Ok I just got back from seeing this sequel/reboot, yes yes I know you americans saw it last year but it's only just come out over here so I thought I may as well drop my thoughts.
Well here it is, a Punisher movie that does the comic book justice, Ray Stevenson IS Frank Castle/Punisher, this is the guy from the print come to life, I honestly can't say enough good things about this guy. Ray Stevenson brought the intensity needed for the character while still remaining likeable, at times I was unsure whether he was a guy focused on a mission or whether he had cracked and had a death wish, and that is EXACTLY how the Punisher should be. He is a guy that doesn't believe in the grey area, for him life is black & white, of course the irony could be that he himself falls into a grey area even though he may not believe it himself.
Ray Stevenson smashed it as the Punisher, end of story.
Wayne Knight who plays Punisher's partner Micro Chip was solid but he didn't really get alot of screentime and it was never explained why he worked with Punisher. There were moments of bonding between the two but they wern't really given alot of time to flesh out their relationship which is a shame considering what happens later in the movie.
Colin Salmon as Paul Budiansky I thought was good in this, he plays a cop who's partner is killed by the Punisher while undercover and initially sets out to get him but instead winds up working with him when the situation gets out of hand. He was a character who suprisingly got alot of screentime but he wasn't annoying in anyway, he had a good arc despite the limited script.
Dominic West (The Wire/300) as Jigsaw and Doug Huchinson as Loony Bin Jim I have to say where on some serious ott theatrics here, from they're stereotypical new york accents to they're constant mugging they were quite frankly an aquired taste and I can see why alot of people would hate their characters, but I found them to be enjoyable to watch and brought alot of personality to the characters which I felt was needed to help elevate them above the standard mafia types. I will say they just about got away with it but their ham acting was close to almost ruining a straight up gritty Punisher flick which given this franshises reputation it just don't need right now.
This is what I think was the movie's weak point. It's nothing special at all, it's the usual cliche we've come to expect from these sorts of action/revenge movies but I think given the fact this movie didn't have much of a budget to work with I suppose for a first movie it was probably best to play it safe but this type of story isn't (and didn't) going to impress anyone and I think in this day and age where we have movies like Iron Man and Dark Knight, these comic book movies really need to step up their game at the script stage.
This flick lives up to the hype, it's balls to the wall action and Punisher shows no mercy. It's well shot (none of that shakey cam bullshit) and it's raw. It's comic book violence and it is ott but it works within the context of the movie.
I don't know if it was because I went in with very low expectations but I ended up really enjoying this film. I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoy seeing movies like Die Hard or any flick by Van damme or Seagal in their prime. This movie was just a straight up eighties style action flick where no brain power is needed. It delivered in bringing the right Punisher to the screen, one we as Punisher fans have waited so long to see, yes it still had alot of flaws but it definately didn't have nearly enough compared to the earler films in this franchise. This flick deserves to be given a chance and I hope (even though it seems unlikely) we see a direct sequel to this.