"Excessive Ultra-Violence, Obscenity and Revenge"
PUNISHER: WAR ZONE is a brutal action/crime thriller based on a long-running comic book series that has undergone several incarnations. There have even been two separate movies based on the series already, but this one is inspired by an incarnation created in 2004
The Punisher is Frank Castle, a former policeman and Christian seminary student. Frank has become the Mafia’s nemesis after the mob murdered his wife and their two children. The cops in New York are sympathetic to his vigilante killings of murderous gangsters. In fact, the opening scene introduces viewers to two detective partners who both secretly help Frank without the other one knowing.
After killing an elderly Mafia kingpin, Frank goes after one of his mob lieutenants, Billy Russoti. During the battle at a warehouse, Frank leaves Russoti to die in a glass crusher and snags some of Russoti’s ill-gotten gains, but Russoti survives. Regrettably, Frank also accidentally kills an undercover FBI agent during the battle (the FBI had not alerted the local police about the assignment, so Frank’s police informants could not warn him).
Full of terrible remorse and guilt, Frank tries to set things right with the FBI agent’s widow and young daughter by giving them the mob money he collected. The widow refuses the money, however, and nearly shoots Frank in revenge. She can’t go through with killing Frank, however, even when Frank tells her that he won’t stop her.
Frank’s remorse over killing the FBI agent leads him to consider quitting, but the gangster Russoti goes after the widow because he thinks she has his mob money. He has even sprung his mad younger brother from the insane asylum to help him. Only the Punisher can save the widow and her daughter, but an FBI agent has arrested Frank for the death of the widow’s husband.
The story goes on from there, adding a couple more twists along the way. Eventually, Frank has to face a whole bunch of Asian, black and skinhead gang members to save the widow and her daughter from the vicious Russoti brothers.
Like many other crime thrillers, including modern Batman movies, especially the darker stories, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE takes place in a world where the moral, civil and criminal laws are no longer able to overcome the evil within the society. Thus, the hero must make up his own rules or personal code to cope with that evil and defeat it, even to the point of possibly violating some of the legal or moral laws. In one sense, the knight has become a pawn, but the pawn must exceed society’s limits in order to regain his status and defeat the evil dragons around him.
Despite stylish directing and entertaining performances, the new PUNISHER movie is filled with brutal violence and strong foul language. This shows a lack of creativity. Also, although the movie tries to be a morality tale of sorts and even contains some positive Christian content, it ultimately validates, or at least excuses, the protagonist’s brutal vigilante methods of fighting violent crime. The Punisher correctly recognizes that, by continuing to be a violent vigilante, he is opening himself up to losing his salvation or redemption. Even so, his methods, though they do save some lives, also violate the Bible’s injunctions to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21) and to eschew vengeance (Romans 12:19-21 and Deut. 32:35).
(Pa, CC, B, LLL, VVV, A, DD, MM) Light, somewhat mixed-up and mixed pagan worldview that allows viewers to be subjected to abundant foul language and graphic violence with a revenge motif, mitigated slightly by some overtly positive Christian references to church, God and Jesus (including a positive portrayal of a Christian leader) in the context of the conflicted hero’s concerns over morality, plus villain mocks victim’s belief in God but he is clearly evil; 91 mostly strong obscenities (mostly said by the villains), six strong profanities by villains, one possible light profanity, and woman in duress swears to God to villain that she does not have his money and she is telling the truth; extremely bloody, graphic violence with splattering gunshot wounds includes gun battles, vicious fighting, people shot dead, people shot point blank, people shot in head, several images of head blown half off, head explodes, man lies in machine that’s grinding tons of glass, man’s face has been stitched back together, machete is sticking from dead man’s head, villains threaten child; no sex; no nudity; brief alcohol; criminal snorts cocaine; and, vengeance, vigilante justice, brutality from hero and especially villains, cruelty from villains, villains wreck woman’s house looking for money, kidnapping, villain recruits gangs, attempted terrorism foiled, and local police are sympathetic to vigilante and sometimes help him on the sly.
PUNISHER: WAR ZONE is an R-rated crime thriller based on a long-running comic book series. The Punisher is Frank Castle, a former policeman and Catholic seminary student, who has become the Mafia’s nemesis after the mob murdered his wife and two children. After dispatching some murderous mobsters, Frank goes after mobster Billy Russoti, but accidentally kills an FBI agent working deep undercover. Full of guilt and remorse, Frank decides to retire, but he must go back into action when Russoti threatens the lives of the dead FBI agent’s widow and young daughter. Eventually, Frank has to face a whole bunch of Asian, black and skinhead gang members to save the widow and her daughter from the vicious Russoti and his clinically insane brother.
Despite stylish directing and entertaining performances, the new PUNISHER movie is filled with brutal violence and strong foul language. This shows a lack of creativity. Also, although the movie is a morality tale and even contains some overtly positive Christian content, it ultimately validates, or at least excuses, the protagonist’s brutal vigilante methods of fighting violent crime. The violence and foul language are just too excessive to tolerate.