Synopsis: After interfering with a top secret mission, THE PUNISHER is taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENT and AVENGER, BLACK WIDOW. At the orders of Director Nick Fury, Punisher and Black Widow are sent on a mission to stop LEVIATHAN, a global terrorist organization, that plans to sell stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. technology to the highest bidder.
Review: I have to confess that when it comes to Marvel’s animated movie efforts. I haven’t really been much of a fan beyond having enjoyed the two ‘Avengers’ movies that were released a number of years back and of course the epic ‘Hulk Vs Wolverine’.
So when I rented ‘Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher’ It was a pleasant surprise to find a pretty solid story happening with a rather unlikely pairing.
When I was in the troubled teens ‘The Punisher’ was perhaps my favorite of the Marvel characters and the one that I always viewed as Marvel’s answer to DC’s Batman. And getting to see an animated version of him voiced by Brian Bloom was a lot of fun and I totally brought into Blooms portrayal of the uncompromising anti hero of the Marvel Universe.
Voicing the equally important role of Black Widow was Jennifer Carpenter, who was just as believable.
The story for this film is a mix of action, romance and tragedy.
When Punisher and Black Widow are sent on a mission to stop the criminal organisation LEVIATHAN from unleashing an army of enhanced human soldiers on to the world. Widow is shocked to find that the scientist behind the plot is none other than her former lover. S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist gone rogue Elihas Starr who tells Widow that he turned rogue to make something of himself for her due to his feelings of inadequacy.
Its all good stuff, but I couldn’t help but feel that the love story gone wrong kind of dragged the action down a little.
The animation in the film was gorgeous. In fact I would go as far as to say that its the best animation I have seen in a Marvel animated feature to date.
The action is both visceral and very violent as one would expect from ‘The Punisher’ and the fight sequences between Widow and Punisher are brilliant viewing.
Towards the close of the film we get some nice cameos from Iron Man, Hulk and Thor who all lend aid during the final battle with the enhanced humanoid army and the horde of villainy that has turned up to buy them.
Special mention should go to John Eric Bentley who does a credible job of voicing director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury, but Samuel L. Jackson he is not.
Aside from the love story gone wrong element, which plays out and ends tragically. This film is pretty solid and I’d recommend it to fans of the Avengers series of comics and films.
I’m giving this a pretty solid 4 out of 5 and hope to see more animated films from Marvel in the months and years to come.