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Punisher: War Zone 4K UHD Review

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Your mileage may vary.

“Punisher: War Zone” is not an origin story. In fact, it takes place 5 years after Frank Castle became the Punisher. Anyway, the story finds Castle in deep trouble. The NYPD is after him, he accidentally killed an undercover agent and tries to console the agent’s family secretly, and the villainous Jigsaw, his brother Loony Bin Jim, and their minions are making life hell for him AND the agent’s family. Suffice it to say, the Punisher has hands full.

After flopping at the box office in its initial release, “Punisher: War Zone” has become somewhat of a cult/bad movie favorite over the years. To an extent, I can understand why. I admire the fact that director Lexi Alexander really goes for a hard R ratings while also putting her own spin on the material with this third big screen outing for the Marvel character. It’s especially nice to see a clear Garth Ennis esque influence in terms of the film’s ultra-violence. Unfortunately, this 80’s style action movie is a case of style over substance.

As exciting and fast paced as the action may be (the dining table massacre is the clear highlight), the movie is frequently over-the-top to the point of being cartoony. This is especially evident with the terrible villains Jigsaw (Dominic West) and Loony Bin Jim (Doug Hutchinson). The two actors give ridiculous campy performances and have to spout atrocious dialogue like “I’m gonna get my applesauce back!” The characters really do ruin any goodwill the movie has although some viewers may be amused by them.

As for actor Ray Stevenson, he’s actually quite good in the role as he gives the Punisher a gritty intensity. Yes, it was a bummer not to see Thomas Jane reprise the role and, yes, Jon Bernthal has perfected the role with the Netflix series (which is far and away the best screen version of the character), but Stevenson’s performance should not be overlooked. He’s the best part of the movie cast wise.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p. How does it look? A bit of an upgrade from that of the Blu-ray release. Don’t expect a dramatic improvement, but the stylized visuals of the film certainly look sharper here.. Note: This is a Dolby Vision title which can also improve your viewing experience even more.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? A stellar Atmos track. The action scenes are particularly noteworthy.

Extras: * “Punisher: War Zone” trailer and other Lionsgate trailers * Blu-ray copy * Digital copy * “Creating The Look Of The Film”- A look at the cinematography, lighting, and costume work. * “Training To Become The Punisher”- A behind-the-scenes look at Ray Stevenson’s training camp * ‘Weapons Of The Punisher”- The title says it all * “Meet Jigsaw”- A profile of the villain. * “The Making Of Punisher: War Zone” contains interviews, film clips, discussions about the source material, set footage and more. * A solid commentary by Lexi Aleander and Steve Gainer that goes into everything from the camera work to the color scheme.

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September 24, 2018 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , ,

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