HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
   
 
Newest Articles
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher An anime take on the Marvel UniverseBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Kenichi Shimizu
Stars: Jennifer Carpenter, Brian Bloom, John Eric Bentley, Grant George, Kyle Herbert, Kari Wahlgren, Eric Bauza, JB Blanc, Fred Tatasciore, Matthew Mercer
Genre: Action, Animated, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Caught interfering with a top secret mission, gun-toting vigilante Frank Castle (voiced by Brian Bloom) a.k.a. the Punisher reluctantly teams with S.H.I.E.L.D agent Natasha Romanoff (Jennifer Carpenter) a.k.a. Black Widow. On the orders of director Nick Fury (John Eric Bentley) the pair set out to prevent a a global terrorist organisation called LEVIATHAN from selling stolen S.H.I.E.L.D technology to the highest bidder. Initially at each other's throats, Punisher and Black Widow learn to set aside their differences with the fate of the world at stake.

Marvel Studios made their bid for the animation market hitherto dominated by rivals DC/Warner Brothers with four TV shows and two direct-to-video features animated by Madhouse, the acclaimed Japanese studio behind among others Wicked City (1987) and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2001). Of which Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher is the second following Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore (2013). Surprisingly for a supposed Avengers outing the film spotlights non-team member though fan-favourite the Punisher in a team-up with comparatively under-exposed stalwart Black Widow. Voiced effectively by veteran actor Brian Bloom, this actually marks the character's first appearance within the official Marvel universe predating Jon Bernthal's definitive incarnation on Marvel's Netflix show by two years.

Appropriately the film serves the grim nature of the Punisher with a neo-noirish tone reminiscent of early anime by Madhouse's celebrated chief auteur Yoshiyuki Kawajiri. It delivers an authentically brutal though not overly graphic depiction of Frank Castle's uncompromising vigilante methods liable to satisfy fans if unlikely to convert those comic book readers who never quite warmed to the grim character. By comparison Madhouse's oddly smirking, anemic redesign of Black Widow proves less engaging than her charismatic live-action avatar Scarlett Johansson despite solid voice-acting from Dexter star Jennifer Carpenter.

Upholding Marvel's weird compunction for constantly pitting their heroes against each other Avengers Confidential wastes no time in having the titular mismatched allies trade blows repeatedly throughout the plot. Frank Castle is such a rigid, unrelenting sourpuss unwilling to work with others his presence dilutes the inherently fun nature of S.H.I.E.L.D's spy-jinks. He functions better as a street-level character though it is worth noting his driven, brooding demeanour may well appeal to a Japanese audience as akin to a gekiga antihero. Nonetheless the script exhibits a solid grasp of the characters despite a tendency towards heavy exposition between punch-ups and a plot largely built around cool action sequences. The latter are visually inventive as indeed is the storytelling in spite of threadbare plotting, as one would expect from a Madhouse production. On the downside the emotional center of the story, centred on Black Widow's relationship with cyber-suited turncoat lover Elihas Starr (Grant George) flounders through melodramatic overstatement and weak motives. To its credit, Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher successfully utilizes familiar anime tropes to bring the Marvel universe to animated life. The film is also laden with fun Marvel Easter eggs including surprise cameos from other much-loved Marvel characters.


Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1000 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: