This is Hollywood’s third attempt to adapt the bleak, ultra-violent Marvel comics character to the big screen.
Wisely stepping away from the universes established by the cartoony Dolph Lundgren version (1989) and the conflicted Thomas Jane model (2004), Punisher: War Zone has more in common with 2007’s vengeance driven Death Sentence, as Ray Stevenson’s tank of a vigilante and
some rogue cops hack through an army of street-gang psychos led by an insane mobster named Jigsaw (The Wire’s Dominic West).
It’s an orgy of gore and ill will that takes place in a kingdom of rain and perpetual human misery. A posturing toughness pervades every frame – even the director, Lexi Alexander (Green Street), is a former kickboxing champion.
Don’t expect nuance or happy endings, but do bring a raincoat for all the showers of blood. If you didn’t find The Dark Knight dark enough, then wade right in.