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Punisher: War Zone

Punishment level high
By TOM MEEK  |  December 11, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars

 Punisher_main

The previous big-screen blow-ups of The Punisher comic-book series took themselves far too seriously, and they came off as stiff as their square-jawed vigilante. War Zone plays it loose.

As former commando turned Cosa Nostra terminator Frank Castle, Ray Stevenson is pretty much what you'd expect — all business. But the endless deck of Jokers (and I do mean in the mold of Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson) makes the bloody juggernaut delectable. Like the badly disfigured don Jigsaw (Dominic West), who's working a deal with the Russian mob.

When Castle enters the picture, Jigsaw unleashes his hyperbolic hit man, Loony Bin Jim, a/k/a LBJ (Doug Hutchison), who's one part Hannibal Lecter and all Don Rickles. Director Lexi Alexander, a former karate champ who knows her way around an ass kicking, keeps the punishment level high.

107 MINUTES | BOSTON COMMON + FENWAY + FRESH POND + SUBURBS

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