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Movie Review: ‘Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher’

Posted on the 27 April 2014 by House Of Geekery @houseofgeekery

portrait_uncannyDirected by: Kenichi Shimizu

Starring: Brian Bloom and Jennifer Carpenter

Plot: To negotiate an early release, Punisher teams up with Black Widow to take out an arms dealer.

Review

Marvel and the anime studio, Mad House, have been working together for awhile now. They have made a few minseries together including Iron Man, X-Men, and Blade, as well as an Iron Man direct-to-DVD follow up movie to their Iron Man series. I have been meaning to track down copies of the previous work, but I still haven’t. I was able to catch this flick though.

The title is a bit misleading. Except for some cameos (many of which are non-speaking), the Avengers aren’t really in play here. This is definitely all Punisher and Widow. The Punisher interferes with a SHIELD operation and is arrested. To get an earlier release, he agrees to work with Black Widow to track down an arms dealer named Leviathan, who has stolen superhero blood samples from SHIELD to create an army of superhumans. One of these superhumans is former SHIELD scientist, Elihas Starr, a jilted ex of Widow who wants to prove his worth to her. 

Much of Widow’s history with Starr isn’t very interesting. Her relationship to Punisher could have been better. They are both killers working on the side of the angels, technically. The only problem is one has the law on her side, and the other doesn’t. Unfortunately, they are glorified buddy cops who are at either melodramatically at each other’s throats or fighting side by side. It would probably help if the voice acting was better. Brian Bloom (writer and bad guy from The A-Team) kills it as Punisher with a somber tone, but Jennifer Carpenter (Deb from Dexter) does not fair as well as Widow. She often sounds bored or simply like she is reading instead of emoting. She really drops the ball with Widow, especially after ScarJo did so well in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Thankfully, they are contrasted against nicely by the likable ball of energy that is Amadeus Cho, a child prodigy working for SHIELD who takes every opportunity to try and snag a kiss from Widow. 

Black widow

The fighting side by side was pretty damn slick. If animation is good for nothing else, they always have some pretty dynamic fight scenes. I’m not a big aficionado of anime, but I have noticed there seems to be two types. There is the cartoony Pokemon style and the straight forward action style of Cowboy Bebop. This is definitely more Bebop than Pokemon (I probably sound like an idiot to the true anime fans). The action was mostly straightforward, but Widow and Punisher seem to have some extra superhuman powers like speed and strength that they shouldn’t technically have. It makes for some pretty fun times though.

I can’t help but think they wasted some potential when it comes to a Widow and Punisher team up, but there are still some fun, well-animated action scenes that are worth a look.

Rating: 6/10 

Punisher


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