Genres / Traits:
Action, Action Thriller, Superhero Film,
Special agent Frank Castle had it all: A loving family, a great life, and an adventurous job. But when his life is taken away from him by a ruthless criminal and his associates, Frank has become reborn. Now serving as judge, jury, and executioner, he's a new kind of vigilante out to wage a one man war against those who have done him wrong.
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Frank Castle is an undercover cop who works in sting operations. Starting the movie out, he's in the process of busting some guys who are buying illegal firearms by posing as the seller. During the sting, one of the guys buying the firearms gets shot and killed. This was to be Castle's last assignment with the police, as he is now retiring and moving his family to London... but before all that, he's going to have a huge family reunion in Puerto Rico. However, it just happens to turn out that the guy who got killed in the sting operation was the son of Howard Saint, a big man in the crime world. Saint isn't too happy about what happened with his son, so he tracks Castle down and sends some of his boys to pay him and his family a visit. After watching his family die, Castle swears to punish all the people who were involved with this.
Review by Chad
Added: June 24, 2004
I actually enjoyed the first version of this movie, and when I wrote that review, it was indeed one of the best comic-to-movie adaptations I'd seen; however, I would have to say that this one works out better than that one did it some ways. Sure, there's a few things to gripe about with this one, but the overall package came out nicer in the end.
First up, the storyline. Instead of just starting the movie up and assuming everyone in the audience knows the Punisher legacy, this film explains what happened to him, and what caused him to do what he does. Instead of having Punisher getting involved with helping the guilty to save the innocent as in the original version, here we find him just doing what he does best; getting revenge on those who wronged him. Sure, there's the semi-subplot involving the trickery played on Saint (which was nicely written), but for the most part, it's a pretty linear story. It does lose some points in the originality department, but oddly enough, it comes out being a bit more entertaining. My only real problem with the actual storyline was the "comedic relief" family next door. I thought that the general idea was solid, and it did lead up to a nice scene... but the time spent on showing them doing their silly things could have been cut in (at least) half. I'm also not a huge fan of the hero dropping one-liners before killing somebody (only Ash can get away with that without sounding lame), but it wasn't as over-done here as it has been in previous movies of the sort, so it wasn't too much of a problem.
The body count wasn't nearly as high as in the original version, but most of the kills that were shown had more time spent on them. Instead of killing off huge groups of people with a machine gun in most scenes, there's a good number of original kills. Also, there's a great fight scene here with The Russian, which ended up getting five-ten minutes of time. Normally, a scene like this would get old in a movie of this type, but it was very nicely done here, and one of the better action movie fight scenes from this year.
Overall, another great movie set in The Punisher universe, and just a wee bit better than the original. It seemed like both films had things that brought the mood down, but the negative aspects found in one version would be fixed in the other. With that, I dub this an 8/10. Yes, that's the same rating as the original; even though this one is a bit more enjoyable overall, there was just too many little things to push this up into that elite perfect rating.
- added 08/07/2004, 04:04 PM
In my opinion, I'm dissapointed with the fact
that John Travolta diddnt get nearly enough
For being the main bad-guy he
really wasn't in the movie that much...
- added 12/21/2005, 02:31 AM
yet another movie i could watch over and over
again and never get sick of.
- added 10/26/2007, 11:43 PM
It's been so long since I saw the older Punisher
movie that I can't remember how good it was, but I
do remember that that Punisher had class: kill
everyone in a house and THEN blow it up. Classy.
- added 12/08/2008, 08:59 PM
Not a fan. Though this wasn't the DISGUSTINGLY
HORRIBLE level of humanization that Ang Lee went
for with his god-awful "Hulk", it was
still a clear sign that comic-book movies have no
place in the hands of someone who can't respect
the characters that they're trying to bring to
life. Thomas Jane was a awful Punisher, as his
constant moping and lack of action made him feel
like an asshole out for revenge rather than a
killer who felt his only true home was in the
brutality of war, this made for a terrible cast on
his character. Another big problem is Travolta as
the cetral villain... wait... was he? Couldn't
tell, as he was barely there. To me and my
nerd-rage, the only things that made this movie
enjoyable in the least were the Russian (Hey!
Someone on the writing credit may have actual
picked up an issue of the comic!) and alot of the
Truly, this did not
feel like the Punisher... it felt l ike "Taxi
Driver 2", and that irked me. It wasn't until
the recent "Punisher: War Zone" that I
truly realized how bad this one turned out for
fans of the work. As a movie, it did alright, as a
comic-book adaptation, it did downright horrible.
A good film, but not good enough. 5.8/10
Bliss From A Dead Embrace
- added 01/30/2009, 01:57 AM
This movie was great. I'm not a huge follower of
the comics so the story was fine in my eyes. Jane
made a great leading character and everything just
seemed to fall into place around him minus his
- added 05/25/2010, 01:33 AM
I have to agree with Ginose and I don't think
they really read the Punisher comics very well.