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The Punisher: WarZone


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Please tell me you're joking. Hensleigh's draft might be the single, worst script I've ever read. The only remotely "solid" moments (in my view) were the assault and escape at Ceaser's mansion and the very first scene of interaction between Stevie West and her father. Almost made me forget the incredibly lame Dirty Harry rip off in the beginning.

 

After that, everything went downhill. The script had almost no story, the "plot twists" that did exist were only the oldest and most predictable in the book, and Jonathan Hensleigh has absolutely no clue on how to write interesting supporting characters that don't distract from the main character and storyline.

 

The pacing did at least feel better than the first movie, which isn't saying a whole lot, though still an improvement. Hensleigh literally took captions almost verbatim from Nicky Cavella and just typed them under the name Jigsaw. Lazyiest from of "screen writing" I've ever seen. Stevie West is boring, B-movie material (I'm a female cop, but I'm also a TOUGH broad who knows how to take care of herself! :unsure: ) . Jigsaw only existed in what felt like the last few minutes of the script.

 

Castle gives the worst line in the script in the standoff scene between him and Russo, "Go ahead, just give me a(n) reason/excuse." The line is absurd not only because just seconds ago Castle mindlessly murdered one or two guards standing post outside the night club, whom he didn't even know, but now needs a reason to kill the very person HE KNOWS has been manipulating him for evil ends. And since when does the Punisher (you know, that guy whose sole purpose is to kill violent criminals?) suddenly need a(n) reason/excuse to kill violent criminals? Even ignoring the blatantly obvious and uninspired baiting technique Russo was using against Frank, it was simply some of THE poorest writing I've ever had the misfortune of reading in any form of Punisher fiction, fan fiction included.

 

In the same scene, Castle and Russo pointlessly stand around doing nothing, just waiting for a supporting character to take his cue and interrupt the scene, so you think. Low and behold, it plays out EXACTLY as you knew it would.

 

Wasn't Magenty also included in the Hensleigh draft? Haven't read it in a while and I can't find my old copy at the moment. I was sure he was the guy who got dropped off a forklift and into the ocean or lake inside a cage. Lexi's draft made much better use of that character and a more thrilling scene to watch IMO. Lexi also knows how to write interesting supporting characters whose interactions with one another feel organic and evolving. While Hensleigh's writing just feels like he was doing simplistic emotions by numbers.

 

By the end of what felt like the shortest script I'd read in a while, I couldn't have been more ecstatic that Heinous Hensleigh had exited the project long ago. Though neither one of these early drafts were in shooting shape, how anyone could read both of them and NOT come to the conclusion that Lexi Alexander is clearly the superior storyteller is beyond me.

 

PWZ having Frank burning Jigsaw alive has as much to do with the 2004 film as Ennis depicting Frank burning Tiberiu Bulat alive at the end of SLAVERS. Which is nothing. I'll take a Lexi Alexander filmed bloodfest in the Brad Street Hotel over Heinous Hensleigh's Wal-Mart extravaganza ANYDAY of the week!

 

Anyways, just my opinion.

 

I never said it was perfect, that's why I said it was pretty solid it just needed some more work. The main problems were the priest stuff and the ending, the FBI stuff just needed more work. Alexander's draft had just as much cliched stuff in it. Regardless if Hensleigh had stayed, it's pretty doubtful that the script as is was going to be made, it being a first draft and all. And I'll take "Give me an excuse" over "Billy is dead.... Call me Jigsaw", in regards to stupid dialouge.

 

Maginity wasn't in the draft, they were just Jamaican kidnappers. Hensleigh didn't pointlessly waste characters from other MAX stories.

 

As for the burning alive thing, all I was saying one movie already had the villain being burned alive, I would think they would have tried to do a non fire death. But who knows if he Jigsaw does get burned alive, I see fire rising into frame and the sound of a guy screaming, being burned alive is the first thing that comes to mind.

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I never said it was perfect,

 

No, but you said it was "solid" and appear to prefer it over Lexi's draft, which is laughable in it's own right.

 

that's why I said it was pretty solid it just needed some more work. The main problems were the priest stuff and the ending, the FBI stuff just needed more work.

 

It had much more problems than that. Like the ones I outlined.

 

Alexander's draft had just as much cliched stuff in it.

 

Castle's dialogue for the first two parts were rather generic, but the overall script was nowhere near the cheesefest of Hensleigh's draft.

 

Regardless if Hensleigh had stayed, it's pretty doubtful that the script as is was going to be made, it being a first draft and all. And I'll take "Give me an excuse" over "Billy is dead.... Call me Jigsaw", in regards to stupid dialouge.

 

It wasn't just the line itself, it was mainly the context that made it terrible. The "call me Jigsaw" line wasn't written to be a showy, melodramatic one-liner (ala "call me the Joker" in Tim Burton's BATMAN or Hensleigh's fan script). The scene was subdued and contemplative, therefore it worked. The comparison doesn't hold up in my view.

 

Maginity wasn't in the draft, they were just Jamaican kidnappers. Hensleigh didn't pointlessly waste characters from other MAX stories.

 

The only potential "waste" in PWZ is admittedly Cavella. Maginty is generally well done. Not a big role because the character doesn't deserve it. But a nice supporting role that is a cool nod to the comics.

 

As for the burning alive thing, all I was saying one movie already had the villain being burned alive, I would think they would have tried to do a non fire death. But who knows if he Jigsaw does get burned alive, I see fire rising into frame and the sound of a guy screaming, being burned alive is the first thing that comes to mind.

 

Execution makes all the difference. Unlike Travolta's death, Jigsaw's doesn't seem to be one the audience mostly sleeps through.

 

Let's not forget Dr. George Hamilton ("with the best tan ever!"). That's the script you are defending.

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No, but you said it was "solid" and appear to prefer it over Lexi's draft, which is laughable in it's own right.

 

It had much more problems than that. Like the ones I outlined.

 

Castle's dialogue for the first two parts were rather generic, but the overall script was nowhere near the cheesefest of Hensleigh's draft.

 

It does have some dialouge issues, but I do prefer it. I liked how Castle was written. And when I say "solid", I mean that the idea is there.

 

It wasn't just the line itself, it was mainly the context that made it terrible. The "call me Jigsaw" line wasn't written to be a showy, melodramatic one-liner (ala "call me the Joker" in Tim Burton's BATMAN or Hensleigh's fan script). The scene was subdued and contemplative, therefore it worked. The comparison doesn't hold up in my view.

 

I don't mind Castle saying something in the heat of the moment, the "Billy is dead" line is just horrible and reads as melodramatic, he looks at a puzzle piece and just decides to call him self Jigsaw.

 

The only potential "waste" in PWZ is admittedly Cavella. Maginty is generally well done. Not a big role because the character doesn't deserve it. But a nice supporting role that is a cool nod to the comics.

 

Maginity was turned in to Russo's lackey and a pussy, there was no point in having the character, other than "oh look at all these charters from the MAX book." Pitsy and Ink do nothing (though Ink doesn't have much of a part either script). Cavella is apparently an undercover FBI agent, Micro, I actually think could have had more to do. Oh and the Bulats, are just plot devices for a MacGuffin.

 

Execution makes all the difference. Unlike Travolta's death, Jigsaw's doesn't seem to be one the audience mostly sleeps through.

Maybe. Or maybe they'll be laughing at West.

 

Let's not forget Dr. George Hamilton ("with the best tan ever!"). That's the script you are defending.

 

And lets not forgot Hannibal Lector is not a real person.

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The more I see of him the more I'm loving Ray Stevenson as Frank...Some of those lines just flat out killed me...Priest:"So what's the plan?"...Frank: "An eye for an eye...and the cold, emotionless way he said "This is just the beginning..." was killer, I even loved the "get my hands on God line" a whole lot more this time around...I dont know why but it just felt different than it did in earlier trailers.

 

Heh, heh, heh. You guys are beginning to come around now....just a matter of a few more days. :P

 

Nomad

 

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i'm gonna guess this is why Thomas had script approval, and we all know that's one of the reasons he walked.

 

i wouldn't mind reading the Hensleigh original draft either, mostly just out of curiosity.

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It does have some dialouge issues, but I do prefer it. I liked how Castle was written. And when I say "solid", I mean that the idea is there.

 

I don't mind Castle saying something in the heat of the moment, the "Billy is dead" line is just horrible and reads as melodramatic, he looks at a puzzle piece and just decides to call him self Jigsaw.

 

Maginity was turned in to Russo's lackey and a pussy, there was no point in having the character, other than "oh look at all these charters from the MAX book." Pitsy and Ink do nothing (though Ink doesn't have much of a part either script). Cavella is apparently an undercover FBI agent, Micro, I actually think could have had more to do. Oh and the Bulats, are just plot devices for a MacGuffin.

 

I've already addressed these. No point in going back in circles.

 

 

Maybe. Or maybe they'll be laughing at West.

 

LOL. No more than they laughed at Travolta and his character's wife in the "I asked you to avenge our son" scene. The clip of Jigsaw breaking a guy's neck with his hands alone shows Jigsaw to be a more threatening villain than the Cavella carbon copy Hensleigh wrote. Not to mention, Dominic West being an infinitely more believable actor as a villain.

 

I'll take a Hannibal Lector reference over a George Hamilton cameo in a Punisher movie any day of the week.

 

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Also, Sage how is the term "Dieing like a dog" an inherently bad thing?
Inherently, dying like a dog would be something I consider to be quite neutral. I didn't even think about it the first three times he used it, but the next dozen became really tedious, repetive and downright stupid.

 

On screen it probably would have meant "revolve 180 degrees, look blankly into the air for a second before falling down forward", but reading it, I kept thinking 'what does he have against dogs', or 'isn't that term about a 150 years out of date, at least in the western world?'

 

It's not a big issue, far from it. The real issues have been adressed already, but I just found it annoying and repetitive.

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Guest AdminGuyX

Honestly, I don't think it's ever fair to compare a first draft script to a finished film. It pains me to see you guys talking about a first draft like it would have been what they shot. It would not have been what was shot.

 

Many writers crank out so-so first drafts so the story can get from point A to point Z and the development process can start. Then the stories, and the details get refined from there, and hopefully improved, and the problems are addressed and fixed.

 

I don't know Hensliegh's process, but it sure sounds like this first draft was only ever meant to be just that. Not the shooting script.

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Agreed Noe.

 

 

I think everyone needs to stop comparing and contrasting the first draft to the old film and what not. The more footage they show, the more satisfied I am becoming. I think everyone should just wait a few more days and then throw in our 2 cents then.

 

217 pages of the same shit over and over again isn't getting this board anywhere now is it? We need to have more than 10 pages out of the damn near 220 that has nothing to do with talking shit about the movie or getting off topic.

 

So anyways, I gotta say, I like Stevenson's voice that he's using as Castle. The first trailer released only had him say "somebody has to punish the corrupt", "this is just the beginning" and "sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God." He almost sounded robotic and Dolph-like and I wasn't that impressed with it. More recently though, his voice sounds pretty fuckin cool.

 

-Raf

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Agreed Noe.

 

 

I think everyone needs to stop comparing and contrasting the first draft to the old film and what not. The more footage they show, the more satisfied I am becoming. I think everyone should just wait a few more days and then throw in our 2 cents then.

 

217 pages of the same shit over and over again isn't getting this board anywhere now is it? We need to have more than 10 pages out of the damn near 220 that has nothing to do with talking shit about the movie or getting off topic.

 

So anyways, I gotta say, I like Stevenson's voice that he's using as Castle. The first trailer released only had him say "somebody has to punish the corrupt", "this is just the beginning" and "sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God." He almost sounded robotic and Dolph-like and I wasn't that impressed with it. More recently though, his voice sounds pretty fuckin cool.

 

-Raf

 

 

 

 

exactly

 

 

 

Im so exciteedddddd wooo

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Agreed Noe.

 

 

I think everyone needs to stop comparing and contrasting the first draft to the old film and what not. The more footage they show, the more satisfied I am becoming. I think everyone should just wait a few more days and then throw in our 2 cents then.

 

217 pages of the same shit over and over again isn't getting this board anywhere now is it? We need to have more than 10 pages out of the damn near 220 that has nothing to do with talking shit about the movie or getting off topic.

 

So anyways, I gotta say, I like Stevenson's voice that he's using as Castle. The first trailer released only had him say "somebody has to punish the corrupt", "this is just the beginning" and "sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God." He almost sounded robotic and Dolph-like and I wasn't that impressed with it. More recently though, his voice sounds pretty fuckin cool.

 

-Raf

 

I noticed in the last clip/behind the scenes thing they released that his corrupt line was delivered differently, and much better. I hope we get some more story clips and dialogue, but then again, that might ruin the movie.

 

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No, everyone on here except for TL were all for Stevenson, I've defended most of the cast against him too. It's the rest of the film is what people don't like/have doubts about.

 

exactly haha, i always supported Ray as Frank...thanx for clearing that up =).

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Guest AdminGuyX

Tim, Trudell and I have been discussing what to do with this thread. Personally, I'd like to see it cleaned up and archived.

 

We may archive it as is, and start a new discussion about the film after it's release.

 

Or, we may do nothing and just let it keep rolling as is.

 

Suggestions are welcome.

 

 

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Inherently, dying like a dog would be something I consider to be quite neutral. I didn't even think about it the first three times he used it, but the next dozen became really tedious, repetive and downright stupid.

 

On screen it probably would have meant "revolve 180 degrees, look blankly into the air for a second before falling down forward", but reading it, I kept thinking 'what does he have against dogs', or 'isn't that term about a 150 years out of date, at least in the western world?'

 

It's not a big issue, far from it. The real issues have been adressed already, but I just found it annoying and repetitive.

 

I don't know what you read, that term was only used once in the beginning when he kills the one brother on the road. It never appears in the script again. I read that term as just slumping over and dying quietly.

 

Honestly, I don't think it's ever fair to compare a first draft script to a finished film. It pains me to see you guys talking about a first draft like it would have been what they shot. It would not have been what was shot.

 

Many writers crank out so-so first drafts so the story can get from point A to point Z and the development process can start. Then the stories, and the details get refined from there, and hopefully improved, and the problems are addressed and fixed.

 

I don't know Hensliegh's process, but it sure sounds like this first draft was only ever meant to be just that. Not the shooting script.

 

I totally get that, I did mentioned that the script as is would never have been shot. It really is more of throwing ideas to the wall and seeing what sticks, it has plenty of bad things but also plenty of great scenes.

 

Tim, Trudell and I have been discussing what to do with this thread. Personally, I'd like to see it cleaned up and archived.

 

We may archive it as is, and start a new discussion about the film after it's release.

 

Or, we may do nothing and just let it keep rolling as is.

 

Suggestions are welcome.

 

I'd say archive after the release. Pre and post release threads.

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Tim, Trudell and I have been discussing what to do with this thread. Personally, I'd like to see it cleaned up and archived.

 

We may archive it as is, and start a new discussion about the film after it's release.

 

Or, we may do nothing and just let it keep rolling as is.

 

Suggestions are welcome.

 

I say we take off and nuke the whole site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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