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Film: Punisher: War Zone

The third adaptation of The Punisher, released in 2008.

Ruthless vigilante-hero Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson), waging his one-man war on the world of organized crime, sets his sights on overeager mob boss Billy Russoti (Dominic West). After Russoti is left horribly disfigured by Castle (who accidentally kills an undercover FBI agent during his attempted hit), he sets out to get revenge on Castle under the alias of Jigsaw. With the "Punisher Task Force" hot on his trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before more of the mobster's evil deeds go unpunished.


This film has the examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Frank goes through one after learning that he killed a FBI mole.
  • Adaptational Heroism: To some degree. A couple of characters (Cristu Bulat, Tiberiu Bulat, Pittsy, Ink, and Maginty) are In Name Only and not as nearly as horrible as their comic book counterparts.
    • The Bulats serve as normal Russian criminals types, and Cristu is also a smuggler in New York City though Tiberiu is referred as being a Retired Monster.
    • Pittsy and Ink are now father and son rather being those two henchmen and serve as Jigsaw's good teammates.
    • Finally, Maginty is now the gang leader in a Urban Freeflow Gang who do their thing with Le Parkour.
  • Big Applesauce: War Zone moves Frank back to New York, as Marvel probably caught on to the whole every hero in New York thing and decided to start expanding a bit, like they did with Iron Man.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Averted. Punisher is almost constantly reloading during his firefights — either conventionally or in the "New York" fashion.
    • There's also a very rare example of character changing mags before they went dry just to make sure he won't run out of ammo in the middle of shootout.
    • Also Jigsaw and Loony Bin Jim surrender only because they run out of ammo and they apparently haven't brought spare mags.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The orderly really should have been nicer to Loony Bin Jim...
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the 2004 film, adding Bloodier and Gorier to boot.
    • The film is one of the darkest Marvel films ever created, if not the darkest. So much so that Marvel created an entire new film subsidiary, Marvel Knights, to place its future dark films under to establish them as something a little more edgier than the usual Marvel fare (the only other film to date to use this banner is Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance). See the Nightmare Fuel Knights logo from War Zone here.
  • Diagnosis From Dr. Badass: Loony Bin Jim, during his fight with Frank Castle in the toilet, begins to say what is wrong with Punisher during each blow:
    Loony Bin Jim: Blood in the urine, an early indicator of kidney failure.
    Loony Bin Jim: You should be seeing double right about now.
    Loony Bin Jim: That would be a torn meniscus.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: Frank delivers a brutal beatdown to Jigsaw in revenge for him killing Microchip.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Billy "Jigsaw" Russoti, though he does really seem to care for his brother.
  • Guns Akimbo: Punisher uses both pistols all the time until he is out of ammo.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The first thing Loony Bin Jim does when he's busted out of the mental hospital is eat an orderly's kidneys.
  • Karma Houdini: Tiberiu Bulat, one of the comic's notable monsterous characters, was last seen overseeing a Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work to pave way for the Punisher.
  • Large Ham: Dominic West was surely having a ball as Billy Russoti/Jigsaw.
  • Made of Iron: Frank Castle.
  • Made of Plasticine: Anyone who is not Frank Castle. Some bad guys are gibbed in ways that should not be possible; early on, Frank headbutts a Mook so hard it pulls skin off of his face, and a mob boss is beheaded with a tactical knife.
  • Sadistic Choice: Jigsaw and his Ax-Crazy brother Loony Bin Jim give Frank a literal Sadistic Choice in the form of a Shoot the Dog scenario: if Frank chooses between killing either the Donatellis or Micro, the brothers release the ones who were spared, otherwise they just kill all three hostages. Although Micro offers himself to Frank to spare the Donatellis, the latter instead elects to Take a Third Option. He kills Loony Bin Jim instead, and Jigsaw retaliates by killing Micro. Although given Frank's last words to Micro ("You won't feel a thing, Micro") coupled with Micro's nod to Frank, it seems as if they both understood that no matter who Frank choose, all of the hostages would have been killed anyway; by eliminating Jim, it gave Frank a brief window of time to save the Donatellis. Once they are out of harms way, he then brutally makes sure that Jigsaw pays for Micro's death.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: In this poster, Frank Castle is in a war zone and about to shoot you.
  • See You in Hell: Used in the final exchange between a mortally wounded Carlos, and Frank.
    Carlos: I'll see you in hell, Frank.
    Punisher: If I see you anywhere near hell, I'll kick your ass out.
  • Shout-Out:
  • That Man Is Dead
    Jigsaw: Billy is dead. From now on, you call me... Jigsaw.
  • Would Hit a Girl: You expect this from Loony Bin Jim right off the bat... but Ink takes one of the Donatelli wall mounted swords, stabbing a female officer before going back to snort coke.


The Punisher (2004)ComicBook/The PunisherDirty Laundry
Prom Night (2008)Films of 2005 - 2009 Quarantine
Tragic KeepsakeImageSource/Live-Action FilmsTroubled Backstory Flashback

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