When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as The Punisher.When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as The Punisher.When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as The Punisher.
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.
- Kenneth Hitt
- May 26, 2003