TROUBLE CITY

PUNISHER: HYPE ZONE

Movie NewsIain S.Comment

I totally get it. From one jaded ex-fanboy to all of you, I'm saying we have no right to expect a decent Punisher movie. When it really comes down to it, Lionsgate really has no obligation to deliver a decent Punishermovie. They didn't sign a contract with Fandom promising to erase all the bad memories we have of Dolph Lundgren and Thomas Jane (or more likely, John Travolta), and I'm pretty sure that, like all studios, their best interests lie somewhere south of a straight line, snuggled in with lots and lots of numbers stacked to the right of a dollar sign and punctuated with a decimal point.

What we can do however, is hope for the best. Marvel Studios has been pretty good to us so far, and I think that it's an exception to the rule when a studio makes it a priority to keep its audience's expectations in mind, and to play to those expectations, and maybe - just maybe - exceed them.

With Punisher: War Zone, all of the signs point to a worst-case scenario: behind the scenes infighting, recuts, honeymoons, studio spin and the like. All the dust kicked up at Comic-Con has got everybody in a tizzy, but a few days ago I had a chance to speak to someone very close to the film, and that contact assured me - without knowing I'm in the position I am to disseminate this kind of information - that most of the drama is a bunch of hooey. Hype. Hullabaloo drummed up to generate more interest in the film. Lexi Alexander is still the director and the cut will be locked in a couple weeks.

Now, without having gone too much further into detail, I've only got said contact's word to go on.  Looking at only the trailers that have been released - including the tore-up but still awesome red band - I'm loving the film's look and tone (minus the heavy metal soundtrack, of course). It kind of makes me think what Dick Tracy might've felt like if it was directed by Paul Verhoeven circa 1987.

Why would we not want a great Punisher movie? If Lexi - an obvious fan of the material - is still on board, that's an ace in our pocket and it gives us even more reason to hope for a good, if not great movie...

Keeping in mind of course that we still have no right to expect one.