In the 2008 flick Punisher: War Zone there’s a lot of shot-scene trickery going on. The film clearly ‘takes place’ in NYC, with opening shots of the Empire State Building and George Washington bridge (along with very direct references to the borough of Queens – see below). But then there are oblique references to “the docks” and rooftop signs for non-existent electronics corporations – typical comic book liberty translated to film. Good stuff really. And then there’s Frank Castle’s lair, some underground bunker facility where he’s able to pour water from a constantly leaky faucet and store his massive ammo collection. In one earlier scene, the lair is very vaguely referenced as being near 5th Ave & 13th Street, a non-existent station. And then later in the film there’s this shot, which goes from a shot of the 7 subway heading towards Court Square (Manhattan-bound track), then of some station adjacent to a Citibank store (I assume this is in Manhattan somewhere), and then two underground shots, which you’d assume to be NYC but are actually of Montreal. Very tricky. Watch:
The framing of that first cut is extremely tight, and clever; kudos to whoever saw the compression of that space from that angle. For this shot it’s perfect.
Here’s the Street View of the overground train clip:
That’s Queens Plaza South, looking east, in Long Island City.
There are two scenes in the film that revolve around a shipment – a “biological package” – coming to port. The first shows Billy Russo (Dominic West) having an exchange with Gaitan Cesare (John Dunn-Hill). Cesare is clearly the boss, as Billy doesn’t even know the contents or purpose of the shipment, which Cesare calls him out on. And in doing so he makes a reference to the racial makeup on America’s most diverse borough. Watch:
Billy subsequently ascends to crime boss (as Jigsaw – if you don’t know why he’s called that you’re about to find out), and having been whippersnappered in place by Cesare (before his death) uses Cesare’s own words in a conversation regarding payment of the “biological package” coming to town:
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