Punisher: War Zone: ** (out of 4)

Over the last couple of weeks, I have played a lot of Fallout 3. In that game, you are (before too long) a combat god - regular people can barely hurt you, and even whole armies of armed soldiers will fall to your weapons more often than not. You spend a lot of time walking around through sewers and office buildings, stalking your prey. And the concept of "morality" certainly plays a role in things, but it doesn't stop you from shooting lots of enemies in head.

Take out the post-apocalyptic setting, and put a skull on your avatar's chest, and you have Punisher: War Zone. Or at least that was the goal.

I have to admit, I was expecting a little more from this movie. Many of the reviews compared this movie to a slasher flick, where the teenagers were the mob bosses and the villain was The Punisher; I suppose I can see where they wanted to see this, and it would certainly be a neat enough idea, but it just wasn't there. What we had instead was a single story of Frank Castle - the Punisher - wiping out a Mob enclave, making a mistake, and atoning for it. Sortof.

I don't know who played Frank, nor do I care; he didn't do a very good job. (Thomas Jane did a much better job in the last version, for the record.) The only actor of note in the movie was Dominic West - McNulty from The Wire - playing Jigsaw, one of the two top-rung, nigh-invulnerable but generic villains. He didn't do a good job either.

There were a few moments of inspired Punisher action, and there were a few nods to some past good Punisher stories. That's about it; past that, it's just a low-quality, no-plot action movie. I didn't hate it, but even with the low expectations I came in with, I was disappointed.