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"PUNISHER: WAR ZONE"
(2008) (Ray Stevenson, Dominic West) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Extreme Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Minor Heavy *None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Heavy Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action: A former FBI agent turned vigilante superhero continues on his quest to kill criminals, but must contend with a particularly dangerous one and his psychotic brother.
PLOT:
Having previously gotten revenge on those who killed his immediate and extended family, former FBI agent turned vigilante superhero Frank Castle (RAY STEVENSON) hasn't stopped his spree of murdering all sorts of nasty criminal types. In fact, the bloodshed has been so great that a small task force, consisting of cop Martin Soap (DASH MIHOK) and recently added FBI liaison Paul Budiansky (COLIN SALMON), has been assigned to try to find "The Punisher."

The greater police and federal effort, however, concerns an organized crime figure, Billy Russoti (DOMINIC WEST), who's involved with some Russians regarding bringing biological weapons into the U.S. to be used by Arab terrorists. With the aide of arms and technology supplier Micro (WAYNE KNIGHT), Frank nearly killed Billy during a previous assault on his organization, leaving the villain with a horribly disfigured face. The attack also left an undercover FBI agent dead, thus widowing his wife, Angela (JULIE BENZ) who must now care for her young daughter, Grace (STEPHANIE JANUSAUSKAS), by herself.

Frank is riddled with guilt regarding that and wants to protect them. Yet, he must not only contend with Billy's right-hand man, Pittsy (MARK CAMACHO), and his young adult son, Ink (KERAM MALICKI-SANCHEZ), but also Billy's appropriately named brother, Loony Bin Jim (DOUG HUTCHISON), who's just been sprung from the asylum and wants his chance with revenge, targeting Frank for just that.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the previous two films in the series, anyone in the cast, or movies based on comic books, they might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive strong brutal violence, language and some drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RAY STEVENSON plays a former FBI agent turned lethal vigilante who is on a nonstop killing spree of all sorts of criminal types (all as a result of his family being murdered by the same in the past). He feels guilty over accidentally killing an undercover FBI agent, and then responsible for taking care of that man's widow and their young child. He also uses strong profanity.
  • DOMINIC WEST plays a major crime figure who becomes more notorious and dangerous once his face is horribly disfigured following a battle with Frank.
  • DOUG HUTCHISON plays his brother who's freed from a mental asylum and is even more of a homicidal loose cannon than him.
  • COLIN SALMON plays an FBI agent assigned to work as a liaison with the local police department, and ends up on the Punisher task force. He uses strong profanity, admits to being a coke addict in his past work on the narcotics squad, and wants Frank stopped and locked up.
  • WAYNE KNIGHT plays Frank's weapons and technology supplier who assists him in finding and killing various criminals.
  • DASH MIHOK plays the lone cop assigned to the Punisher task force. A fairly mild man, he literally and figuratively lets Frank get away with murder, all while trying to catch and stop him.
  • JULIE BENZ plays the widow of an undercover FBI agent accidentally slain by Frank. She uses some strong profanity and must contend with Billy and his goons threatening her and her young daughter played by STEPHANIE JANUSAUSKAS.
  • MARK CAMACHO plays Billy's right-hand man until Loony Bin Jim comes along. He uses profanity.
  • KERAM MALICKI-SANCHEZ plays his adult son who also works for Billy and occasionally snorts coke or some sort of similar drug.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated action pic. Profanity consists of at least 54 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present.

    Violence consists of many scenes where many people are killed by various means, while lots of fighting with brutal blows is also present. Much of that has bloody and/or gory results (sometimes to quite the extreme), and those scenes and moments of peril might suspenseful and/or unsettling to some viewers. The action, fighting and others stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate, while all sorts of bad attitudes are present.

    Drinking and smoking occur, while one character repeatedly snorts cocaine or some similar type of drug, and another admits to past drug abuse. A few characters smoke, and some tense family material is also present (involving past and current familial deaths).

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that in the opening credits.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Ink snorts what's presumably cocaine or some sort of similar drug.
  • Ink snorts more of that in another scene.
  • We see wine and drinks in front of Billy and his crew and the various Russian mobsters they're meeting.
  • About a man who isn't there, another man states that the first is on a constant meth high.
  • We see what look like various liquor bottles in Micro's place.
  • Martin has a drink in a bar.
  • Paul briefly talks about his time in the narcotics division and states that most of the blow (cocaine) they confiscated ended up his nose. Martin then asks if he is still "skiing the old Alps," but Paul says he gave that up.
  • Ink snorts more cocaine or a similar drug.
  • Various people drink in a montage of Billy and Loony Bin Jim recruiting gang-bangers as an army of gunmen.
  • Martin tells Paul that it's time for happy hour, but they don't go drinking.
  • We see miscellaneous drinking.
  • Martin tells Frank that he'll buy him a drink, but we don't see this occur.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • In the opening credits, we see cartoon images of people with bloody heads.
  • Billy's crime boss uncle complains that he "sh*ts" in a bag due to being old.
  • Frank kicks a guard, gets into a crime lord's manner, and proceeds to kill most everyone, starting with that crime lord whose throat he slices open. He breaks another person's neck, stabs someone in the head, and then shoots many people both with handguns as well as machine guns, all with very bloody results (including while hanging upside down from a chandelier and spinning around). He then takes out the few remaining survivors, including hitting one with a chair, with its leg jamming into that man's eye and skull, as well as shooting many more, all with very bloody results.
  • After letting Frank go, a cop punches himself in the face to make it look like Frank hit him, resulting in him having a little bit of a bloody lip.
  • Billy is bloody after he falls into a glass recycling contraption that's stirring and sucking down various bottles into its center. Down below, we see his hand smear blood on a glass window, and later see his face that's horribly torn up and extremely bloody.
  • Various people who are shot are bloody to varying degrees.
  • We see Frank at the gravesite of his wife and kids, followed by a flashback view of him holding his dead daughter while his dead wife and the other child lie beside them, all bloody.
  • Micro comments about some terrorist who took a "crap" in a cave next to bin Laden.
  • Ink vomits after seeing Billy's badly figured face from his previous broken glass incident (above). We then see his face that has large and very rough looking stitches all over it.
  • We see a dead plastic surgeon with scissors stuck in his head, the result of Billy killing him over not being happy with the results of the plastic surgery done on his face.
  • Billy breaks a doctor's neck in a mental asylum where his brother Loony Bin Jim then attacks a guard who's been mean to him in the past. Most of that attack occurs off camera, but we hear it in full including the guard screaming, and then see Loony Bin Jim holding up a bloody organ from the man's body and biting into it.
  • Loony Bin Jim's head is bloody after using it (among other things) to break various mirrors.
  • Billy breaks a wine glass and jams the resultant stem through a Russian mobster's neck, killing him, with very bloody results.
  • We see a dead man with a large and long saw blade in his head, with very bloody results.
  • A man's knees are bloody after Frank shoots him there.
  • A dead and bloody body falls down and surprises Paul and Martin.
  • Frank grabs Ink, bashes him back to a wall, and punches him hard enough in the face that Frank's fist appears to go deep inside his head, killing him, with very bloody/gory results. Paul then grabs another criminal there and disarms him, but Frank shoots that man dead, also with very bloody/gory results (seemingly blowing off his head).
  • After being arrested and informing the cops that he has info on a pending terrorist attack, Billy states that he "sh*ts" red, white and blue.
  • We see a broken two-way mirror in a police interrogation room, and then see Loony Bin Jim with bloody hands that he licks like some sort of animal.
  • We see Micro's elderly mother dead in her chair, with most of her head missing, with very bloody/gory results.
  • Loony Bin Jim slams an ax twice into a man. We don't see the impact, but do see blood spray up, and later see the very bloody and mortally wounded man.
  • Various Russian mobsters open fire on various other criminals, resulting in a gun battle where many people are shot and wounded or killed with handguns and machine guns, with some bloody results.
  • We see varying degrees of bloody results as Frank shoots and kills many people, including one man where most of his head is blown off by the shot.
  • We see a bloody bullet hole in a man's head after he's shot there.
  • Some blood comes out when a person is impaled and run through with something.
  • Frank has various bloody scrapes on his face following a fight with Billy and his various goons.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the various criminals, their henchmen and other villains obviously have bad attitudes for their actions, including murder.
  • The term "rag heads" is used about never seen Arab people.
  • Despite knowing what he's just done (killing many people), a cop lets Frank go.
  • Frank takes the law into his own hands and kills many criminals.
  • Billy grabs Ink by the neck for referring to Billy's brother as Loony Bin Jim.
  • A mental asylum staff worker treats Loony Bin Jim badly, including eating the food he supposed to be feeding him.
  • We learn that some Russian mobsters are selling biological weapons to Arab terrorists, and that Billy and his crew are somehow involved in the transaction.
  • While holding Grace hostage, Billy refers to the little girl as a nice little piece of jailbait.
  • A thief holds a gun on Martin and demands his money. Frank then shows up and we hear but don't see the shot, but hear Martin complain of then having brains on him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Billy is bloody after he falls into a glass recycling contraption that's stirring and sucking down various bottles into its center. Down below, we see his hand smear blood on a glass window, and later see his face that's horribly torn up and extremely bloody.
  • When Frank arrives at her house to give her money to care for her young daughter, Angela points a handgun at Frank and threatens to shoot him but doesn't go through with it.
  • Billy and his goons break into Angela's place, looking for money they believe her late husband (an undercover FBI agent who posed as a criminal in their organization) has stashed somewhere in the house. They then proceed to ransack the place, resulting in all sorts of property damage and destruction. Billy then holds his handgun to Grace's head to make Angela say where the money might be.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Missile/Sword/Knife/Grenade: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see various weapons mounted on the wall in Frank's lair.
  • When Frank arrives at her house to give her money to care for her young daughter, Angela points a handgun at Frank and threatens to shoot him but doesn't go through with it.
  • FBI agents arrest various Russian mobsters at gunpoint.
  • Various gang-bangers aim their guns at Billy and Loony Bin Jim when the two enter their establishment, but don't do anything as the two villains are recruiting an army of gunmen.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I hear he's a sick f*ck," "I f*cking knew it," "You greasy f*ck," "Where the f*ck are you going?" "You're a f*cking suit," "Oh f*ck," "What the f*ck was that?" "You Kripsy Kreme m*therf*ckers," "I f*cked up," "A f*cking rat," "Can you f*cking believe that?" "(You have the right to) Shut the f*ck up," "Step the f*ck away from my little girl," "Before I freeze my f*cking balls off," "Too f*cking stupid," "F*ck you waiting for, Christmas?" "Stay right where the f*ck you are," "Wolf f*cking Blitzer," "It's a f*cked up system," "F*ck that," "Oh, for f*ck's sake," "I sh*t in a bag, for Christ's sake," "I'm waste deep in sh*t around here," "That is bullsh*t," "(You ugly) Piece of sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "I sh*t red, white and blue," "Sh*t-storm," "Bastards," "The hell I do," "Rag heads," "Pissed off," "Took a crap in a cave next to bin Laden," "Loony Bin Jim," "Fatso," "Shut up," "Whack-jobs," "Wee bitch," "Are you still skiing the old Alps" (snorting cocaine), "Freeze, asshole," "I'll kick your ass," "Die, you bastard" and "Burn in Hell."
  • All of the action, fighting, and stunts may be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • After letting Frank go, a cop punches himself in the face to make it look like Frank hit him, resulting in him having a little bit of a bloody lip.
  • Frank sticks a pencil (eraser end first) up his nose and uses that pencil to help crack the broken nose back into place.
  • A group of men participate in parkour style stunts, including jumping from and around various vehicles as well as structures inside a factory. We later see them jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
  • To prevent his brother from having to see his horribly disfigured face, Loony Bin Jim breaks various mirrors in a building, including by slamming his body into one, and punching, kicking and head-butting others, leaving himself with a bloody head.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • Loony Bin Jim gives "the finger" to a Russian mobster.
  • Various characters have varying types of tattoos.
  • Frank jumps from one building to the next and crashes through a boarded up window, thus breaking through the wood and glass.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A dead and bloody body falls down and surprises Paul and Martin.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, action-oriented, and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has lyrics that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus presenting the possibility of it potentially containing something objectionable.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 54 "f" words (3 used with "mother"), 17 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("screw"), 1 using male genitals ("c*cks*cker"), 5 asses (4 used with "hole"), 4 damns, 3 hells, 1 crap, 3 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "Oh God" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Angela shows a little cleavage.
  • About a building they are about to enter, Billy states that his uncle previously used it to "screw" hookers.
  • About a blow he delivered to Frank, Loony Bin Jim sarcastically states that the latter won't be replacing his dead son anytime soon (presumably referring to hitting him in the crotch).
  • While holding Grace hostage, Billy refers to the little girl as a nice little piece of jailbait.
  • SMOKING
  • Billy smokes a cigar once, as does a Russian mobster, while some miscellaneous smoking (including with a cigar) occurs in several scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see Angela and her young daughter Grace at their husband's/father's funeral.
  • We see Frank at the gravesite of his wife and kids, followed by a flashback view of him holding his dead daughter while his dead wife and the other child lie beside them, all bloody.
  • Billy and his goons break into Angela's place, looking for money they believe her late husband (an undercover FBI agent who posed as a criminal in their organization) has stashed somewhere in the house. They then proceed to ransack the place, resulting in all sorts of property damage and destruction. Billy then holds his handgun to Grace's head to make Angela say where the money might be.
  • We see Micro's elderly mother dead in her chair, with most of her head missing, with very bloody/gory results (it's implied that he is aware of her murder).
  • Angela worries as Loony Bin Jim holds a gun to her daughter's head while both are held captive.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Vigilantism.
  • Frank experiences deep guilt over accidentally killing an undercover FBI agent during one of his (Frank's) killing sprees of various criminals.
  • The question of who punishes the punisher.
  • The FBI makes an immunity deal with Billy and Loony Bin Jim in exchange for them giving up information about a pending terrorist attack.
  • Frank's comment that somebody has to punish the corrupt.
  • VIOLENCE
  • There's talk of various murders committed by the mobsters.
  • Billy grabs a woman, who is accompanying him, by the neck and pins her back to a vehicle.
  • Frank kicks a guard, gets into a crime lord's manner, and proceeds to kill most everyone, starting with that crime lord whose throat he slices open. He breaks another person's neck, stabs someone in the head, and then shoots many people both with handguns as well as machine guns, all with very bloody results (including while hanging upside down from a chandelier and spinning around). He then takes out the few remaining survivors, including hitting one with a chair, with its leg jamming into that man's eye and skull, as well as shooting many more, all with very bloody results.
  • After letting Frank go, a cop punches himself in the face to make it look like Frank hit him, resulting in him having a little bit of a bloody lip.
  • Frank shoots a dart into a person's neck, rendering them unconscious, and then lands down hard on another person. Once inside, Frank shoots one person, and kicks another down some steps. That's followed by Billy shooting at him, with Frank shooting back at Billy who then falls down into some sort of large glass recycling contraption that's stirring and sucking down various bottles into its center. As a result, Billy becomes progressively bloodier as this occurs, and we initially believe he has been killed, but later see him alive with a horribly torn up and extremely bloody face. That's followed by a gun battle were various people are shot and wounded or killed (also with bloody results).
  • We see a dead plastic surgeon with scissors stuck in his head, the result of Billy killing him over not being happy with the results of the plastic surgery done on his face.
  • Billy grabs Ink by the neck for referring to Billy's brother as Loony Bin Jim.
  • Billy breaks a doctor's neck in a mental asylum where his brother Loony Bin Jim then attacks a guard who's been mean to him in the past. Most of that attack occurs off camera, but we hear it in full including the guard screaming, and then see Loony Bin Jim holding up a bloody organ from the man's body and biting into it.
  • To prevent his brother from having to see his horribly disfigured face, Loony Bin Jim breaks various mirrors in a building, including by slamming his body into one, and punching, kicking and head-butting others, leaving himself with a bloody head.
  • Billy breaks a wine glass and jams the resultant stem through a Russian mobster's neck, killing him, with very bloody results. That results in a gun standoff between the two groups, but no shots are fired.
  • Frank bashes a man against a door and holds guns on him, only to discover that he is Carlos, a former gang-banger who now works for Micro.
  • We see a guy being thrown out of a bar.
  • We see a dead man with a large and long saw blade in his head, with very bloody results.
  • As a man does acrobatic flips while jumping from one building to another, he's suddenly hit with a missile (shot by Frank) and explodes. Frank then shoots another such man with a gun, and then a third man in the knees, causing him to fall.
  • A dead and bloody body falls down and surprises Paul and Martin, and Frank then lands on it or another person from up above.
  • Billy and his goons break into Angela's place, looking for money they believe her late husband (an undercover FBI agent who posed as a criminal in their organization) has stashed somewhere in the house. They then proceed to ransack the place, resulting in all sorts of property damage and destruction. Billy then holds his handgun to Grace's head to make Angela say where the money might be. When Billy then looks in the safe upstairs and finds nothing, he's angry and thrashes various items about, while Loony Bin Jim shoots a line of Grace's dolls in their heads.
  • Paul holds his gun on Frank while trying to arrest him, but Frank disarms him and the two then get into a fight with various brutal blows (including punching, kicking, and kneeing) delivered by both men. That also includes Frank smashing Paul's face to a car window, and later kneeing him and briefly holding his head down in a puddle of water.
  • Loony Bin Jim lets two cops into Angela's house, and then smashes one in the face with a baseball bat. Another guy grabs the female cop and struggles with her, and she's then pushed onto a sword that runs through her, killing her.
  • Frank grabs Ink, bashes him back to a wall, and punches him hard enough in the face that Frank's fist appears to go deep inside his head, killing him, with very bloody/gory results. Paul then grabs another criminal there and disarms him, but Frank shoots that man dead, also with very bloody/gory results (seemingly blowing off his head).
  • Billy and Loony Bin Jim fire their handguns at Paul, but miss and then run out of ammo and are arrested.
  • We see a broken two-way mirror in a police interrogation room, and then see Loony Bin Jim with bloody hands that he licks like some sort of animal.
  • We see that Billy and Loony Bin Jim have Micro bound and gagged in the back seat of their car.
  • We see Micro's elderly mother dead in her chair, with most of her head missing, with very bloody/gory results.
  • Loony Bin Jim throws something that knocks down a man who's watching over Angela and Grace who manage to escape. Loony Bin Jim then slams an ax twice into that man. We don't see the impact, but do see blood spray up, and later see the very bloody and mortally wounded man. Frank then finds him that way, and realizing he's doomed, does a mercy killing by shooting him dead (we hear but don't see the impact).
  • Frank knocks out Paul to prevent him from going along on his mission.
  • Various Russian mobsters open fire on various other criminals, resulting in a gun battle where many people are shot and wounded or killed with handguns and machine guns, with some bloody results.
  • Frank jumps from one building to the next and crashes through a boarded up window, thus breaking through the wood and glass.
  • While coming after Billy, Frank battles the large number of gunmen the villain has assembled in a building. That includes shooting many of them, as well as firing a grenade into a room where it explodes and blasts back those villains, wounding or killing them. He then goes inside there and finishes off the few remaining survivors, and all of that has varying degrees of bloody results, including one man where most of his head is blown off by the shot.
  • Loony Bin Jim attacks Frank and the two get into a brutal fight, with all sorts of blows and punches being delivered, as well as some biting, and bashing each other about.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Billy holds a gun to Micro's head, while Loony Bin Jim does the same to Grace, all to make Frank drop his gun. When he does, Billy picks it up and shoots him three times with it, but Frank appears unharmed due to apparently wearing a bulletproof vest (although he is knocked to the floor by those shots). Billy then gives Frank the choice of which person will be shot and killed, and Frank has his gun's laser sight on Micro's head, but then shoots Loony Bin Jim dead. Billy then shoots Micro in the head, presumably killing him. Frank and Billy then fight, exchanging various brutal blows, ending with Frank impaling Billy with something that runs through him (with bloody results). Frank then pushes Billy back into a large fire where he burns alive (and screams and writhes about in intense pain until he dies).
  • A thief holds a gun on Martin and demands his money. Frank then shows up and we hear but don't see the shot, but hear Martin complain of then having brains on him.



  • Reviewed December 2, 2008 / Posted December 5, 2008

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