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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am in the middle of watching Mad Max, and I couldn't help but notice
a few similarities between Mad Max and The Punisher.
* Both Frank Castle and Max Rockatansky are cops
* Both were on some sort of leave from the force when their families were murdered. (Frank was with his family celebrating a family reunion, Max is taking a holiday with wife and Baby after his best friend Goose's death).
* Both Max and Frank were hunted down after getting one of the gang members in each movie murdered (Bobby Saint in Punisher, and The NightRider in Mad Max) by accident.
* Max's wife and Baby son were chased down the highway and run over by motorcycles, Frank's wife and son were chased down the jetty and run over by a Red Bronco ute.
* Both Wives and children tried to escape by driving away. Max's wife in the Sandman, and Frank's wife in the Bronco with a boat attached.
* Both Max and Frank end up becoming renagade cops and end up hunting down the baddies.
* Oh yeah and both drive converted cars, which are both coloured Black, and have V8 Motors. Frank's car was a Pontiac GTO,done up with metal venetian window shields, Max's car was a Ford Falcon XB coupe, V8 351 (The Black Interceptor).
Overall, I loved The Punisher. Its not your average Comic book movie. He doesn't have special powers like Spiderman, and The Hulk, and Hellboy do, he's just a normal guy, taking out his anger the way normal people would do...In extreme circumstances.
The film talks on a police agent G man(Thomas Jane)called Frank Castle
whose family(wife Samantha Morton and dad Roy Scheider) was wiped out
by a mobsters (John Travolta,wife Laura Harring and son Ben Foster,
besides Will Patton) retaliates,thus he executes an incredible revenge
originating a bodycount about numerous baddies.He's helped by a freaks
group (Rebeca Romijin Stamos and others). The final confrontation
amongst the starring and the enemies is breathtaking and groundbreaking
In the picture there are thriller,frenetic action ,drama suspense, emotion and a little bit of blood and gore. Runtime film is adjusted about two hours and isn't bored because is fast moving but happen amount events and for that is entertained and funny. The motion picture has a certain resemblance with Charles Bronson films of the series ¨Death Wish¨for the matter, the avenging, thus one personage ,¨the vigilante¨ makes of judge,jury and executioner. The yarn is an adaptation from a Marvel Comics character created by Gary Conway.Previously was realized the first version with Dolph Lundgren and Lois Gossett JR that was a flop and attained lukewarm reception by the public . However this rendition has obtained many success in the box office in spite of the violence is extreme and some scenes are crude and cruel. The interpretation of the principal actors are nice but the secondary cast with the quirky bunch are magnificent. Cinematography by Conrad W.Hall(Son of the mythic photographer Conrad L.Hall)is excellent. The pic is well directed by Jonathan Hensleigh. Rating: Above average. Well catching
Make no mistakes about it, The Punisher is a great action flick that's the
proper mixture of quality acting, deep emotion and dark violence. The
Punisher ended up being a much better movie than I was anticipating. I think
it will please comic fans and action fans alike. I also think it will be
accessible to mainstream audiences. Definitely check it out on the big
The brilliance of this movie comes from the uneasy nature in which you spend your two hours riveted to the story. Yes, I did say brilliance. At first, you get that uneasy feeling as you watch the director set up a story which is pretty much common knowledge. You know that Frank's wife and son are going to get it. So, the exposition that sets up his love for his family and the tender moments they share are uneasy, sorrowful and touching. After the Punisher revs up into full `Punishing' mode, you're uneasy at the way in which he is dispatching villain after villain. I was squirming in my chair and I wasn't the only one in the theatre doing so. Sure it's violent but it borders on sadistic violence. What's makes you the most uneasy is the fact that you are actually enjoying the carnage. These guys are so vile and are so deserving of their `Punishment' but you still have guilt to go along with the pleasure of seeing Frank really cut loose. If you've seen The Punisher trailer then you see an image of him firing an arrow. You have NO idea where that arrow ends up but boy, that must have hurt. The one thing you don't have to worry about with this film is if the villain will get his. I hate movies that go so far to develop a villain as truly evil by having him do despicable things after despicable things but have his demise be quick at movies end. Well, you will feel sorry for Travolta's character at the end of this film and he does some very horrible things himself during the duration of this movie. Overall, this film is an emotional journey that will make you squirm. I experienced all of the following emotions while watching this movie: revulsion, sadness, satisfaction, compassion, anger, laughter, envy, thrills and thanks to multiple product placement, I really had to have a shot of Wild Turkey when I went home!
I have never been a big fan of The Punisher comic books. In fact, I
have never read even one so I can not really comment on how true to the
comic this movie is. However, after seeing both this movie and it's
predecessor 15 years earlier, I do believe I would have been a fan of
The thing I like most about Frank Castle/The Punisher (Thomas Jane) is that he is not too over the top unbelievable... and he's mean! Who would not be after going through what he went through? Frank Castle is a war veteran turned FBI agent and he is on his last mission before retirement. He hopes to get through it without any casualties but, alas, somebody has always got to do something stupid or there would not be a story. Anyways, a son of Howard Saint (John Travolta) is inevitably killed, which makes both Howard and his wife, Livia Saint (Laura Harring), thirst for revenge against those responsible. Somehow, they get the name and whereabouts of Frank Castle, who has retired and is at a family reunion in Puerto Rico. They send a group of assassins who swiftly and callously execute every member of Castle's family and believe they have killed Castle, himself, but he has somehow survived.
From that point on, Frank is healing and going on a drinking binge, all the while plotting his revenge on Howard Saint. He does not refer to it as revenge, however, because that is more of an emotion. He calls it "punishment", thus his new moniker.
Once The Punisher goes all out, there are all kinds of nice fights and scenes that show the nature and anger of The Punisher. I thought there would be a lot more violence (as I had played the ultra-violent video game before seeing the movie) but I thought what they showed was pretty good. There will be plenty more if they make a sequel. Maybe, if we are lucky, we could eventually start having the crossovers like in the comics, with Spider-Man vs Punisher, etc.
This is one of Marvel's better efforts, following Hulk and Daredevil. I enjoy all of them, but this one stood out for me and is up there with Spider-Man and X-Men in my book. 8.5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember at the advance screening of this, I heard one guy say "It
makes Hellboy look like Titanic." What the movie did was make the
Punisher character much more palatable for American audiences. By
making the Punisher two-dimensional and less controversial, they took
away the emotional pain and helplessness readers of the comic book
sympathized with when the cruelty of life corrupts a good man.
In the comics, Castle comes back from a grueling tour in Vietnam and wants to spend the rest of his life with his wife and 2 children in peace. But while they're enjoying a Sunday picnic in the park, they witness a Mafia hit and are subsequently murdered, only Frank (barely) survives. He's a victim and survivor of senseless violence, and when Frank becomes the Punisher, it isn't to "punish" the bad guys. He believes that society has gone insane, and his only purpose left in life is to force it to make sense. He's a vigilante and anti-hero, not because he kills or uses guns, but because he couldn't care less about law and order. Which even in real life, have failed countless people.
The part of the movie that really took a step into absurdity was when the Saint family's hit men killed his family. His ENTIRE family. I almost busted a gut laughing when one guy tried to escape a hail of gunfire by boarding a dingy. It's like if Batman had his mom, dad, third cousin Scooter, crazy uncle Joe and goldfish Goldy killed. It cheapens the effect of losing the few closest people to you when they show all these other obscure people dropping like flies. I also laughed when Castle's mom got shot in the leg because Thomas Jane's reaction was so unnatural. But by this point the movie was irredeemable anyway.
Frank Castle is a cop who leads a bust that sees the son of crime boss
Howard Saint end up dead. Not content with killing Castle, Saint orders
the whole Castle family to be killed which they are, in a bloody
seaside massacre. However Frank survives the attack just; but with
nothing left of his life he focuses on the only thing he knows hate.
With this the only thing he now feels, Castle sets out to bring down
Saint, killing each and every one of them that were involved in his
If you are looking for a violent action movie with lots of things going bang and quite cool images then this will pretty much do you. You sound like you have quite low requirements in life and this film is happy to settle for less to help meet them. The action is distracting enough hardly fun perhaps but certainly violent enough and regular enough to satisfy the target audience of teenage males. However below this there is nothing where really their should have been a great deal. Castle is supposedly a tormented figure; he must blame himself for his family's death since he created the enemies that killed them; he has nothing but revenge and even when he has had that he must know that he will then have nothing else. However Castle in this film is just mean, apart from the extreme violence he just comes across as antisocial rather than racked by a terrible pain and emptiness.
And it is in this part of the film that it falls down in a major way because although it wants to be all dark and complex, it really is nothing of the start. The opening credits are dark and menacing but the rest of the film is just a straightforward action affair hell, it doesn't even have anything of interest to say in regards revenge or vigilantism; although this is minor compared to the failure to give Castle any character beyond that of a standard Hollywood tough guy. Without this heart to the film, the extreme violence is more about getting an audience than getting to the heart of the character. The violence is unpleasant but not as much as it should have been it should have been horrific, sickening to the point where we're not sure if Castle was ever any better than Saint. It wasn't like this, it was just gory and seemed to take pleasure if making the audience wince. I wanted to be sickened by the massacre of the Castle family I wasn't; I wanted the massacre of the Saints to play out so that the film showed us how similar it was to the earlier massacre but it didn't. It may want to have been dark but it just ends up being a Hollywood action movie after all and a fairly ordinary one at that.
Jane must have known what he was up against and he can do nothing to stop it. Neither he nor the material have the complexity needed and for most of the film he just seems to be brooding rather than hurting. Travolta is so-so but has little time; I assume he took the role because it is an interesting baddie who did manage to have a more tragic character than Jane did. The support cast are mainly poor mostly because of the material. The film didn't need a love interest or a comic relief so Romjin-Starmos, Foster and the big guy (sorry, don't know his name) couldn't have gotten off the screen quickly enough. Patton is reasonably good but he is better than this film deserves. Nobody is terrible but nobody is particularly good and, although it should have been, this was not a film for the actors.
Overall what should have been a dark, disturbing, complex, violent and emotional film is just a normal action movie with some rather unpleasant violence. Without heart the film does enough to distract its target audience but those foolish enough to expect anything beyond the basics will only go away disappointed.
Wonderful Camera work and acting.
There are no flashy CGI effects in this movie or fictional superpowers. It relies more on traditional technique's and delivers beautifully.
The director has done a superb job with the severely underfunded budget taking us to a realistic location that serves two purposes cheaper production costs and somewhere original that looks and feels real. After all that is what the punisher movie is about, making a comic book character fit into the real world with realistic situations.
This guy could be anyone out there with a vendetta up against believable enemies. There are no superpowers on show here just a guy with a vendetta up against a powerful man that wants him killed who can afford to hire realistic killers with personality I might add, to do the job
This goes down as one of my favorite films of all time mainly because of the beautiful camera work and realistic gritty style action. I'll be definitely keeping an eye out for this director's work in the future.
This movie had everything a Marvel comic fan could ask for, great
leading characters; great story that stays true to the comics; low
campiness; and high appeal... finally, a Punisher storyline that does
the character justice.
A lot of people like to compare and contrast this 2004 version and the 1989 version, which is kind of pointless since the two versions are complete opposites. They seem to think the 2004 version deludes the character; he doesn't "avenge" as wantonly as he should. All heroes/anti-heroes have some traumatic events that made them who they are.
The 1989 movie was set in the character's "adolesensce" after all the horrible events of his life got to him and made him into the unbridled psycho-avenger we know and love. whereas the 2004 one takes place at the beginning of his madness,; it shows us the character's descention into madness. In effect, throughout the movie is Frank Castle, at the end Frank becomes the Punisher. 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Audiences have become so accustomed to being overloaded by CGI effects
in recent comic book adaptations that the idea of a tougher, leaner
approach seemed to catch viewers and critics off-guard, when this
latest adaptation of "The Punisher" premiered. Sadly, most critics
chose to ignore the very qualities that made this film so special,
never accepting that the story is closer in spirit to "Sin City" than
"Spider-Man" or "Daredevil". Now that the film is available on DVD, I
invite everyone to take a second look at this dark tale of the fine
line one man walks between Justice and Vengeance...you may be surprised
by how good it really is! The film is carefully constructed to allow
viewers an opportunity to see dedicated undercover cop Frank Castle in
action, and to understand the caring, loving family man Frank Castle
was...before mob boss Howard Saint, and his equally ruthless wife,
Livia (played by a remarkably low-key John Travolta and Laura Harring),
takes vengeance for their son's death by ordering the brutal execution
of Castle's entire family. As conceived, with total conviction, by
Thomas Jane, Castle is so completely traumatized that he 'lets go' of
what remained of his compassion, and becomes a human weapon, devoid of
pity, living only to see justice done, in equal measure to the crime.
This is not someone you can easily 'warm up' to, and as the movie evolves into a series of executions, you may actually start to feel more sympathy toward the Saints and their henchman, Quentin Glass (the ever-watchable Will Patton) than in Castle. But screenwriter Michael France, and co-writer and director Jonathan Hensleigh, both well-versed in the Marvel comic character, add three quirky 'innocents' (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Ben Foster, and John Pinette), who Castle warms up to, somewhat, and must ultimately protect. He will never recover the compassion that he lost, but he realizes that for many being brutalized, he is the only hope they have, giving him a purpose to live for.
Unlike the earlier, Dolph Lundgren "Punisher", hampered by a minuscule budget and two-dimensional acting, this version makes the most of its small budget, with first-class acting (including a VERY welcome cameo by Roy Scheider), incredible stunt and pyrotechnic work, and a storyline that offers far more depth than you might expect in a comic book adaptation.
I sincerely hope a sequel is made, as this will be a film that will grow in stature as audiences realize how good it actually is!
This movie came onto the scene with very little fanfare. It isn't a CGI powerhouse. There's no Matrix/Kill Bill style fight scenes. But what it lacks in modern trends it more than makes up for in a good old fashioned revenge plot. Touting a story that would have been fit for a Clint Eastwood flick like Outlaw Josey Wales or Hang 'em High, the Punisher takes the viewer on journey into the soul of a gritty vigilante. Thomas Jane plays the lead role to perfection, his voice acting is incredible. Although this isn't your daddy's (or Dolph's) emotionless Punisher. He is much more cerebral here than in most of the other media he has popped up in, and more human, but not any more humane. Using the tried and true style of fist fights and pyrotechnics this movie keeps the character rooted in his all too mortal persona. The supporting characters turn in equally descent roles, the likes of John Travolta worked well, although nothing outstanding. No doubt about it, Thomas Jane ran away with this one. He's just a normal guy doing super-normal things, with a lot of gunfire and explosions to boot. If you are in the target demographic (Male aged 17-30) you will definitely enjoy this film. If not, proceed at your own risk.
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