Punisher: War Zone
|Punisher: War Zone is a 2008 comic book action film directed by Lexi Alexander; based on the fictional Marvel Comics vigilante/anti-hero the Punisher. It is the third film to depict the Marvel character Frank Castle (the Punisher). The film is a reboot that follows the original telling of Castle’s war on crime and corruption rather than a sequel to 2004’s The Punisher or 1989’s The Punisher, and is the first film to be produced under the Marvel Studios and Marvel Knights production banner, which focuses on films for mature audiences. Irish actor Ray Stevenson replaced Thomas Jane as Castle. In the film, Castle wages a one-man war against a horribly disfigured mob boss known as Jigsaw (Dominic West). Punisher: War Zone was released in North America by Lionsgate on December 5, 2008, and was released in the United Kingdom on February 6, 2009. The film has developed a cult following.|
Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson), who by now has been the Punisher for five years, assaults a party for mob boss Gaitano Cesare. Billy Russoti (Dominic West) escapes to his recycling plant hideout, but is thrown into a glass-crushing machine that leaves him hideously disfigured. Russoti later refers to himself as “Jigsaw”. Castle, who takes cover behind the body of Nicky Donatelli (Romano Orzari), discovers that Donatelli was actually an undercover agent. Agent Paul Budiansky (Colin Salmon), the deceased agent’s partner, joins the NYPD’s “Punisher Task Force”, partnering with Soap to help bring Castle to justice. Distraught over killing the agent, Castle attempts to make reparations to Donatelli’s wife, Angela (Julie Benz), and daughter, Grace (Stephanie Janusauskas), to no avail.
Jigsaw, Loony Bin Jim, and two goons, Ink and Pittsy, break into Donatelli’s house and hold the family hostage. The Punisher is arrested by Budiansky, but is released by Soap, who along with Budiansky who arrest Jigsaw and Loony Bin Jim.
Jigsaw and his brother bargain with the FBI for their release by giving up Cristu Bulat (David Vadim), who was smuggling in a biological weapon destined for Arab terrorists in Queens, New York. The brothers are granted immunity, plus the US$12 million Bulat was paying to use Jigsaw’s port, and a file on Micro. They take Micro hostage, killing his mother in the process. They once again take the Donatellis hostage. Jigsaw sets himself up in the Bradstreet Hotel, hiring a small private army of criminals. Castle enters through a second-floor window, leading to a firefight with Jigsaw’s men. Castle c confronts Jigsaw, who are holding Micro and Grace Donatelli at gunpoint. Castle shoots Loony Bin Jim. As a result, Jigsaw kills Micro. Castle then burns Jigsaw to death. Outside, Angela forgives Castle, who bids farewell to Budiansky and the Donatelli family.
As Castle and Soap leave together, Soap tries to convince Castle to give up his vigilante status after having “killed every criminal in town.” Soap however changes his mind when he is attacked by a murderous mugger who quickly becomes another victim of the Punisher.