Stop Punishing Us!

Today the third attempt at a Punisher film is being released. That film is Punisher: War Zone and it’s getting atrocious reviews. I’m not terribly surprised. I’ve been following the progress of this film for quite some time. Though it showed early promise (new, grizzled Frank Castle; female director who acknowledged the flaws of the Tom Jane version) reports began to surface that things were not going well. I heard some rumors that the director wanted her name off the thing after she was stripped of creative control in the editing room. These things did not bode well but I still held out naive hope that they would perhaps accidentally make something good. After all, how hard can it be? Any of Garth Ennis’ books could be used as a storyboard for a decent Punisher film. Change nothing and you’ll win.

To see it or not to see it. I’m torn. This Onion review of the movie sounds like it’s written from my own head in the future. On the other hand, Aint It Cool News says that it’s bad but in a Starship Troopers kind of way. I heart the camptastic Starship Troopers. But I went in ignorant of the characters. People who loved the book Starship Troopers hate the movie. And I LOVE the Punisher.

It should be pretty simple. Frank Castle is a vengeance-driven badass. He’s constantly getting shot and beaten to the point of death and always recovers just enough to get his man. He’s utterly devoid of a sense of humor and every sentence he utters is the toughest thing you’ve ever heard. He’s walking testosterone.

But he’s not devoid of a heart. If anything, his moral code is pretty black and white. If you kill an innocent person, he will kill you. Occasionally, someone will almost get through to him but they will never succeed because his humanity is broken. He is probably incapable of ever really loving again. But he knows who needs protection and who deserves to die. Imagine Robocop as a flesh-and-blood Frank Castle, and you’re not far off. He’s not complex. The fact that circumstances have turned him into a revenge automaton is what’s so compelling about the character. You would think it difficult to screw it up. And yet…

Yeah, I’m probably gonna see this crap anyway. But the outlook is not good. And unfortunately, these misdeeds will continue to go unpunished.

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1 Comment

  1. Actually I for one love the book Starship Troopers and really liked the movie. they are just two different storys. the book could be resonably be used as a text in a Poli Sci class on the nature or citizenship and the other is a mind reading Doogie howser bug slaying boob fest.
    there is room in my heart for both.


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