Source: IMDB/Moviehole by ShadowVoyd -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.moviehole.net/news/20071119_reader_review_the_punisher_war. html Reader Review : The Punisher : War Zone Script! Date : November 19, 2007 Writer : Ramius Before Lexi Alexander got involved, the script for "The Punisher" sequel was apparently rubbish... so *beep* in fact that after just one reading, Thomas Jane let the studio know that he didn't want to do it. Now, the script has been improved marginally... and according to reader 'Kent', it "rocks"! Colour me surprised The Punisher : War Zone By Kent The Punisher has always been my favorite comic book hero. He couldnt fly; he didnt have super powers, but what he lacked in style he made up for with sheer brutality. The comics were laced with pitch black humor and over the top violence. What also made this man interesting was the fact that he was a stones throw away from becoming a bad guy himself. Lucky for us, the Punisher was always on our side. I enjoyed the 1989 version starring Dolph Lundgren that was shot in Sydney. Sure, it wasnt perfect but in comparison to the bigger budgeted 2004 version, it was friggin Titanic!!! I know a lot of folks like the Tom Jane as Frank Castle version. I thought it was too soft. Too bright. The action scenes were laughable and ripped off from other movies and the direction was atrocious. Dont even get me started on its script. You could imagine my trepidation when the script for Lexi Alexanders Punisher: Warzone come through on my email. Id recently heard that Frank had been recast with Ray Stevenson an actor I wasnt familiar with and I still havent seen Director Lexi Alexanders Green Street Hooligans. I was reading this script with no expectations other than I wanted it to be better than the 2004 version. And is it? Yes, it is. Thank God. This 100 page draft, written by Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Kurt Sutter and Alexander herself, is an enjoyable boys only white knuckled action-fest. More of a reboot than a sequel Frank is mourning the death of his wife, son and DAUGHTER Punisher: Warzone should please fans of the comic and action enthusiasts alike. Spoilers Below We open on a muscular man (guess who) preparing every weapon imaginable for a battle. Cut to Don Cesares mansion. The wily old mob boss has just beat an indictment, thanks to the suspicious disappearance of a witness, and is celebrating. Before the event gets underway, the Don tends to business with one of his crew, Billy Russo. Billys a renegade mobster. He has no time for rules and less time for tradition and respect. He wants power and he wants it now. While he and the Don argue, someone cuts the power to the house, putting it into total darkness. Before you can say gunfight, someone begins mowing down the mobsters at the shindig, using guns, knives and even lobsters. When the lights come back up, the mobsters are dead and the Don is too. Russo, knowing its the Punisher, retreats to his hide out a glass factory to regroup. But good old Frank doesnt give up easily. He storms the factory and wipes out most of Russos men. The man himself ends up face down in a pit of glass, courtesy of Castle. After the massacre, Frank discovers, to his surprise, that one of Russos men was in fact an undercover fed. Shattered, Frank returns to the darkness of his sewer hideout and ponders his future. Days later, he follows the dead mans family to the funeral and discovers that the man he killed was not unlike him. Wracked with guilt, and against the advice of his trusty armorer, Microchip, Frank hangs up his guns and quits the justice business. Russo, now out of intensive care and sporting a face only a mother, a blind mother, could love decides its open season on New York. Hes gonna take over the Dons empire and his first piece of business is wiping out The Punisher. Hes not alone in his quest. He recruits every gangbanger who hasnt been killed by Frank, and his seriously unhinged brother Looney Bin Jim to help him. Thats right, poor old Frank has TWO major nutjobs to kill in this pic. Thats basically the plot, give or take a few small bits here or there. How did it shape up? Better than I expected. Gone is the hot, tropical setting of Tampa Bay. In this screenplay, Frank prowls the mean dark streets of New York and the character and the film will be much better for it. Frank is played as a tragic figure, not a shut- in like Janes, but more like Mad Max in the Road Warrior. Hes cold, mean and unapologetic and hes got NO time for people. His relationship with Microchip is interesting. Wayne Knight from Seinfeld could be a real surprise in this. Hes not just some dumb sidekick for Frank. He has some neat little moments that provide reason behind why people like them would become vigilantes. The background characters are also worth a mention too. Russo, aka Jigsaw is a killer as ruthless and disturbed as Frank. Part of the problem with sequel that was planned a few years ago was that the Jigsaw character was under used. He was only in the last 30 pages. Jigsaw is present for at least 70 pages in this draft. Loony Bin Jim is also a cool bad guy. Unlike Frank and Jigasw, he has no reason or no sanity. Hes a 24-hour-a-day killing machine that has no right being alive. Scripts like this live or die by their action scenes and this will have dozens of them. But are they any good??? Yes, theyre solid. Many people who have read the screenplay have complained about a rooftop chase involving Frank and some crims who are good at free-running the sport that the bomber at the start of Casino Royale performs. Sure, it doesnt feel wholly original, but it works in the context of the film and the character while these guys are doing all their fancy moves, Frank brings them down with a couple of grenades. A nice Punisher moment. And theres no Gods gonna sit this one out punchline. Phew!!!!! Theres also a TON of fights. And these things will be choreographed to the hilt. Alexander, whos a former martial arts champ, has put her unique stamp on these confrontations. The fights, which show off style and technique, also have ruthlessly brutal moments that are straight out do-what-it-takes-to-survive moves. Theres also several other core Punisher moments like gunbattles and explosions. In one particular nasty scene, a bad guy is blown up but remains intact or so we think. When he talks to one of his fellow scumbags, we discover hes got an armful of his own intestines. Nice!!! If you were disappointed by the fact that the only real action scene in the 2004 version was the shootout at the end, prepare to be blown away. Every action sequence in this script is ten times better than that. I wont lie to you guys though; there are a couple of issues with this draft. Franks relationship with the family of the Fed he killed feels tacked on, and we know they only exist to become bait. Other than that, this should be a successful action movie. Its not gonna win any Oscars comes awards time, but it should hopefully give The Punisher the movie he deserves. To my fellow hardcore action-nuts out there, put this with Rambo as one of 2008s must see pictures. "I've heard more intelligent sounds coming from a sucking chest wound..."