War Zone, The Late, Great Ray Stevenson Played The Definitive Frank Castle

Unleashed upon largely baffled audiences in 2008, director Lexi Alexander’s “Punisher: War Zone” has the garish aesthetic of Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin” and the jaw-splintering violence of the trashiest, sleaziest ’80s motion film you may dream up. It’s an deliberately off-putting movie, one which rubs your nostril in its cartoonish gore and its neon-soaked hellhole of a world, thumping its chest and shouting “Are you not entertained?” All the whereas, its title character dispatches armies of criminals with the tenacity and creativity of Jason Voorhees in a very gnarly “Friday the 13th” film.

It’s the closest any twenty first century mainstream motion film has come to replicating the dizzying nastiness and extra of Paul Verhoeven’s “RoboCop.” It’s a low-key masterpiece, particularly within the age of the squeaky clear, Disney-sanitized Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But it solely works as a result of Ray Stevenson understands the rattling task. Stevenson’s Frank Castle is a personality who walks right into a panorama that appears prefer it was constructed out of major colours and cocaine, and he does not smirk; who strolls by way of a live-action cartoon like he is Bob Hoskins in an ultra-violent “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”; and who exists side-by-side with actors enjoying to a budget seats, going so huge that they appear able to stomp on skyscrapers. Yet he underplays all of it to the purpose the place he feels downright naturalistic.

In “Punisher: War Zone,” Stevenson’s Frank Castle is straight man to a world turned upside-down.

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