Originally Posted by devincf
And Jason, I don't quite get the complaints. You're saying that Lexi pulled good stuff into a bad movie as if that's a problem. Do you really think anybody was going to get the script RIGHT? She told me that she fought Lionsgate tooth and nail to keep the rocket/parkour scene in, so that's the kind of thinking she was up against.
I think the film is kind of a miracle in the end when you realize how easily it could have been shit. Nitpicking that she wasn't able to get in enough good stuff seems weird.
I don't know it's nitpickicking - I think it's legit criticism of a bad movie. If the awesome and ludicrous action and the insane-o nature of West's performance permeated any other portion of the film
- then I'd see it as the absurdist masterpiece
people are saying it is. Instead, what you've got is a few brilliant/ludicrous/wild/grand guignol "Miike" moments
that stick out amidst the bland/shittiness of the rest of the film
As for the "Soap" character - Soap didn't read
retarded to me. In the draft I was given, people regard him as an ineffective asshole wasting his efforts chasing a guy who won't - and shouldn't - be caught. He seemed really straight-laced and square - like Elliot Ness in The Untouchables
- and the reveal that he's helping the Punisher comes as an "Ah-HA!" moment. He had a rep for ineptitude, but he wasn't a shambolic, mumbling, stuttering 'tard.
I can only assume that - if the above-mentioned literal "motherfucker" thing can be an indicator - that Soap is a product of Garth Ennis, and after reading some of his first (lauded) work on The Punisher
, I decided that it wasn't for me. I've described his writing on those books as "Sub-Lobo" before - it lacks any kind of depth or integrity of character or rudimetary logic. To me, you can go Ennis with this character...or you can go Chuck Dixon. You can make him the Italian-American Jason Voorhees killing retarded cartoon characters...or you can do "Batman with Bullets". The film tries for both - and while it manages to get the goofy violence right (the parkour/rocket launcher thing is
awesome) - everything else is soulless and flat. I'm supposed to feel all "ohhhh shit
" when the Fed gets killed...I'm supposed to care
about Frank on Julie Benz's steps...knowing he deserves to die...and the little kid all fuzzy about Frank...that's supposed to be touching
If the Lexi that shot the Punisher landing on that parkour douchbag's face
showed up on the day the melodrama was filmed - she could have done it with some sneering, comical contempt. But these things are played straight here...and oddly enough, poorly
I think back to something like Crank
- where Chev places the phone call to his girl and gets her machine as he free-falls...and how oddly touching that is...I'm reminded of the odd warmth and caring Michael Rooker exudes as the monstrous Grant Grant near the end of Slither
. Right off the top of my head, I can think of two examples of films that did a better job of balancing black comedy, melodrama, and overwrought pathos.
And okay - I get that Alexander's stay behind the Lion's gate was frought with...bad things. I personally think she's a talented filmmaker. I was one of the people who thought it was shitty and sexist when fannerds started in with "Dude - a chick can't direct The Punisher
". I think Green Street Hooligans
is fantastic, and have actually made people sit down and watch it (after having to buy it twice because someone I let borrow it never gave it back). I am by no means shitting on her
- I just think that...when the film works - it works
. But it works for maybe
six to eight minutes of its 80-feels-like-130 minute runtime...and that's not enough success to tip the scales for me. I pride myself on being someone who can find things to like in any movie - I love movies so much that I have a rudimentary respect for anyone who can get them made
. I can tick off a list of things I thought were very cool in this film (for example - anytime Frank just casually walked down the street "cocked, locked and ready to rock" was fucking hilarious...I just worry that it was unitentional)...but that doesn't make the film good.
Dev - you asked above if I thought anyone was actually going to get the script right. You've said many times that you think this character is achingly simplistic and lame. By that rationale, anyone with a fundamental knowledge of the three act structure could look at the source material, and - unencumbered by things like "depth" and "compelling characters" - cobble together a melodramatic Death Wish
-style revenger plot that manages to engage an audience when there's a lack of gunfire. You've said The Punisher
isn't rocket science. By that rationale...yeah - I'd think it be possible that someone might bang out a decent yarn for one of this character's three trips to the screen so far.
What War Zone
manages to prove is that Alexander has a future far away from panic-prone, twitchy pseudo
mini-major studios with identity crisis. She'll land on her feet. The Punisher won't.