The Sting Review

The Sting is a very ambitious film with a ton of moving parts so it really ends up being quite a lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing jut how intense it was with a lot of twists and a huge cast of characters. Everyone stands out too which is a good thing and the suspense will keep you at the edge of your seat. I was definitely impressed with this one. Not to say I thought it would be bd or anything like that but is was still better than I expected. If you like planning movies like this then you will definitely have a great time here.

The movie starts with Johnny and Luther suckering a guy out of a lot of money and we see that they are grifters. Basically they part people with their money and it’s actually a rather profitable business. It has its share of risks to be sure but they have really done well for themselves. Unfortunately they messed with the wrong person this time and Luther is murdered by the mafia led by Doyle. Johnny escapes and meets up with a man named Henry who is supposed to be the best in the business. Johnny asks Henry to help him take revenge and so they set up the most ambitious trap yet to take down Doyle. Can they really defeat the leader of the mafia like this?

A film like this will only be as good as its writing and characters. Fortunately both of those are quite great so there is really nothing to worry about here. The movie is long which allows it to introduce all of the characters and make them all matter. The pacing never gets slow and so you never feel like things are dragging along. All of the scenes are necessary and the film gives you enough context to always keep up but you’re also supposed to think things out and try to stay ahead of the score too. The best part is that the plan actually feels feasible. Incredibly difficult to be sure but you aren’t suspending a whole lot of disbelief here.

Now the characters can’t be perfect or you might have some questions but for the most part they always make a lot of reasonable decisions and that goes a long way. My only issue here are the mistakes that Johnny makes. Sure the guy is a rookie compared to Henry but at the same time he’s still been in the game for a long while. When he wasted $10,000 on a roll of the dice that was just not a smart move. Even if the casino didn’t cheat, odds are great that he would have lost. There is no upside to spending a bunch of cash like that since the house will always clean up.

Then just as bad is when he decides to have a one night stand with a waitress. The stakes are too high for him to be messing around right now. Keep in mind that just about everyone in the city is after him at this point so he really doesn’t have a whole lot of time. He should be hiding out and laying low right now, not making moves. He seems rather desperate for someone from the start like when he was carrying the flowers at the beginning but he should just wait a little longer until after the plan is done. Things really came close to going sideways for him there. In a way it actually helped his defense since by looking like a sucker the villains really wouldn’t suspect him but he can’t take any credit there since that was accidental.

I like that Johnny was very determined to take revenge and he did put a lot into the planning. So I’m not going to sell him totally short. The guy contributed a ton and was a really solid character who had good acting to the end. His role was absolutely crucial in getting Doyle to take the bait. Ultimately he’s also just a likable main character. I would say Henry is the one who stole the show here though. He took huge risks himself and while the situation was a lot more personal to him than he let on, he still wasn’t as personally invested as Johnny was. Still he got the gang back together and pulled off a really grand exhibition. This film was truly a team effort with everyone putting in their part.

Meanwhile Doyle made for a solid main villain. The guy has a lot of personal pride which is why he couldn’t let the heroes get away with messing with him. Additionally he was pretty smart and was not easy to fool. It’s quite telling that the characters had to go so far in order to try and stay ahead of him. Half hearted methods definitely wouldn’t have done the trick here. This guy has a lot of muscle and you can see why he was the head of the mafia. Even to the end he was always a thorn in their side and switched things up enough times where you could say he did take every precaution. Ultimately the heroes were just too prepared for him.

I also liked Snyder and Polk as more supporting characters to mix things up. Snyder being more of a two bit criminal who was one of the more corrupt cops helped to be a wild card here. Same for Polk from the FBI side. The more sides you have in any movie the better and it was always great when Johnny would just be minding his own business and suddenly one of these guys shows up to complicate matters. He was really never allowed to have any peace while on the job. No matter what he did or where he went, there was always someone around to complicate maters further and cause a lot of trouble.

Overall, The Sting is a very satisfying movie. Not only does it remain very interesting throughout the entirety of the run but the ending is very satisfying. If you stumble at the ending that ends up hurting a lot so managing not to do that was a really big bonus for the title. The characters are likable and even the villain faction are solid. There weren’t any characters here that I really disliked. Everyone had their own objectives and you have to remember that this all started because Johnny and Luther were scamming people so it’s not even like they were upstanding citizens. When you become a crook you understand the risks and so it just happened to them earlier than they were expecting. It still remains personal but at the end of the day it was also business. Both of these villain groups were just doing what they wanted to do and so it turned into this big fight.

Overall 8/10

Kill Bill Volume 2 Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

All right, it’s time for the next Kill Bill. It’s pretty similar to the last one but we have a bit less action this time around. The Bride is wrapping up her revenge tour after all and there are only a few targets left. Not to mention that these targets are mainly weaker than the last film’s so the movie has to throw in elements like her getting sloppy and being buried alive to buy time until the end. It does beat the first film because we don’t get anything quite as dreadful as the whole hospital part from the first film. It’s still way excessive on the violence which keeps it from really reaching its potential but any improvement is always good.

So a good chunk of the film is about Bride taking on Budd which lasts longer than you would expect. The guy can’t fight for beans but he does have a gun and she seems to underestimate him which is what makes things tricky. If not for the surprise attack then she would have definitely taken him out pretty quick. I suppose he deserves some credit for that. I’d say the other two big aspects of the film is finally seeing the truth of what happened that day in the chapel when everyone jumped her and then the climax where she finally gets to take on Bill.

The confrontation with Bill is what we’re all here for after all so I’ll leave that for the end. For the intro with the wedding, well it definitely makes Bill look really crazy. It’s clear that he planned to shoot everyone up from the start with the way his gang showed up. We learn that he’s the Bride’s father and yeah it’s really not a good look for him. The guy just seems super petty especially considering that the bride and groom seemed nice enough the whole time. Nobody was antagonizing him or anything. He just is the big villain and sometimes that’s all you need.

Now for the final villains, first up we have Budd and I can’t say that I liked him much at all. I guess he’s got brute strength but that’s about it and he wasn’t very smart in how he handled himself with the boss at his day job. He was almost making the argument that he didn’t need the job by saying that there is nobody around to bounce and I thought it was clever of the boss to bring that up. He really just gets lucky the whole time with the Bride being surprisingly clumsy with her approach and then he lets his guard down with the snake. It was definitely not a very smart move since he should know that all of these villains mean business.

We also have Elle who is sort of like a rival to Bride. She was definitely really jealous of her the whole time. Their skills are fairly close although I do think Bride has the decisive advantage here when you really think about it. She got to learn more from the master and just seems more experienced. Elle is still very good in combat though.

Now she did get a big moment where she takes down the master Pai Mei, but that guy was also an extreme jerk to the point of being a villain. I mean his training was so drastic that he did nearly murder Bride on a few occasions which I always think is way too excessive for any training. Sure, it always works out so you look the other way but you have to think about if it didn’t work out. Then you just murdered a pupil and while Pai Mei wouldn’t be broken up about it, it makes you double think everyone who actually allowed this to happen. It’s just not a smart play and so when Elle murders him you just aren’t too surprised. It seemed inevitable that he would push someone too far.

As in the last film the Bride is good here although she maybe holds back a little too much against Bill in the end. Look, you’ve come this far so I think you need to end him really quick. This isn’t one of those times where you can just talk things out and hope for the best. It worked with the neighbor in the first film because it wasn’t as personal and you still knew she was going to finish the job but with Bill it should have been time to take him out on sight. By waiting she put herself in a whole lot of danger the whole time.

Bill is also a very annoying character in part because I feel like the film isn’t really acknowledging just how evil he is. In a way it’s just part of the absurdness of it all as he just shows up trying to appear as a nice guy and calling Bride’s bluff but she should have just taken him out and then kept moving. I think there are a lot of ways she could have handled that better because this way could have really backfired.

In particular the moment where she falls down and closes her eyes to play dead while Bill is right in front of her. He easily could have gone for the shot for all she knows and then that would have been it. There just wouldn’t be any coming back from that. He also needs to own the fact that he put her in such a terrible position all these years and there is no coming back from that either. The whole climax with Bill was just rather odd and I didn’t think it landed nearly as well as the film thought it did. Mainly because it didn’t land at all. This was a fire and a miss. The climax may not be very satisfying as a whole but at least the very end is good and that’s what you will remember the most in the end.

The film keeps a lot of the fun technical elements that made the first one good like the music and choreography although there are much less chances to show that here since the film isn’t as action heavy. It’s not quite as dark as the first film but it’s still very over the top violent that’s for sure. Everyone is still getting slaughtered on all sides and taking away from the fun fights that you want to get to. It’s still as shocking and gruesome as ever.

Overall, Kill Bill ends here and while it’s a slight improvement over the first film because it doesn’t get as extreme, it’s relative when you think about how extreme it still is the whole time. This is not a fun popcorn film that you plug in and have a good time with. Instead this is a title where you turn it on but have to be ready to wince and shake your head whenever a villain shows up because you know that someone’s about to go down the hard way. You don’t really need a sequel to this but one more to finish the trilogy would be nice and if things keep improving a bit then who knows. Maybe the third will end up being the big one but until then you can stick to other revenge films like One Piece Film: Red or Dragon Ball: Super Broly the Movie.

Overall 2/10

Kill Bill: Volume 1 Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Kill Bill is definitely a movie that is absolutely legendary for being super violent and one of the ultimate revenge thrillers. When you hear the name you know that you’re in for something intense. It definitely doesn’t disappoint in there. I feel like there is a whole lot of things to like here and interesting ideas but that’s why it’s a shame that it had to be so violent. All of the elements are in here to make this a top tier title but it just doesn’t happen.

The movie starts with the Bride getting beaten down badly by Bill and his crew. She’s then shot and left for dead but ends up surviving. Bill’ right hand woman says they should finish her off but he says it would make them look weak so she’s allowed to live. Once the Bride is healed up she vanishes for a bit and then returns to bump them all off one at a time. She has a list and she’s checking it twice but will she be able to defeat the world’s strongest assassins?

We start things off really quickly in the present as the main heroine takes out Vernita. It was a really powerful way to kick things off because you don’t have much context at this point and just have her fighting this other professional while also trying to appear normal in front of Vernita’s kid. It made for a good dynamic and ultimately we already see why the Bride is the heroine here as she actually gives Vernita a chance to not die in front of her child but the villain doesn’t take her up on this. There will be no stopping the revenge tour this time. Bride intends to get everyone and it’s easy to see why considering the opening.

This fight was actually really good. There’s a lot of back and forth and it’s focused on really good choreography instead of trying to be super shocking. I liked the tone of the fight as well and how odd it felt the whole time with things going from 0 to 100 real fast. Unfortunately the movie peaked early here and was never quite able to match this.

See, we destroy all of the momentum right after this by going to the hospital and seeing the Bride’s recovery. The film decides to go extra dark as we learn she was taken advantage of numerous times while she was under and you have to ask yourself what this possibly adds to the story. If your answer was 0 then you are almost spot on except it should be a negative number since it hurts the story. It also makes one character look even worse in the sequel although I’ll get to that in the volume 2 review.

Sure it gives us a chance to see the Bride murder more people are violently as possible and you know they deserve it but that’s why the cycle of violence doesn’t help anybody. The more evil you make a villain the more you’re going to have the hero enact revenge in increasingly brutal fashion. It’s a cycle that just doesn’t end as a result and a film doesn’t need that. Just introduce us to the villains and lets get some good fights in.

Throughout the movie it’s a common theme that everyone has to die as violently and disturbingly as possible. Usually the fights with the top tiers tend to be not quite as violent since the battles are able to go all the way until the end and maybe the killing blow gets violent but that’s about it. It’s the minions and random civilians you have to watch out for as the heroes and villains really get to style on those fighters.

The choreography can be really good at times when it’s not being overshadowed by the violence though. I like that each character has a codename and it’s filmed like a big anime showdown at times. There is a wide range of music here as well so a lot of effort was put into the film. On a purely technical level the movie definitely holds its own really well and makes for a very solid experience there. It’s just everything in the middle that destroys these elements.

Take O-Ren’s backstory for example which is where the film has a whole lot of fun being super violent. It suddenly turns into an animated segment since you can get away with more there and they’re showing off the animation but you can’t help but feel again that they could have easily told the story without getting into the gory details. Just keep it moving and get us to the present for some big fights.

The Bride is a solid heroine at least. You are definitely rooting for her to win given everything that she’s gone through and she is a very efficient hunter. She’s not interested in hearing any excuses from her victims nor will she spare them in the end. She’s hear to murder every member and wants Bill to know that she’s coming. In this film you don’t yet know exactly why they went after her but you know that she needs her revenge and even the villains pretty much admit that it’s fair for her to try and get it. There is never any doubt on who the villains are here. Yeah Bride may not follow the superhero code, but she’s not a superhero. She’s just someone looking to get revenge.

Bride hasn’t quite lost her humanity yet either as seen when she tries to convince Vernita not to die in front of her kid. Bride does have some standards but the villains do not and considering how outnumbered she is, it’s not like she can afford to hold back much. Bill doesn’t actually appear much here but definitely has a presence. You know that he’s someone not to be messed with and presumably he can fight since he has a big sword. He may end up regretting sparing Bride considering all the damage she’s accomplished but you do get why he wouldn’t want to be known for finishing someone off while they’re asleep.

Vernita is an interesting villain and part of why the fight with Bride was so good is that they feel a bit like parallels. Vernita is out of the assassin game now and started a family. She had a happy ending to her character arc at least up to this point but in the end she has to fight a dark mirror of herself. I was glad that Bride didn’t accept any of her excuses either since the past actions aren’t something so easily waved away. Vernita put up a fight and at the end of the day that was the best she could do.

Then you have Gogo who isn’t one of the main villains on Bride’s list for revenge but she actually gets her own big boss fight and is definitely someone that can’t be overlooked. Basically she’s a psycho who loves her job. She may not be as powerful as the main villains but her weapon is fairly unique so it’s a bit harder to dodge. She gives Bride some trouble as a result but I wouldn’t say a whole lot. She makes for an imposing villain though.

Then you have O-Ren who is an excellent swordfighter and has a really good fight with Bride. In terms of overall ability I dare say that she was probably the most powerful in the whole series counting volume 2. The only way to beat her was with pure skill all the way through. O-Ren built up an empire and had a huge group through her own merits since that group wasn’t going to take a woman seriously as leader otherwise. Ultimately she just shouldn’t have messed with Bride.

The film also has a great cliffhanger ending to lead into the sequel. The line helps build up a lot of anticipation for the sequel and also makes you think about the events that could lead up to this twist. It’s definitely the way to do it and of course when you know a sequel is coming up then you definitely want to end with a big cliffhanger. Don’t do anything half heartedly just go all the way with it.

Overall, Kill Bill is one of those films that would be absolutely great if it just had way more restraint. Of course it’s always tempting to make a big revenge film as over the top violent and dark as possible so you really root for the hero to defeat those evil villains but it also means you will be cringing a whole lot constantly during the film as violent things just keep on happening. The film is certainly creative with the visuals for some of these moments which means it will be more difficult to forget them as well. There are countless tales of titles with tons of potential that was wiped away by excessive content and this is just another one to add to the list. We’ll see if part 2 is able to change that.

Overall 1/10

Dirty Harry Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the uncut version would be more negative

Dirty Harry is certainly a classic in the world of thriller films. It’s a title you’ve definitely heard of and it’s gotten quite a few movies. After watching the film I can see how it would help make vigilantes really popular in media. This really taps into the appeal of characters like the Punisher who are able to take things a step past the law when the villains exploit loopholes. The film gets quite serious and isn’t afraid to push Harry to his limits. It’s got just enough restraint to keep from getting too dicey and ends up being a solid movie.

The movie starts off with a mysterious murderer named Scorpio shooting someone on the roof. He then begins sending letters to the police with warnings that he will continue to murder more people until they heed his demands. At first they don’t intend to listen to him but as the bodies start to pile up they consider just paying him the money. Harry is absolutely against this because he feels that once you give the villain an inch then he’ll take a mile. The demands won’t stop and he figures the hostage that Scorpio kidnapped is likely already dead anyway. He’s overruled by the boss though who wants Harry to go through with the plan anyway and deliver the money. Can Harry find a way to stop Scorpio while dealing with all the red tape?

Hostage situations are never easy but there is a reason why the U.S. and many other countries have a firm policy that they do not negotiate with terrorists. The reason for this is that it really is never ending. If you pay off one of them then you will end up having to pay them all off and more villains will begin to copy this approach. If you don’t negotiate then yes the initial hostages will perish but less villains will be incentivized to even make this attempt because there is no pay off. They know that they won’t be getting any profits off of this.

The movie certainly agrees with that logic as Scorpio plays them the whole time. It’s also putting Harry at a disadvantage since as the messenger boy he is always one step behind and is basically at Scorpio’s whims with all the running around. Scorpio can take him out at any time while Harry has to keep his guard up. Fortunately Harry is very resourceful and manages to outsmart Scorpio but in almost any other case he’d be dead. So when the cops just want to do this again and again, it really doesn’t seem to be very efficient.

The movie also deals with the classic issue of everyone knowing that a villain is guilty but legally they can’t lock him up due to a loophole. Even in real life I always roll my eyes when there is a case with complete proof but the evidence isn’t admissible in court because it wasn’t submitted in time or something like that. It feels like a common sense issue where the evidence should absolutely be considered when we know that it is genuine. Likewise if you get information through non legal channels then it won’t be counted as well.

So in this case even though we now Scorpio has murdered several people, was caught with weapons in his home and confessed to it, plus fired at an officer of the law, they can’t keep him in prison. Moreover he is allowed to walk free without anyone allowed to follow him. The whole thing seems absolutely batty and that’s why the whole concept of Dirty Harry is that he is tempted to do things off the books because every legal attempt failed. It makes for a very difficult choice of course because once you cross that line there is no coming back from that. It’s tough to go back behind the line once you’re over it because then you’ll notice this scenario happening all the time.

It’s why anti heroes are so popular. I’ll keep this tangent brief so we go back to the main plot but part of why people support characters like the Punisher is because they seal up these loopholes. If you live in the city or neighborhood where a mass murderer was let go, it won’t be of much comfort for you to hear on the news that he had to be let go due to whatever loophole was in place. You figure that you’re in danger so when the Punisher shows up and takes the guy out, a part of you is relieved. Light Yagami from Death Note is a classic example of this. He apparently ended over 90% of crime in just the span of a few years due to the fear from criminals that they would be next. He’s certainly no hero but if you lived in that world you now had a much greater chance of not being murdered or robbed. So even if you don’t condone the action you can’t help but appreciate it as you enjoy your life. It’s why there are so many films with characters like this because it’s a really easy sell and Dirty Harry makes a strong case for it.

Scorpio is shown to be as twisted and underhanded as a villain gets. You don’t want to see him get off so easy because you know that he will continue his crimes. He clearly enjoys them and wastes almost no time in getting back on the action. It’s only a shame that he got away with so much before Harry was able to be put on the case. I could have done without some of the descriptions in the movie even if it was to show how deranged the guy was. He’s not a villain that you will forget so easily.

Meanwhile Harry makes for a great main character. It should be noted that he does make every attempt to do this by the book at first. He follows orders even when they don’t make a lot of sense and he’s not just going around trying to murder Scorpio. It’s just that every attempt doesn’t work and he sees how crazy the suits are when they say things like how he should have handled a different case in another way even though he saved a girl’s life from a lunatic. There’s a big disconnect with the upper bosses that becomes more evident as the film goes by.

That said, I don’t blame his partner Chico for throwing in the sack and retiring. At the end of the day this is a super dangerous job and you never know if you’ll be walking away for the last time or not. So after nearly dying you understand why he would be hesitant to go back into the ring. Being a police officer is an extremely difficult position that only some are really able to do. You have to be prepared for death at any moment. I know I wouldn’t be a good fit for that job for example.

Overall, Dirty Harry is a very intense film that keeps you on your toes. It shows how tough it is to stop someone who has really set their mind on doing harm to someone. Even in real life if someone is crazy enough and has no regard for their own life then they will cause some kind of disaster before they are stopped. It happens all the time and if there is any loophole that causes them to get out then another incident will occur. Vigilantes can’t be allowed to operate in the real world not only because of the slippery slope but because assuming they can have a 100% accurate policy of only going after villains would be idealistic at best. In the movies though it can be satisfying to see the villain get it at the end. The movie ending with Scorpio going free would have been absolutely horrible and it’s no exaggeration to say that the movie would have been a 1 or lower. So you can’t end like that and this movie had a really good ending. It’s a satisfying one after that tough journey.

Overall 6/10

Peppermint Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Peppermint is definitely one of those films that is very much a basic thriller. There’s not a whole lot going on here beyond the main character getting her big revenge but that’s exactly what you’re expecting here. The film lives up to the premise it’s advertising so that’s always a good thing. In the end it can be a bit violent as you can guess but ultimately I’d say it’s a fairly decent thriller that holds up well.

The movie starts off with Riley destroying a villain so then we get a flashback to set this up. Her husband was recruited to get into a dangerous gig but he declined the offer. The main problem here is that the news of his declining didn’t make the rounds in time so the mob leader quickly destroys him as well as his family to make a statement. Riley was able to survive the bullet wounds though and after seeing how the justice system was bought out by the crooks, decides to handle this on her own. At the end of the day there is nobody else that she can trust but herself to get the job done here. Now it’s a race to destroy everyone who has wronged her, the courts, the gangsters, etc. She will keep moving forward until she has destroyed her enemies!

There isn’t a very large cast here as most of the villains are bumped off fairly quick. I would say the only important villain here would be the actual leader at the top of the charts. He’s not someone who should be taken too lightly at all. Diego is his name and he actually does a good job of ruling the mob. The guy rules by fear to the point where he murders people just for thinking about betraying him. That’s certainly an effective way to
stay in charge and also prevent more people from getting ideas.

At the end of the day once you get past the fear then he’s just another guy. In fact we even see the mob that owns this mob and it shows how he’s still just a big fish in a small pond. I suppose if we ever get a sequel to this it could be about Riley going after those guys next. The movie really fleshes out the world around it pretty well so there’s a lot you could do after this. To an extent Riley even feels like a bit of an Anti-Hero. We see that she has ended crime in a whole area and is protecting people even outside of her quest for revenge.

She helps a kid by beating up his alcoholic father and just generally makes the world a safer place. Riley isn’t above murdering her opponents of course so she’s not a full hero but definitely a figure that will give the villains some real pause here. They absolutely do not want to mess with her. Riley went off the grid for a few years to hone her fighting abilities and this seems to have really paid off big time. At this point she is able to out fight just about anyone in her way even if they are armed.

Riley is a fun lead character. She goes about her business very directly and doesn’t drag out the deaths or anything like that. She quickly lets them know why she is about to destroy them and then does it. It’s all a very straight forward approach which shows that she means business. Also she did try going through the legal system first. It just didn’t work so she was then forced to seek other avenues which made a lot of sense. Once the mob has bought out the court then it’s clear that justice won’t be coming.

Then we’ve got the main cop Beltran who does well here. He’s definitely not thrilled about getting mixed up with the gang since everyone who messes with them tends to disappear but he does want to see true justice get accomplished and goes past that fear. He also helps the film execute a really solid ending which really helps wrap everything up nicely. A bad ending can really and I mean really hurt for a film like this so getting around that was absolutely crucial. This ending is basically perfect so I was satisfied.

I wouldn’t say there are any big issues with the film either aside from some violence. As a revenge thriller like this you can absolutely bet that people are getting shot and destroyed but by and large it avoids being too excessive about the whole thing. What helps is that we mainly follow Riley as she destroys everyone and don’t get nearly as many scenes of the villains popping each other off. It’s a pretty big distinction because that’s usually when the films tend to get a bit more gratuitous with that.

I also always enjoy the classic trope of one person launching a full war against the entire villain empire. Just give her a few months of training and skills and now nobody can stop Riley. Is it super realistic? Perhaps not but it’s definitely always fun to watch. She also got a whole lot of intel to be able to locate everyone and take them out at the ideal times. Riley didn’t just panic and jump into action but planned everything out carefully and it paid off for her.

Overall, Peppermint is a pretty good film. I dare say it was better than I had been expecting. If you told me that this was a comic book origin story I would have believed you. It’s very much got those Punisher vibes at the ready. The fights are good and there is a lot of room to make a sequel out of this. I would definitely recommend this if you want a pretty intense action thriller. I wonder if revenge thrillers go for one word titles on purpose. Salt, Taken, Peppermint, Faster, etc. Maybe it’s a subliminal message that the film is about to be nonstop action with quick pacing.

Overall 6/10

True Grit Review

True Grit is definitely a film with a lot of tough characters but unfortunately it took the gritty part a little too far. You’ve even got a horse that dies in this one which was unfortunate. You can absolutely do wild west films without animal violence, I’ve seen it done before. So what made this one fall into that trap? It just wasn’t being cautious enough and that’s a big mistake. It’s a fairly decent film for the most part but one that makes its share of mistakes too.

The movie starts with Mattie’s father getting bumped off after trying to get Tom Cheney to stop trying to pick fights while he was drunk. Unfortunately this drunk had one more bullet up his sleeve and so he then went on a crime spree before vanishing into the Indian territories. He is now protected by Ned Pepper and there isn’t anyone brave enough to go after him. Mattie is forced to try and find someone with true grit. Someone who won’t back down and will keep on fighting all the way through to the end. There is one person that everyone agrees is right for the job…Rooster.

Rooster is one of those guys who always gets his man and doesn’t mind using his gun as needed. You can bet that nobody is going to scare him off easily and that’s exactly the kind of guy Mattie needs. Unfortunately for her he doesn’t take Mattie very seriously and he also charges a lot for his services. While most would give up at this point, Mattie isn’t like most other characters. She works hard and gets the money so Rooster takes her up on the offer. They’re joined by a Texas ranger known as La Boeuf who is also after Chaney for a different crime. Having another fighter on hand would usually be good but the issue is that Mattie specifically wants him to hang for murdering her father, not some other crime. There’s going to be a lot of tension on this trip.

So lets get the bad out of the way first and then talk about the good. The main issue here of course is the animal violence. You never have to have the horse die during the gun fights, just have the human fall off of the horse while it runs away. Or if it’s tough acting you can have them both fall but there’s no indication that the horse is dead. Unfortunately this film goes out of its way to let you know that the horse is absolutely dead. Cmon now that’s not necessary in any situation. The horse staying alive would have been the right move and I dare say that it would have been a lot more inspirational as well.

There’s also a random scene where Rooster shoots a mouse. There was no real need for that either. It shows how tough he is, but we already knew that. This film just takes some easy outs like that which limits its potential compared to other wild west titles. It doesn’t quite beat the last few that I’ve seen.

I do like Rooster as the main fighter though. He is definitely a rather gruff guy on the outside but ultimately he’s pleasant enough to Mattie. You can tell that he’s not going to just run off with the money half way. Rooster takes his job very seriously and is good at it. His reputation is well deserved and he also makes La Boeuf back off when the guy is getting to be a bit too much. Rooster’s one weakness is that he can be a bit of a drunk at times. Usually he doesn’t drink enough to actually make him loose his grip on the situation but it does happen once or twice. It’s a massive weakness in his line of work.

As for La Boeuf, I can’t say that I liked him. His initial scenes were really hard to get around like when he first meets up with Mattie. The guy wants to take Chaney down too but loses his cool almost immediately and just does not seem like a good guy. Unlike Rooster I would not trust this guy at all. As the film goes on he gets more reasonable but either way I wasn’t really a fan of the guy.

Chaney is a super petty villain all the way through. He really had no good reason to get Mattie’s father except that he was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing. It’s clear that he was always a bad guy based on the crimes they described for him afterwards though so the drink isn’t a full excuse. He’s just a bad guy but with no master plan or any interesting qualities. You’re just waiting for him to be taken down later on. Mattie should have just shot him again while she had the gun. Everyone always seems to freeze up in these films but if you’re face to face with someone that’s stronger and faster than you, you need to blow him away before it’s too late. Once he’s within arm’s length it’s over.

Ned Pepper was a lot more interesting even though his role is much smaller. I liked the lore with how he fought Rooster once before and is effectively the only one that got away. It makes for an interesting past there and now this guy felt like a true threat. The movie’s focus isn’t on him so he doesn’t appear a lot but at least this way we had one super formidable fighter.

The gun fights are solid here. We see one battle where Rooster has to go up against 4-5 guys on his own which was really impressive. In general he always makes his shots and considering that he’s so old by this point, he has a lot of stamina as well. You definitely feel secure having someone like Rooster on your side. It took him and the Texas ranger a long while to get to Mattie near the climax though which almost cost her. I know she fell down quite a bit aways but I still didn’t think it would take so long to get down there. Maybe they were afraid of falling too.

At the end of the day Mattie gets a lot of credit for being so persistent as well. Pretty much everyone just told her to drop the case after a while because it would just be too difficult to get her justice but she didn’t let them get to her. Between locating a bounty hunter who would help and raising the funds, Mattie really earned her victory all the way through. She was even able to effectively haggle prices with someone for the horse and her money at one point. I also liked how she would constantly mention her lawyer. When he actually appeared near the end that was fun. He’s the kind of character who can give you a good laugh but deep down you know that he means business.

Overall, True Grit really messes up when it comes to the animal scenes but beyond that it’s a fairly decent wild west movie. I think they could have made the Texas Ranger a little more likable though as it would have helped to improve the banter with him and Rooster. That’s something that can be a lot of fun to have in these films but it doesn’t work quite as well when you’re rooting for the guy to get taken down the whole time. I do think Rooster would have won if they ever did get into an actual fight though. A prequel about Rooster’s days in the army could also be interesting since it sounds like he saw a lot of action there. If you like Wild West films a lot then this is probably one you’ll want to check out but if not, there are a lot of other titles you could watch to start your journey into the genre.

Overall 4/10

Killer’s Kiss Review

So this movie mixes in boxing with romance which seems like a pair of themes that make sense but it’s rather short so there’s not much time for the boxing. The film has that odd vibe that is harder to get in a lot of newer films where it’s hard to say what the tone or style is as you’re watching it. At any moment you don’t know what’s going to happen. Are the characters going to die, is a serious fight coming up, is Davey gonna run away? You’re always left guessing which is good, but on the other hand I wouldn’t say that the cast is very likable at all.

The movie starts by introducing us to Davey who is a boxer that is really down on his luck. I mean he’s not even close to having a good time right now. He gets trounced by everybody and his family encourages him to retire. One day he sees the neighbor in the building across from him being attacked so he saves her and they decide to become a couple. Davey can’t tell if Gloria really likes him though or if this is just gratitude or a way to stay safe. Either way he doesn’t care because he finally has his special someone. Thing is, the guy who attacked her was her boss Vincent and he may not be done yet. Will Davey be able to protect her?

Usually making bad decisions is something that you would expect to see out of horror movies but the characters make quite a few of them here. First off, they decide Gloria should go get her final paycheck from Vincent as she quits…by herself. Why doesn’t Davey just go in with her? Lets think about this logically, it will be a lot safer if he’s around right? I mean he’d probably get bounced but you like to think that the odds are still better than just her going in.

It doesn’t make any sense to split up. Then after seeing that Vincent is still acting crazy…she goes back in for a second time when his lackeys say that the guy is sorry? Nah that’s a bit much there. Don’t put yourself in a situation like that, it’s just not the smartest course of action. Meanwhile Davey lets his guard down and has to chase some street punks so his boss ends up getting whacked for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thing is, he makes a big mistake as well.

So the two thugs show up and this is a fairly crowded street. The best thing to do would be to yell for help and make as much noise as possible. Instead he silently runs into the dark alley where they follow him and take the guy out. First rule of street fights like this is that if you want to survive, don’t go to a second location. Yours odds of survival are a lot lower at that point. It’s better to make a break for it immediately and if you die, then you die but at least it’s quick. Going somewhere secluded will rarely work out for you. Seeing him go somewhere where nobody was around just seemed like such a bad decision right from the jump. You can’t afford to do that.

Back to the main characters though, Davey also looks so weak. I get that he’s a bad boxer but he should be able to do something right? Instead he barely holds his own against Vincent and has some of the slowest reaction times out there. He should have had an easy time of winning this, particularly as he had the element of surprise early on during the fight. Unfortunately he doesn’t trust his fists enough to go for the knockout blow. Even worse is when he has the villains at gunpoint. There’s no way he should lose there but of course he lets his guard down and that’s it.

There were 3 of them there so they basically startle him and then overwhelm the guy. Look, that should still be no problem when you have a gun but if it is, shoot the legs or something. Honestly it’s life or death so you can also bump off two of them to make things easier. At this point it’s all self defense since you are in such a critical situation. Know your limits and act accordingly but getting knocked out when you’re the one with the gun? That’s not going to fly over very well.

As for Gloria, well like Davey she made a lot of dicey decisions throughout the film. By the end it was also hard to trust her with how she tried going back to Vincent. Her life was at stake so you understand why she made the move and she might not have meant it but afterwards it’s really hard to trust her at all. So the end of the film doesn’t come across as wholesome at all and instead it makes you shake your head a bit. What is truth and what is fiction? It’s just hard to know and you don’t feel like these two are going to have a good ending.

Of course the villain Vincent is awful. Villains with that motivation where they just want the girl never turn out to be good. They just come across as whiny and annoying the whole time. He can’t take rejection at all and wants to take it out on her. It’s a bad look no matter how you slice it. That’s why the cast here is on the weak side. I didn’t end up liking anybody here. Everyone was annoying and made the worst choices consistently. If they did things logically then there might have been no problems or at the very least the problems would have been resolved a lot quicker.

On the positive side, the film is quick with solid pacing so it never drags on. I thought the writing was fairly good as well. The script was solid at least even if the decision making was not on point. I actually think the film would have benefited from Davey not being a boxer because it would be easier to see how he was getting rocked at every corner. There ultimately isn’t any real reason to check this one out though. You could watch almost any other one of the big boxing movies and have a better time. This just doesn’t add much to the equation.

Overall, Killer’s Kiss is a movie that I would consider to be below average. I wouldn’t recommend watching it. There are just way better movies to watch and all of the characters will annoy you here. For once the heroes should have the advantage throughout the movie and squander it each time. Look, just leave without the check and call the cops to go and collect or forget about it entirely. Fire the gun right away and there’s no issue and whatever you do, don’t run into a dark alley when you’re being chased by thugs. If any of those elements were removed then the villains would have been doomed. Really makes you think.

Overall 4/10

Point Blank Review

It’s always very and I mean very risky to backstab a fellow villain when you’re trying to make a lot of money. Remember that this is someone who was willing to go on such a dangerous mission in the first place so he will stop at nothing to get revenge. That’s really what this film is all about to, it’s a big revenge title. The movie works very well as a noir thriller where every scene is ominous and you never know what will happen next.

So the movie starts off with Walker on the big heist so he can finally get rich. Unfortunately he is shot in the back by his partner Reese who runs off with the cash and Walker’s wife. A long time passes but Walker eventually gets out of jail and he’s eager to even the score. He lives solely for revenge now and nothing is going to deter him from getting that. Whatever it takes, he will get his money back. So begins a long journey where he faces off with every big figure in the underworld. Will any of them give Walker his money?

Now right off the bat while this is a serious noir title, there is one part of the story that almost feels like it’s part parody. So Walker really wants his money which is just as important as the revenge. First he goes to Reese for it but when that doesn’t work he begins climbing up the criminal food chain in order to get it. He goes after Reese’s boss, then that guy’s boss, etc. all the way to the top. The issue is that none of these villains have any money.

Yes, all the big shots of the criminal empire have their funds tied up in assets and generally non cash objects. That is really hard to believe when their lives are literally at stake. You have them talking matter of factly about this even when they are being threatened and ultimate murdered. A lot of villains lose their lives over this as Walker isn’t playing games. He actually means to keep on destroying everyone until he gets his money so the villains should just produce it already. You can’t tell me that the heads who have near unlimited power aren’t able to scrounge up the money.

So that was always odd but it would never deter Walker. He just kept going after them and there was a really handy informant who had his back as well. It pays to have good intel so you are always on the winning side here. You won’t have too much sympathy for Walker’s wife Lynne though as ultimately she did go with Reese here. Not a good move and it just makes her look so bad. So even when she has regrets later on, it’s clear that she had made her choice and it wasn’t a good one.

The movie does have a sense of humor though even while Walker is on his mission. At one point he is able to get onto the elevators because the villains are basically goofing off. Then you have the guy who tries to trick Walker into getting in front of a sniper rifle but the tables are turned on him. It’s not laugh out loud funny like a big gag movie but the subtle humor worked well. It’s a very serious film but not one that always feels like you’re dreading the next moment. It has a lot of energy to it.

There’s also a rather trippy scene where Walker is navigating his way around a house and Chris is mocking him through loudspeakers and all kinds of devices. She really went through a lot of work to get the whole place set up and even lands a really long combo on him. The romance in general here is really weak as you feel like Walker wouldn’t be moving on just yet even after he was betrayed earlier. His mission comes first but then again you could almost still say this is part of the mission. He needs to waste some time between targets to be there at the right time and this may just be how he does it.

The writing is really solid here and I can’t think of the last time I saw a bunch of villains being as nonchalant about their evil empires as these guys were. They would sit on the couch smoking a cigar while talking about how they don’t have the money and how they can bump anyone off. They acted as if these guys all owned rather large companies and were just making business decisions. In some ways I suppose that really was the situation.

The crooks own the city and that’s a rather scary thought to the normal people. I guess you either play ball or that’s game over for you. The ending links up well with the opening and is a solid way to end things off. You get to decide exactly what Walker does at the end and if the package is worth it or not. Personally I do think the whole thing was legit this time with the package but it’s good Walker didn’t go out or he’d probably be gunned down. I do think he ultimately will make a move and it would work out though because Walker will eventually charge and the other guys should be gone.

As a final note, I think the film works as much because of what it didn’t show as what it did. There’s a lot of hidden lore here and dynamics we just don’t know about. The film doesn’t explain everything and I don’t think it needs to. Everything is kept very mysterious and that works exceptionally well for a noir. The more vague everything is, the more you get to try and put the pieces back together yourself. It adds a layer of unease to the whole thing and this atmosphere stays from start to finish. The film doesn’t fumble here.

It’s not perfect to be sure and has some weak elements like the romance and character basically going through with an affair to get the villain to drop his guard. I never like that approach because I don’t think under any circumstance you should allow yourself to be compromised just to complete the mission. There has to be a better way and at that point you just delay the mission or try something else even if it’s a bit riskier.

Overall, Point Blank is a really solid movie. You get to slowly pick up the pieces with Walker and he is a fun lead with how resolute the guy is in getting revenge. He will stop at absolutely nothing in order to get his money back and that’s real dedication right there. Nobody’s going to double cross him in the future, that’s a guarantee. If this film ever got a sequel I’d be all for it but there is some charm in being a one off since you really just get to imagine how it all played out.

Overall 7/10

Punisher: War Zone Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time for the return of the Punisher but this one isn’t quite able to match the first one. It goes all in with making the Punisher a rather imposing figure who takes down everyone in his way but along the way it forgot the charm of the series and doesn’t focus as much on how he helps people on a local level. This film is one you’ll ultimately want to end up skipping.

The movie starts with Punisher taking down a group of villains as he always does but this time he ends up taking out an FBI agent as well. The guy was undercover so Punisher figured that he was one of the villains but that was not the case. Now he feels like he should retire out of guilt but his partner Microchip convinces him not to do that. At the very least he tells the Punisher that he needs to finish the job by taking out Jigsaw first since that villain ended up surviving. Punisher agrees so he’s back on the streets to murder the villains but will he really be able to take out Jigsaw and his brother Jim?

The interesting part about the movie is that it would be over before it began if this version of the Punisher wasn’t so sadistic. Usually the Punisher goes around just shooting everyone as a quick death. He dishes out the punishment which is lethal for these villains and that’s the end of it. Only this time instead of doing that he tossed Jigsaw into a machine that crushes glass so it would slowly shred the guy to bits. Usually that would work but not in this case. The Punisher just seemed to be enjoying the show a bit too much here as he was even watching until some other villains attacked and he had to deal with them.

It’s clear that in this version the Punisher really enjoys his work to the point where he goes all in on this. You’d almost think he was a super villain as well with some of the scenes here. There’s another moment where he beats one guy up, then tosses him to the ground where he is impaled by spikes, then he breaks the guy’s neck/slashes it with a final fall. It’s all so extra and unnecessary that when the Punisher lands you could easily photoshop him with Michael Myers or someone like that and nobody would bat an eye. That would absolutely be a villain’s intro.

Now, I would always argue that the Punisher is a villain in all continuities. He murders all of his opponents and while they are villains, it’s still murder. Characters like the Punisher are always interesting as a what if since you can imagine this to be how things would go if Batman or another hero would murder their opponents. Ultimately it may result in safer streets and probably does but the cost is too high. So while it’s an interesting idea, we’ve still got to keep in perspective that if the heroes were here they would have a duty to take him down.

At least what still makes Punisher a decent character is he does have an honor code and doesn’t go after innocents or anything like that. When you see him just taking out the villains it’s fun enough but anytime you have to resort to torture or really taking it to the villains then it can be a bit too extreme. For that reason I much preferred the Punisher as portrayed in the earlier film. He seemed to have a lot more of his humanity and he was still punishing his opponents but very somberly and without getting into it.

Now if the Punisher’s scenes are that violent, you’re probably wondering what the villains do. Well, they don’t hold back either and you have people being eaten and ripped apart. The film’s absolutely as edgy as you would expect and it’s all really over the top. It’s the level of violence that would doom any film right out of the gate. You’ve got to have some restraint with scenes like this. Establish that the villains are evil and we don’t really need to see the rest. It would have made the film a whole lot better.

There’s no real reason to like Jigsaw as a villain. The guy is your classic mobster who wants a shot at greatness and will do anything for it. He betrays allies and just keeps on moving up. The guy is rather insane although you would expect most villains at his level to be insane since they probably crack on the way up. His design after getting torn up is certainly gruesome.

Then his brother Jim is even worse. That guy is completely off the walls and even talks like he’s looney. The scene of him being a cannibal is disturbing and you know that ultimately he won’t be taking the Punisher down. This guy is good against people who won’t fight back but a gun will take him down like all the rest. It’s not like any of these villains are bullet timers after all.

Paul is the main FBI agent trying to take the Punisher down. You can see why he’s so frustrated since the local cops all seem to support the Punisher and even the guy at the head of the taskforce isn’t particularly cooperative. The reason for this is fairly clear as everyone is rooting for the villains to be taken down. The city seems extremely corrupt so they’re probably tired of every villain just getting in and out of jail. This makes Paul’s job of avenging his comrade a lot tougher.

Paul’s a good character though and one of the few that you can root for all the way through. He does tend to get in the Punisher’s way but it’s very understandable from his perspective. Then you have Microchip who is a good partner to the Punisher. He knows exactly how to make that guy tick and what sets him off. You need someone like that to have your back and get the ammo ready. Punisher wouldn’t be able to function nearly as efficiently without him. The guy should probably carry more guns with him though so that he isn’t picked off.

While the movie is mainly devoid of humor, there is one scene that was pretty fun. You’ve got 3 athletic villains who are running and jumping across the roof while a really fast paced happy song is playing in the background. You can see how it’s all going very well for the villains but suddenly one of them explodes and we cut to Punisher with his cannon. That was the best scene in the movie by far. It works in showing that the Punisher is absolutely not playing around here and also in how fast the tone changes. It instantly goes from being a happy moment to a really intense one. The scene also helped to enhance the film’s overall soundtrack since the music there was really good.

Overall, Punisher: War Zone will definitely remain in the shadow of the first one. It just doesn’t really improve on much while falling below on a lot of areas. I would say the only area where this one wins is in showing the Punisher off as more of an unstoppable force. You can see why the whole city fears him and one scene shows how he has already taken down hundreds and hundreds of opponents. That was a great moment without a doubt. The film just can’t get away from its tendencies to make every scene as violent as possible. Show don’t tell is a rule that it takes too literally and that can often be what takes a film down for the count.

Overall 2/10

The Punisher Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

While the Punisher probably wasn’t a huge name back in the day, I want to say that most people know him at this point. The Netflix show certainly helped to spread his name around and in general he has been a consistent character in the Marvel universe who is always showing up in various places. Naturally you expect him to be someone who doesn’t take any prisoners and this film goes that route although he tries to make the case that it isn’t revenge. I would say that it’s a little better than I expected it would be, but ultimately I still wouldn’t call it a good movie.

The movie starts off with Frank Castle and his men busting up another villain operation. It went pretty smoothly except one of the villains wasn’t too smart with how he was waving his gun around and got taken out of the picture. His mother wanted revenge and so the villains murder Frank Castle’s whole family with him being the only survivor. He now wants to punish these guys because it’s clear that the police aren’t going to do anything about it. The gang is virtually untouchable so that’s when it is time to turn to the vigilante side.

Part of why the Punisher is always such an interesting character is because you often see people wishing that the heroes could just go all out and destroy the villains. There are tons of what ifs that explore this and really specific scenarios that practically force heroes to murder people sometimes so you can see there is always a general interest. Well, the Punisher is the perfect character to use for that and so of course he ends up being a bit of a villain by the end usually since he goes around murdering everyone without due process. He is fully outside of the law and he knows it, but at least since he only goes after villains it still makes it easy to root for the guy.

I thought the whole scene of his family getting murdered was handled rather tastefully here. It wasn’t as gritty as it could have been and at least you don’t actually see them getting run over. So you get the general gist of what’s going on here without any unnecessary details and grit. It all had a good amount of restraint. That’s not to say that the whole movie follows that though. For the most part it tends to avoid being too edgy but then it just can’t help itself at other times.

The whole torture scene where they try to break one of Frank’s neighbors was a bit too much. The guy doesn’t talk and stays strong the whole time but the scene goes on too long and torture scenes never end up being all that good for a movie. Big kudos to that guy for staying strong and all but that’s a big scene that I would have removed. I’m glad that at least the Punisher wasn’t going around torturing people. There was an early scene that got me nervous but fortunately it ended up being a big cop-out in the end. Now that was a scene I could get behind.

In general Frank’s a really solid main character. He certainly isn’t going to allow any of the villains to get away with anything and sticks up for the innocent. That’s his whole thing after all so in a lot of ways he’s like a lethal Batman. This is his origin story so it’s not like he’s patrolling the city or anything but he does take down quite a few villains along the way. By the end of the movie I’d say that his kill count is rather high. Most of them are in self defense though.

It was nice to see that his father was also a very decent fighter and the guy even shot a few of the villains. Ultimately he was doomed but at least he wasn’t alone. Frank also meets 3 neighbors who do their best to help out. You have Joan who sort of ties the group together. I thought she could be more subtle in trying to have a romance with Frank though considering that she knows what just happened to him. It would have been really odd if he had just rebounded from losing his wife like that. Bumpo gets the comic relief role for the most part and he’s really just in awe to have a neighbor like the Punisher.

Spacker would also be a comic relief character except I have to bump him up for standing up to the guy who was attacking Joan and then staying strong while he was tortured. He gets fairly big points for that without a doubt. Then we have Otto who ends up helping Frank out since he doesn’t want to die. He’s a traitor to every side and only serves his own interests. The guy is another comedy type character who is lucky that things don’t go very badly for him. The guy is often in sticky situations and I don’t think he even realizes it sometimes.

Saint is the main villain here and he’s your classic gangster type. Part of why he didn’t leave much of an impression on me is because he gets manipulated throughout the entire film. He may play the role of being the big villain but when you’re getting suckered the whole time it isn’t a good look. Murdering Frank’s family wasn’t even his idea, that was all his wife’s doing. So the biggest event in the film wasn’t because of him and then he makes Frank’s job easier by turning on his own people.

Sure, to an extent he still had an intimidating aura but ultimately he wasn’t the guy who could close the deal. His subordinates weren’t even better. One villain is super sketchy to the point where it’s easy for the heroes to blackmail him. Seriously that guy barely took any time to compromise and the wife had the same schedule every week for years so that made it easy for Frank too. This villain group just wasn’t up to snuff and was doomed from the start.

The cops in this film seemed a bit on the corrupt side with how they wouldn’t actually help Frank against the gang. It definitely had to be disappointing for him since you would expect to have some kind of back-up for a mission like this. Instead it just wasn’t to be. I could see a sequel going into that more if this film had ever gotten one. As an origin story you want to set up a lot of plot threads but not to go into them too much and this film did a good job with it. I also like how Punisher just goes home every day after his missions. I do think it’s reasonable that you could do that safely since a lot of people wouldn’t recognize him yet and the ones that do would know better than to mess with him. So it’s a win/win situation on that end.

Overall, It’s interesting to call this film grim since it’s also very comedic at the same time. There’s one particularly long fight that is rather intense but thanks to the music and everything it’s also partially played for laughs. Even then I don’t see how the Punisher was able to get up after getting his head slammed by the fridge multiple times though. That was a bit of a stretch. So the film usually has a dark vibe to it like with the Punisher always drinking and the villains showing their influence but then you also get these random happy moments. I don’t think the idea is bad itself but it didn’t work out very well here. Really if you cut the torture scene that would help a lot but ultimately this isn’t a film where you’ll have a lot of fun. You’re better off giving it a pass and watching Spider-Man instead.

Overall 4/10