In a time when film producers constantly look for "grittier" and "edgier" new spins on comic book favorites, the Punisher remains the original gritty superhero. After all, his only superpower is owning a lot of guns.
In 2008, he got the dark film he deserved, Punisher: War Zone, which opened to universal apathy. But as the excellent podcast "How Did This Get Made?" recently pointed out, Punisher: War Zone is very much worthy of your attention and should head to the top of your Netflix queue, even if you haven't the first idea who Frank Castle is.
Here are five objective reasons why ...
#5. The Kills
Within the first five minutes of the film, the Punisher:
Decapitates an old man.
Snaps a grandma's neck.
Stabs a dude in the brain with a chair.
Shoots people while hanging upside down from a chandelier.
#4. Meth-Fueled Parkour
We can all agree that meth sucks, as does the proliferation of parkour in every major action movie since Casino Royale. Does Punisher: War Zone shy away? Oh no, we get a gang of meth-fueled parkour enthusiasts. But when you take meth and parkour and add a rocket launcher, you get this:
Can you guess what happens next?
We don't know if heat-seeking missiles can target just one dude doing back flips, and we don't really much care. The fact that the Punisher killed this guy solely for looking like a wigger and doing free running is entirely justifiable.
#3. Head-Exploding Punches
The Punisher punches a guy so hard his head explodes.
Who doesn't want to see that?
#2. There Is No Dialogue Needed
How many times have you watched a scene unfold like the one depicted above and thought, "Man, I wish he'd just shoot that guy, who has time for all of this talking?" Well, the Punisher has heard your complaints loud and clear, and that's why he did this ...
#1. Ray Stevenson
Instead of pretty boy Thomas Jane from the first Punisher, we get a pudgy, balding Ray Stevenson as the Punisher, which makes tons more sense in the first place. Instead of looking like the high school quarterback/prom king, this is what a man who lives in the sewer and masturbates with gunpowder would really look like.