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Moviehole Reads Warzone Script....and they like it!

Punisher 04

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by ShadowVoyd


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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 couldn’t fly; he didn’t 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 stone’s 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 wasn’t 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. Don’t even get me started on its script.

You could imagine my trepidation when the script for Lexi Alexander’s “Punisher: Warzone” come through on my email. I’d recently heard that Frank had been recast with Ray Stevenson – an actor I wasn’t familiar with – and I still haven’t seen Director Lexi Alexander’s “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 boy’s 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 Cesare’s 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.

Billy’s 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 it’s the Punisher, retreats to his hide out – a glass factory – to regroup. But good old Frank doesn’t give up easily. He storms the factory and wipes out most of Russo’s 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 Russo’s 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 man’s 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. He’s gonna take over the Don’s empire and his first piece of business is wiping out The Punisher. He’s not alone in his quest. He recruits every gangbanger who hasn’t been killed by Frank, and his seriously unhinged brother Looney Bin Jim to help him. That’s right, poor old Frank has TWO major nutjobs to kill in this pic.

That’s 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 Jane’s, but more like Mad Max in the Road Warrior. He’s cold, mean and unapologetic…and he’s got NO time for people. His relationship with Microchip is interesting. Wayne Knight from Seinfeld could be a real surprise in this. He’s 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. He’s 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, they’re 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 doesn’t 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 there’s no “God’s gonna sit this one out punchline.” Phew!!!!!

There’s also a TON of fights. And these things will be choreographed to the hilt. Alexander, who’s 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.

There’s 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 he’s 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 won’t lie to you guys though; there are a couple of issues with this draft. Frank’s 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. It’s 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 2008’s must see pictures. "I've heard more intelligent sounds coming from a sucking chest wound..."
 
I am all hung up on the sewer hideout bit. Are they ****ing kidding?
 
Im worried about the fed scene, when he said it felt like it's "tacked on" I had a bad flashback of the Spiderman 3 Harry Osbourne amnesia scene. Lastly, it would have been nice to see the homage to Ennis' comic whereas we can see the Punisher clearly blowing a hole in Cesare's head. That would be some serious shock value as people would likely protest Punisher killing an old man.
 
Awesome find!

I was hoping the Iron Man guys would have cleaned it up and it sounds like they have. Finally, we know that Castle does give up his crusade after killing the fed and doesn't just continue like it's nothing. Russo staking claim to all of New York is a damn good reason for Castle to get back in the game. Sounds like Microchip won't be lame comic relief, but a real asset and Castle's one true friend and confidant. I'm excited as $hit now that I've read a review of a script that actually credits Marcum and Holloway.

This and Stevenson's castng is the best news I've heard about this project to date!
 
Is he reviewing the same script that people gave negative reviews to or is this a different draft?
 
It sounds like it's the same... But, who knows.
 
I am all hung up on the sewer hideout bit. Are they ****ing kidding?

As faulty as the 89' version was, I thought the sewer hideout was a clever detail. This is a man who not only has the police(FBI) on his tail but also the very resourceful and influential mob. He has to hide in the most odd places.
 
It's not the idea of hiding physically underground that I have a problem with. It's just little details... how would he keep clean? Doesn't seem like stinking is a good way to go unnoticed above ground... spraying on tons of deodorant or cologne or whatever would be an equally bad idea. Not to mention tons of germs, disease from the nearby sewage.

Plus, what about all that water? I'm unsure of whether or not you could keep a motorcycle in good condition down there. How would he get the motorcycle in to the sewer?

I would think it would be even more difficult to defend than an apartment or storage facility. Whoever maintains the tunnels could stumble across his hideout at any time, whereas he could probably find an apartment that the landlord wouldn't come check up on as long as he paid, or he could even find something he would buy outright. He can't live like a rich guy but he obviously pockets the cash he collects from his fallen targets. He's probably got a pretty good bankroll. Chuck Dixon and Garth Ennis have both implied he buys up tons of small pieces (and at least one surprisingly large piece) of land.

I can see him hiding in a sewer for a very short amount of time, but it would be a lot easier and probably more effective to use actual property... just has to make sure he doesn't stay at one place for too many nights in a row.
 
It's not the idea of hiding physically underground that I have a problem with. It's just little details... how would he keep clean? Doesn't seem like stinking is a good way to go unnoticed above ground... spraying on tons of deodorant or cologne or whatever would be an equally bad idea. Not to mention tons of germs, disease from the nearby sewage.

Plus, what about all that water? I'm unsure of whether or not you could keep a motorcycle in good condition down there. How would he get the motorcycle in to the sewer?

I would think it would be even more difficult to defend than an apartment or storage facility. Whoever maintains the tunnels could stumble across his hideout at any time, whereas he could probably find an apartment that the landlord wouldn't come check up on as long as he paid, or he could even find something he would buy outright. He can't live like a rich guy but he obviously pockets the cash he collects from his fallen targets. He's probably got a pretty good bankroll. Chuck Dixon and Garth Ennis have both implied he buys up tons of small pieces (and at least one surprisingly large piece) of land.

I can see him hiding in a sewer for a very short amount of time, but it would be a lot easier and probably more effective to use actual property... just has to make sure he doesn't stay at one place for too many nights in a row.

If it works for the Ninja Turtles, it'll work for Frank.

I think the stuff about Frank having a daughter is dumb. I don't care if you're going for the closeness of the comics but it'll basically say "**** Thomas Jane and the first movie." Now, I am one of the few and the proud who loved both the theatrical and director's cut version of the 04' film and I don't want a reboot or a remake. This should be just what it is, a sequel. Otherwise, the script sounds good.
 
The reviewer loses all credibility with me with this line;

I enjoyed the 1989 version starring Dolph Lundgren that was shot in Sydney. Sure, it wasn’t perfect but in comparison to the bigger budgeted 2004 version, it was friggin’ “Titanic”!!!
 
i do find it logical that theyd change things in order to make the film more of a reboot, but with the 04 version being fairly recent whats the point? Most non-punisher fans are gonna hear the name of this movie and think "ohh theyre coming out with a sequel?" anyway. But im glad to hear whats going on with the film, sounds exciting.
 
The reviewer loses all credibility with me with this line;

I enjoyed the 1989 version starring Dolph Lundgren that was shot in Sydney. Sure, it wasn’t perfect but in comparison to the bigger budgeted 2004 version, it was friggin’ “Titanic”!!!
I think the 89 is better than the 04, but its not all that good either.
 
I think the 89 is better than the 04, but its not all that good either.
Both films have their moments I think. But they are also films that one can look at, and see that they had potential to be better than what they Ultimately proved to be.
 
Sounds pretty good, I was not a fan of the 89 movie, the 04 film was good but could have been much better IMO without the campy so called funny scenes, I wanted to see the DC but never have gotten a chance.

I am looking forward to seeing "The Punisher" back on the big screen in 2008.
 
The reviewer loses all credibility with me with this line;

I enjoyed the 1989 version starring Dolph Lundgren that was shot in Sydney. Sure, it wasn’t perfect but in comparison to the bigger budgeted 2004 version, it was friggin’ “Titanic”!!!
I agree, that was movie was a big Have a Nice Day!!
to me. Let's wait for another review...
 
No more script reviews. I'm sick of them already.
 
Yeah you really can't pay too much attention to some of these reviews. If your a real fan of the Punisher then you know the 89 Punisher was a waste of time. The whole living in the sewer thing kind of bothers me that it going to be in the new movie also. I thought maybe a old land mark factory of something like that could be a good base of operation for Frank.
 
Yeah you really can't pay too much attention to some of these reviews. If your a real fan of the Punisher then you know the 89 Punisher was a waste of time. The whole living in the sewer thing kind of bothers me that it going to be in the new movie also. I thought maybe a old land mark factory of something like that could be a good base of operation for Frank.

The '89 Punisher is horrible, but if you see it as a spoof ala MST3K it's kind of entertaining. "God why must I live like a ninja turtle?"
 
the 89 punisher is not horrible. it's not great, it's not even even good, but it's still not horrible. okay or average at best. it definitely captures certain elements of the punisher especially the fact that it's actually a dark film, unlike the 04 punisher. hiding is the sewers is better in comparasion to the neighbors from welcome back frank. ultimately however, 04 wins for me cuz the lack of the skull is unforgivable.
 
Both of those movies sucked, and as a Punisher fan I feel there should be no forgiveness for Hollywood for those interpretations. The 89' film had stoner uncharismatic Lundgren, however that film had the casino scene, and the odd reference to Batman. 04 was more like a lame episode of Dynasty, why would Frank involve himself with trying to manipulate the Saint's like that, instead of murdering them mercilessly and with extreme prejudice? Also what sucked royally about that movie was we didn't get the true Joan, Frank, and Mr. Bumpo, instead we got the "Sharing and caring hour" with the two Teletubbie rejects Fat and ******ed
 

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