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The Punisher (1989)

5.6
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Reviews: 147 user | 66 critic

When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as the Punisher.

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The Punisher (TV Series 2014)
Crime

A rising star detective with the New York Police Department moonlights as a vigilante hero dubbed The Punisher in order to obtain justice for those the system has failed.

Action

Special agent Frank Castle becomes a vigilante for justice.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
Gianni Franco (as Jeroen Krabbe)
Kim Miyori ...
Bryan Marshall ...
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Brian Rooney ...
Zoshka Mizak ...
Kenji Yamaki ...
Hirofumi Kanayama ...
Larry McCormick ...
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Laccone (as Larney Tupu)
Gianfranco Negroponte ...
Musso (as John Negroponte)
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Storyline

Based on the Marvel Comic, Dolph Lundgren is Frank Castle an ex-cop who lives in the sewers and acts as judge, jury, and executioner to the city's criminals in retaliation for the unpunished murders of his wife and kids. Frank's ex-partner Jake (Louis Gossett Jr.) finally catches up with the vigilante as he tries to stop the Japanese mob, which is trying to take over the city's mafia operation. Written by Matt Carlin <ghola@umich.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vigilante | ex cop | mafia | sewer | murder | See more »

Taglines:

The guilty will be punished See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Punisher  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (1990) (1995)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby Stereo)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was released theatrically worldwide, except in the United States due to New World Pictures' bankruptcy, and in Sweden due to censorship (it would come out later on video). It did have a US 35mm screening on July 8th 1990 at the L.A. Comic Book and Science Fiction (on a triple bill with "The Flash" CBS-TV series and "The Guyver") and then on October 18th 2008 at the Escapism Film Festival, Durham (NC) where director Mark Goldblatt brought his own 35mm print (as well as the "I Must Break You" Dolph Lundgren Fest April 18th 2009 at the L.A. New Beverly). See more »

Goofs

After the lights go off, some goons shoot at where two characters are standing, only to find them gone when the emergency lights come on. Not a single bullet hole is visible in the Japanese paper screen they were standing before, however. See more »

Quotes

Shake: My God man can't you see? This is a result of your five-year killing spree! You've weakened the bosses to such a degree they can't protect their own families!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in LittleBigPlanet 2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Planet of Love
Performed by Simon Stokes
Written by Simon Stokes & Harry Garfield
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Better Than People Give Credit For
26 May 2003 | by (Sylvester, Georgia) – See all my reviews

No, this is not CITIZEN KANE. But it is an entertaining film that did make a somewhat unbelievable Marvel "hero" to celluloid.

Lundgren plays Frank Castle, a former NYPD detective (originally a military special ops expert in the comic) who loses his family to a mob hit. This pushes his already unstable personality over the edge, and he becomes a one-man judge, jury, and executioner. The VERY underrated Louis Gossett Jr. plays his former partner, determined to find him and keep him out of the gas chamber.

This movie is quite a decent action film. It actually delves quite deeply into the characters' motivations, their histories, their personalities. I agree with earlier comments that, out of the lot of action stars, Lundgren does bring at least some dramatic chops to the role. I really couldn't imagine Schwarzenegger playing this part, though Stallone or Willis might have been better choices.

The action sequences are done quite well for a low-budget film. The director, Mark Goldblatt, served as editor on films such as TERMINATOR 1 & 2, the underrated PREDATOR 2, TRUE LIES, STARSHIP TROOPERS, ARMAGEDDON, and PEARL HARBOR, so he definitely has knowledge of how to properly compose an action sequence. He also served as Paul Verhoeven's 2nd Unit Director on the original ROBOCOP.

The movie is rather tough to find, and though it strays away a bit from the source material, it does manage to flesh out a rather one-dimensional character.

A new version of THE PUNISHER is now being prepped, starring DREAMCATCHER's Thomas Jane as Frank Castle and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh.


25 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
ok,who ACTUALLY likes this movie? The_Punisher4eva
Dolph vs Jane vs Stevenson obin_gam
Americans Aiding the Japanese Mafia???? doomsday_freak
10x better than the 2004 version christothefrantz
What's so bad about this film? paladin-64
The difference between this Punisher and the awful remake is... Sirus_51
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