5.7/10
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The Punisher (1989)

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

Director:

Mark Goldblatt

Writer:

Boaz Yakin

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dolph Lundgren ... Frank Castle
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Jake Berkowitz
Jeroen Krabbé ... Gianni Franco (as Jeroen Krabbe)
Kim Miyori ... Lady Tanaka
Bryan Marshall ... Dino Moretti
Nancy Everhard ... Sam Leary
Barry Otto ... Shake
Brian Rooney Brian Rooney ... Tommy Franco
Zoska Aleece Zoska Aleece ... Tanaka's Daughter (as Zoshka Mizak)
Kenji Yamaki Kenji Yamaki ... Sato
Hirofumi Kanayama Hirofumi Kanayama ... Tomio
Larry McCormick ... TV Newsreader
Todd Boyce ... Tarrone
Lani John Tupu ... Laccone (as Larney Tupu)
Gianfranco Negroponte 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Judge. Jury. Executioner. All in a day's work. See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of Tanaka's daughter is never mentioned or revealed. See more »

Goofs

(at around 27 mins) Punisher's sidekick misquotes Macbeth when entering the sewers. He says "Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble" when any thespian will know the correct line from MacBeth begins "Double, double...". See more »

Quotes

Jake: What you think you're gonna do with that? Play Ms. Pac-Man or something?
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Alternate Versions

The R2 Germany (Starlight Film - Ungeschnitten) version is cut by one second. It is missing a close-up shot of the nanny's head (face) sliding down, after being shot (1 secs). It was also released in a lower rating FSK 16 version with approx 5 minutes of violence cut to the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Sniper (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Vicious Minds
Written by Harry Garfield
Performed by Hobo & Habby
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User Reviews

Better Than People Give Credit For
26 May 2003 | by Kenneth HittSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Punisher See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (1990) (1995) | (Workprint Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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