Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller. Rated R.
credit: Publicity Photo
Stevenson and Colin Salmon in Lionsgate Films' Punisher:
Punisher: War Zone
is the latest film reincarnation based on the Marvel Comics dark
knight. After his family was brutally murdered at the hands of
organized crime, Frank Castle was reborn as a self-styled judge,
jury, and executioner -- showing no mercy to the criminal elements
whatsoever Ray Stevenson steps into the role of the ultimate vigilante
antihero, but the British actor wasn't the first.
If society won't punish
the guilty, he will.
was first portrayed by international cult action hero Dolph Lundgren
in the late 80s filmed in Australia. But it wasn't released domestically
when New World Pictures filed bankruptcy. Despite having loads
of action with a B-grade flavor, it failed to explore more into
the backstory on how and why Frank Castle became The Punisher
as well as having the infamous Punisher skull "logo";
still, the film has developed a following over the years due its
release on VHS and runs on cable.
If you want peace, prepare for war. Frank Castle is dead; he died
with his family. The law is inadequate. It is necessary to pursue
natural justice. This isn't revenge, because revenge is an emotional
response, not a valid motive. This isn't vengeance; this is punishment.
Thomas Jane next entered
the role in 2004, which was a better improvement due to the story,
when it was the year that film antiheroes and the theme of revenge
made a comeback -- with a vengeance. Despite lukewarm box office
returns, the film did well on DVD sales, which was enough to greenlit
a planned sequel with Jane reprising the character. However, production
for it was held due to script rewrites, budget concerns, and changes
in directors. In a 2007 letter to Ain't It Cool News,
Jane wrote about his frustrations on this just shortly after he
pulled out. "What I won't do", the actor stated, "is
spend months of my life sweating over a movie that I just don't
believe in. I've always loved the Marvel guys and wished them
well. Meanwhile, I'll continue to search for a film that one day
might stand with all those films that the fans have asked me to
Somebody has to punish the corrupt.
In Punisher: War
Zone, Castle continues to wage his one-man war against organized
crime while being hunted by a federal task force, as he takes
on a disfigured mobster who now calls himself Jigsaw (Dominic
West). Like DC Comics' Bruce Wayne/Batman, The Punisher lost his
family to crime, and is using his years of combat and law enforcement
to take on the forces of evil. Like the Caped Crusader, he has
no superpowers yet isn't dedicating himself to fighting crime
to avenge and honor the death of his family as well as protect
the innocent. He does what he does because he hates the criminals
and will not rest every single one of them has been eliminated.
For Frank Castle, this isn't business or personal; it's punishment.
Those who do evil unto others ... will come to know me well. Frank
Castle is dead. Call me ... The Punisher.