By: John M Jerva
I’m going on a small vacation this weekend to recharge my batteries but no worries Action-Flix fanatics, I wouldn’t take off before giving you another bullet riddled dose of Firepower Fridays! For my third entry in the brand new weekly series that highlights some of the most extreme and bad ass shoot ’em ups in action cinema history, I have chosen the ultra-violent finale to 2008’s Punisher: War Zone which starred Ray Stevenson as everyone’s beloved gun toting vigilante Frank Castle AKA The Punisher.
The film which was directed by stunt pro turned filmmaker Lexi Alexander is a either you love it or hate it entry in the film series of The Punisher but as a lifelong fan of the character you can bet that I Loved it. Was it over the top? Absolutley! Was it gleefully and unapologetically violent? You bet! It was also one of the best comic book interpretations of The Punisher and probably my second favorite only to Jon Bernthal’s version from Netflix.
The film had its share of problems in production and when it was released in December of 2008 (on my birthday no less) it was a flop but for fans of the The Punisher, it was a true blood soaked love letter to the vigilante.
The finale of the film, which features Stevenson as The Punisher assaulting a broken down hotel to get Jigsaw played by a wonderfully over the top Dominic West, is a 9 plus minute extended ballet of bullet filled excess and carnage. The scene literally has dozens of confirmed kills and Stevenson is in top form as he eliminates with extreme prejudice an army of henchmen with various assault weapons. It’s bloody and brutal and everything you could want from a Punisher action sequence.
This film knows exactly what kind of flick it wants to be and that’s the beauty of it and like I said Stevenson is the comic book vigilante come to life and I’m sad that he didn’t get the opportunity to play Castle again. At least we have this film to watch over and over again and the firepower lit finale is worth the price of admission alone. Enjoy!