Jean Claude Van Damme plays a dual role as Alex and Chad, twins separated at the death of their parents. Chad is raised by a family retainer in Paris, Alex becomes a petty crook in Hong ... See full summary »
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Brooklyn cop Gino Felino is about to go outside and play catch with his son Tony when he receives a phone call alerting him that his best friend Bobby Lupo has been shot dead in broad ... See full summary »
Mason Storm, a 'go it alone' cop, is gunned down at home. The intruders kill his wife, and think they've killed both Mason and his son too. Mason is secretly taken to a hospital where he ... See full summary »
Two New York cops get involved in a gang war between members of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. They arrest one of their killers and are ordered to escort him back to Japan. In Japan, ... See full summary »
Chicago DEA agent John Hatcher has just returned from Colombia, where his partner was killed in the line of duty by a drug dealer who has since been taken down. As a result of his partner's... See full summary »
Dwight H. Little
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 <email@example.com>
TV Guide's movie guide gave the film three out of four stars, praising Lundgren's portrayal of the character and compared the characterization of the Punisher to that of Frank Miller's re-imagining of Batman in "The Dark Knight Returns". They further praised the film's atmosphere, calling it "genuinely comic book-like, rather than cartoonish." See more »
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 »
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.
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