantly smashing every mirror he encounters. That familial bond of brotherly love is an endearing quality, even in sociopaths.

Thanks in no small part to Hutchinson’s scummily compelling turn, Punisher: War Zone is so unrelentingly nasty, dour and disturbing in its grim take on society and human nature that audiences might want to take a shower after it’s over. Then again, that’s true of any ten-minute stretch of Couples Therapy as well.

When projects are rejected by the public the way Punisher: War Zone was, there is an understandable tendency to romanticize and mourn the film fans wanted it to be. While I think Punisher: War Zone is an entertaining, unique and bleakly funny take on well-worn superhero fare, I think there is an element of that at play here as well. Punisher: War Zone is no overlooked masterpiece, but it is a nifty little sleeper that’s better than its reputation suggests.

The Marvel cinematic universe is vast, and it seems to grow larger by the day. But the appeal of Punisher: War Zone lies in how small and bleak and claustrophobic it is, too small and bleak and claustrophobic to support guest appearances from other, sunnier heroes. Unfortunately, other things were small when it came to Punisher: War Zone as well, like its budget and a box-office gross that was record-setting for all the wrong reasons. When it comes to racking up a body count, however, Punisher: War Zone wasn’t just huge: it was epic.

My Original Certification: Rotten
My Re-Certification: Fresh
Tomatometer: 27 percent

Up next: Trick ‘r’ Treat

  • Vits/Vicente Torres

    It doesn’t. It’s a terrible movie in every aspect.
    The premise was (supposedly) the title character’s inside debate wheter he should retire or not. At the end, it doesn’t get solved. Nothing does.
    Doug Hutchinson did appear as crazy as his character was, but his enounciation is enough to qualify it as a bad performance. Dominic West’s way of speaking was annoying, but the performance wasn’t overall bad. Although, it did seem at one point a bad JOKER rip-off.

  • Derek Eklund

    Did you honestly just fucking compare Dominic West’s Jigsaw with Jack Nicholson’s Joker?

    This movie was terrible in every aspect.

    • Trainwreck

      Right that West/Nicholson comparison is an enormous universe spanning stretch.

    • SaoirseRonanTheAccuser

      He did, because they’re very clearly going for similar things with the performances. You might like Nicholson’s much better, but they’re still stylistically similar.

    • WetButtsDriveMeNuts

      Even if you don’t like the performance, it doesn’t mean there’s no resemblance between the two.

    • Von Strubel

      Jack Nicholson’s Joker is a boring and complacent performance. It’s not the Joker but just famous-Cuckoonest-actor-Jack-Nicholson-lazy-playing-the-Joker. West at least seems to have fun.

  • Trainwreck

    This is simply a shit film. The acting is sub par the story is poorly told and the action is slow. The Punisher film starring Tom Jane is far superior even with Travolta.

  • Jin Young Kim

    Both Punisher movies had flaws but War Zone had better action overall…. Thomas Jane’s Punisher was kind of a joke especially when he tricks John Travolta’s character into thinking his wife is cheating on him since that’s totally going against the character of the Punisher who is supposed to be a run and gun action hero.. not a trickster…

    • cjob3

      I remember cheering in the theater “Yeah, boy! Make the mutherfucka question his marriage!! That’s what you get for messing with the Punisher!!” WTF? Why wouldn’t he just shoot the bad guy? Look at your shirt, you’re the Punisher! He shoulda wore a shirt with a fire hydrant on it.

      • Vits/Vicente Torres

        By killing his wife and friend and then finding out they were innocent, he suffered a lot more.

        • cjob3

          For about two seconds. Then just he killed him. Helluva lot of trouble to go to for two seconds.

          Then he arranged for a bunch of cars to explode in the shape of the Punisher logo. I couldn’t believe it. Hellava lotta trouble to go to for… I don’t even know what.

          • tOST

            WTF – that would’ve been my exact thoughts, if Jane would’ve just walked to Travolta, shot him and walked away.
            did everything right. He made him suffer, he brought PUNISHMENT –
            that’s exactly why he is a fucking Punisher – and then he killed him.
            As for the cars and the Punisher logo – obviously that was a message to the crime – there’s a new guy in town, and his name is Punisher.

          • Vits/Vicente Torres

            Hmmm…Maybe he believes in Hell and wants him to think about those deaths for eternity? I don’t know; I’ve never read the comics.

    • DJ JD

      I like how the Big Bad’s biggest character flaw is explicitly stated to be that he really loves his wife, too. Take that, Promise Keepers!

  • I loved the film; I thought it was great for what it was. The Punisher of the comic books is a very pulpy sort of character, and that’s how this film portrays him.

  • JohnnyRawl

    War Zone is THE worst Marvel movie in history, which is saying a whole heck of lot. The movie is tacky in every way possible. From the daytime soaps dialogue/acting, to the Hannibal wannabe villains, to the Saw/Lionsgate filters, etc. I’m shocked there are people out there that actually made it to the parkour scene without getting a clue about how truly God awful the movie is.

    • Ace20xd6

      What about Man-Thing from 2005?

      • Persia

        Fantastic Four 2015, for that matter.

        • JohnnyRawl

          FF (2015) is indeed as awful as every single comic movie released this year and currently the hip thing to hate, but it’s in no way worse than the first two. We’re talking Marvel movies to get a major release since Blade. That includes such massive misfires as FF 1&2, Origins: Wolverine, Blade 3, Ghost Rider 1&2, Hulk (2003), etc. etc. War Zone however is in a league of its own as far as bad taste is concerned.

          • But you see, Fant4stic is actually far worse than all the other movies you listed.

          • JohnnyRawl

            Actually, no, it’s not. The third act is a complete train wreck, but the rest is mainly just … bland. It’s nowhere near the levels of extreme cheesiness that the others are. I get it though, you love your cheese.

            Taste is subject, except when it comes to Punisher: War Zone. Quite frankly it’s pure indefensible shit.

          • Cheese is always tasty. And much healthier than the manure you consider a passable film.

          • JohnnyRawl

            Wrong again amigo! Just because it doesn’t rest in the very lowest depths of cinematic hell doesn’t automatically make it passable. Bash away at it all you want for all I care. It’s the same kind of manure you’ve been fed this year like Ant-Man. It just didn’t have the Marvel defense force backing it.

    • WetButtsDriveMeNuts

      I don’t know how to break this to you, but this isn’t a very good opinion to have.

    • OK, it’s not a good movie, at all, but it’s NOT the worst Marvel movie. Take your pick from Doctor Strange, the 1994 AND 2015 Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Howard the Duck (although that’s one’s kinda fun in a stupid way). At the very least, War Zone understands it’s main character WAY more than any of those films. Plus, at least Jigsaw’s memorable as a villain, compared to the villains from these other films.

  • Dr.Malicious

    This film deserves nothing but utter contempt. No film “deserves” cult status (or anything for that matter), it is either given or it isn’t.

  • Bryton Cherrier

    This site has some of the shittiest popular culture journalism I’ve seen more than most sites.
    Great job.

  • GerradDowns

    I went in expecting the punisher to rack up a body count. He did.

    there really shouldn’t be high expectations for a punisher movie.

    is it good? no.

    is it the worst movie I’ve ever seen? no

    Is it the best of the 3 punisher movies? obviously.

    • MrMovieDude

      Nope, the Thomas Jane film is miles better.

  • David Webb

    They can’t be serious, this is one of the worst Marvel’s movies, dump, violentely disgusting, poorly directed ! It should be erased of cinema’s history

    • Well, in terms of the “violently disgusting” comment…it IS a Punisher movie. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. Honestly, I’ve always thought this film deserved better than what it got, since it understood the Punisher WAY better than the other films.

      • David Webb

        I’m waiting about what they are going to show on Daredevil’s serie. Marvel can do a lot better than what they did on cinema

  • Finally some love for this film. I’ve always said it was really underappreciated when it is, in fact, the best portrayal of the Punisher on screen so far.

  • Kyle Davidson

    Whether this is a good Punisher film is up for debate because with all of the different variations on all of the different comic characters how can you please all of the fans? As a film I feel this succeeds at filling the film with character actors that can take up the space left over when a lead character is supposed to lack charisma (after The Other Guys I will never accuse Ray Stevenson of lacking charisma but as The Punisher he sure does). Wayne Knight, Colin Salmon, Dash Mihok don’t seem to be phoning it in and you already touched on the insane relationship of Dominic West and Doug Hutchinson’s characters. They are just ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous and are clearly enjoying themselves while they chew and smash the scenery until the violent finale. Oh and how about that last line? “Oh, God. Now I’ve got brain splattered all over me.”

  • dunnypop

    I really thought the action / violence in this version of the Punisher was pretty epic. And then you mentioned Looney Bin Jim… and I was like “Wow they just completely hammed this movie up”. Jigsaw also looked like he was from a comic book film in the 80’s or 90’s. The film itself wasn’t too compelling in the story line as the Punisher doesn’t really have much of an end goal… he just keeps killing criminals… there’s no justice for his family.

    • Well…Jigsaw IS from comic books from the ’70s and ’80s. So…fitting?

  • johnclayton

    I loved this Punisher. I didn’t like his enemies. He wasn’t cartoonish, they were. That’s what was awful about the movie. If you make a serious movie…all dark and not try to bring humor into the mix, you’ll get a super hit. Remember the seriousness of the movie SEVEN? The darkness…That’s the way a new Punisher movie will prevail. Just like what Nolan did to Batman, we need someone to understand that the Punisher is in another league by its own in the Marvel Universe…Alone…and in darkness. And if you put on a shooting scene “a la” HEAT, you’ll turn up a lot of heads The Punisher’s way…

  • cjob3

    Patton’s right. Ray Stevenson NAILED the character of the Punisher. Sad, world weary, insane. Killing everyone had obviously become a depressing but necessary chore to him. I even liked Microchip. The problem is Jigsaw. His character gets WAAAY too much screen time for someone so uninteresting. His performance is silly and both his character and origin are shamelessy stolen from Jack’s Joker. I think he even says “(name here)s dead, call me Jigsaw.” Just terrible.

    Scrap everyone else but Stevenson deserves another crack at it.

    • DJ JD

      I agree with you, but I think your observation points to another, bigger problem with Punisher movies overall: the plot basically exists to keep the Punisher away from the bad guy long enough for a movie to happen. Because after all, bad guys show up, Castle kills ’em. In this case, Jigsaw seemed to exist because the movie needed him to (although I also liked Hutchinson’s performance as his brother,) but he needed something tangible to be pursuing because structurally, he really needed to be the tragic protagonist, unable to achieve his goals because of his own righteous downfall at the hands of the Punisher. (The thing is, I think any Punisher movie would have to work very hard to get around this. The Thomas Jane one actually had some advantages to it, on the point–although I’d certainly say War Zone was the better Punisher movie in practically every way.)

      Long postscript that made me grin: An acting coach once told me that character and plot are intertwined and used Hamlet and Macbeth as an example: switch the leads and the plots, and you’ve have one play that takes twenty years to not go anywhere (“I wonder when the prophecy will come true? I wonder if the prophecy was even about me? Is there something I should be doing about the prophecy? Do I even want this prophecy? Is it something I can resist, even if I want to? How do prophecies really work, anyway?”)–and one play where everyone’s dead by Act 1, Scene 2. (“Macbeth, your uncle/my brother killed me, the ghost of your father!” “Okay, I’ll be right back.” Boom, all dead.) The Punisher is a case study in how the character can make the plot awfully tricky to do well.

    • NathanFords EvilTwin

      Don’t scrap Alexander too, she’s great.

  • cjob3

    I wish there was a Stan Lee cameo. During the opening scene, when Punisher is killing everyone in the room, Stan walks in a pair of overalls carrying a toolbox.

    “Greetings! I’m here to fix the–”

    and then he’s shot 7000 times.

  • Marcus

    You lost me when you called Patton Oswalt a national treasure….

  • tOST

    Can Punisher War Zone be just a normal movie? Yes.
    Does it deserve cult status? Definitely no!

  • Carl

    Warzone is an awful movie by any standard. I skipped it in theaters but downloaded it because I love comic book movies. I had to stop watching half way through because it was embarrassingly bad. The Thomas Jane movie is much better.

  • Scottie Rock

    I think this movie was fun as hell. I like Ray Stevenson as an actor and feel like they missed on how The Punisher character was written. Regardless, it was over-the-top, campy, violent fun.

  • Kondorr

    bad movie is bad…

  • SaoirseRonanTheAccuser

    Fantastic film. Great direction, solid performances. It’s got some flaws – the ‘Punisher protects Mom & Tot’ thing was wildly out of place – but it’s still the best example of what makes the Punisher work as a character, and a really enjoyable pitch-black action comedy.

    Loving these articles so far!

    • I just realized the undercover cop thing could have been stripped from the movie entirely and it would have gone on otherwise. Castle would have gone after Jigsaw regardless!

  • Dustin Koski

    God, as much as this is held up as some sort of winking camp masterpiece, it’s mostly just dull. I heard an interview where Alexander said that she hated the comic and it shows. She didn’t even engage the material enough to mock it most of the time.

  • ManiacMan

    The 2004 film is certainly not great but it is much better than War Zone. Ray Stevenson was a pretty good Punisher though.

  • Enrique Quevedo

    This article is a fucking joke, Equilibrium is a cult classic because it was awesome and virtually no one knows about it, as an avid fan of the punisher all my life and having read the penultimate Garth Ennis run this movie was atrocious, horribly made, the action scenes and set pieces totally miss the point not only on what the punisher is about (not rotating from a chandelier upside down while firing) but they’re just such recycled garbage and plain bad, theres nothing memorable about this film except how awful it was, this should have been some kind of late night tv ma release for sci fi or even cw, this movie should be burned and forgotten, Lei Alexander is a horrible director, Green Street Hooligans was not a good movie at all, and im a huge fan of how did this get made and this is the one and only episode I don’t listen to because its offensive and bonkers that they or anyone in this world gave this movie praise. Dominic West’s Jiggsaw? awful wasted latent and an embarrassing performance as well as whoever played his “deranged brother.” Everyone in this movie is awful and they shot it in Toronto to fake New York, and most movies that do that I end up hating. Punching someone’s face in? This movie is a cartoon made by WB’s looney toons and not even the actual marvel cartoon movies that actually take this character more seriously. Let me ask you all, what was the most recent movie Lexi Alexander made? I can’t recall a thing after this garbage heap.

  • SunnySkyNL

    A friend of mine told me years ago that I really should watch Punisher War Zone and once I did I was really happy I did. I love this movie, there are too little movies that go all out. The Punisher is not a nice guy when it comes to bad guys and in this movie he is exactly that, no mercy, non compromising. The part when he blasts one of the bad guys in the face with a shotgun now that’s how I want to see my Punisher. Stories about a guy that has lost everything and now have nothing left but hate and revenge are always great but often still hold back to much, not in War Zone and that’s why I absolutely love this movie, I would love to see a sequel with the same actor but I doubt that will happen knowing it’s considered to be a flop :S

  • Wayne Bennett

    Addressing people who are saying “this movie sucked and still does” you did read the title of the article right? The part that says “cult status”… means that people (primarily the non-mainstream audience it was intended for including comic fans) have created a following for this little gem. If you’re STILL not in the cult need not apply 😉 >>>You still have Thor 3 to look forward to lmao.

  • MrMovieDude

    The 2004 ‘The Punisher’ film with Thomas Jane is the one that deserves to be applauded, it was excellent. War Zone had some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever seen in a film.

  • CMan

    Until I see what Jon Bernthal does in Daredevil Season 2, the best live action version of the Punisher so far, is Benicio Del Toro in Sicario, a movie which Bernthal co-stars in. I hope Bernthal was taking notes from Del Toro while on the set of Sicario. If anyone hasn’t seen Sicario yet, I urge you to do so before it leaves the theater. Sicario is the closet you’ll ever get to a Batman/Punisher or Captain America/Punisher movie with Josh Brolin pulling up the rear as a very Nick Fury like character or at least the way Garth Ennis would’ve written Nick Fury.

    Anyway, Garth Ennis is a great way to segue into the topic of Punisher: War Zone. I remember seeing this film in the theaters back in winter of 2008 (yes the same year of Iron-Man, Dark Knight, Hellboy 2, and the Incredible Hulk) and loving it. At that time, I thought War Zone was by far the best take on the Punisher character, that is until something wonderful happened. I started reading Garth Ennis’s run on the Punisher, especially the Marvel Max and Marvel Knights line. Every single storyline that Ennis wrote during his run on the Punisher trumps, I mean literally trumps any and all Punisher movies, especially War Zone.

    The more Ennis stories I read, the more disillusioned I became with Punisher: War Zone. I mean to take wonderfully developed characters like Budiansky, Pitzy, MacGinty, and especially Jigsaw and to turn them into borderline Adam West Batman characters is a crying shame. I definitely prefer John Travlota’s Howard Saint (Punisher 04) and Kim Miyori’s Lady Tanaka (Punisher 89) as villains because they are taken more seriously.

    War Zone is still an entertaining film to watch, but as a truly good adaptation of the Punisher, it lacks severly. I could go on about this movie, but I have to get back to work.

  • chan ngo

    Couldn’t help but cheer and squirm watching this. I wasn’t expecting much but the characters, the violence and humour really impressed me especially with the budget and other restraints they had.

    Don’t just listen to others opinions or you might just miss out on a hidden gem like this.

    “Sometimes id like to get my hands on god.”

  • bibleverse1

    I have never seen this film. I might take a look.

  • NameNamerson

    Punisher is the greatest anti-hero ever

  • Timothy Howard

    This movie was fantastic. I have been saying that since it came out. It was a true representation of what the Punisher does. The earlier film with Dolph Lungaren was also pretty good for the same reasons.

  • EB

    I saw both Punishers. From the (far superior) Thomas Jane version, I remember the horrific island shootout, the fantastic battle with the Russian, his quirky apartment-mates. And I remember being entertained.

    Of this one I remember absolutely nothing. It deserves to be forgotten in the sands of time. If they wanted to do it again, they should have continued Thomas Jane’s series.

    • Jared Bellow

      I feel the same way. I think releasing Thomas Jane’s The Punisher on the same day as Kill Bill Volume 2 really hurt the movie.

  • Wait. Green Street was well respected? Because… nope.

  • Jackie Jormpjomp

    The movie is a mess and West shows little of the talent he has in his other roles, but it is a brutal, darkly funny bad guy massacre. I was prepared to hate it, and really questioned Stevenson as the star, but it was a satisfying action b flick and Stevenson was perfect. I actually liked all the Punisher movies for different reasons, while still aware their shortcomings. As far as watching a believable badass sawing through armies of scumbags (or punching one so hard the fist smashes INTO a skull) this flick delivered.

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