Movie Review: Punisher War Zone

Better late than never, I always say!
Actually, I've never said that before now. But it seems appropriate for the situation, since I saw this movie a couple weeks ago and hadn't gotten around to reviewing it.
The people I saw the film with were disappointed for an assortment of reasons, all of which I think boiled down to unrealistic expectations or unfamiliarity with what the film-makers were trying to do. This is not a sequel to the Punisher movie that came out awhile back. That movie, while having a couple stars and being fairly cool, is separate from this one.
Here's what I think happened both to the Punisher saga and to The Hulk saga. Both of them had semi-cheap nameless versions that came out awhile back. Those were both Hollywood's version of a known comic book story. After some of the backlash from nerd-dom when they compromised the integrity of the characters with cheap fights with giant poodles or a guitar-wielding latino (I'm not making these things up people!), Hollywood went back and said "Hey, these guys LOVE how the graphic novel artists are telling their stories with their own versions and a little bit darker side of every hero. Let's just pay them and copy that!" BRILLIANT.
You can tell this theory works really well. Dark Knight anyone? That's precisely what I'm talking about.
Also, don't call them comic books. They're graphic novels. Marvel and DC in the last decade have both released sub-labels. Marvel Knights is a particular branch of all Marvel comics, and these ones are NOT recommended for kids. Not in the sense that they're pornographic. More like they contain language, gratuitous violence, and are likely to wrestle with adult concepts that could be damaging to a child-like psyche.
Marvel Knights is the label that this Punisher story was released under. See, you thought I forgot what the original point of the post was, didn't you? Nope, I made my way back to it.
This version of Punisher does a much better job of capturing the angst that Frank Castle goes through. Not only has he lost his family, but he's battling some regrettable actions of his own to boot. The entire police force knows about him, and he is regularly a PR disaster. The 'special unit' assigned to capture Frank seems to be made up of his fanboys more-so than it is people who actually want to see him stopped. In what I thought was a mean slap in the face, one of the pansy fanboys in the special unit might as well be a look-alike for Thomas Jane, the guy that played Punisher in the 2004 verion. MOVIE BURN.
Anyway, Frank has the uncanny ability for kicking massive amounts of butt with his massive amounts of weaponry and ballerina-like grace. Seriously, the big guy's got skills.
Oh, and the chubby guy from Jurassic Park plays a side character known as Microchip, helping to further the stereotype that fat guys with glasses are supposed to be weird geeks and strange nerd-types. I'd be offended if it didn't personally apply.
I don't do ratings, but if I did this movie would get counted off simply for being released so close to a predecessor without actually being a sequel. But other than that, solid action film. **UPDATE** Solid action film still doesn't mean it would be a good pick for a church sponsored outing of a men's group. Thanks, Chris.

Pleasant shoot-em-up days to all.