Movie Plot – The Punisher: An undercover FBI agent becomes a vigilante and sets out to exact his revenge on the corrupt businessman who slaughtered his entire family at a reunion.
Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Writers: Jonathan Hensleigh, Michael France
Cast: Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Samantha Mathis, Kevin Nash, Will Patton, James Carpinello, Eddie Jemison
Punisher is back
In 1989, we got our first Punisher film. However, after the success of some Marvel movies like Spider-man and the X-men franchise, they’ve decided to relaunch a new Punisher movie. The choice was very remarkable since Castle is not a popular superhero with superhuman powers and a noble disposition. In the film, Frank Castle is an ex-Vietnam veteran a former undercover cop who completely freaks out after the brutal murder of his family. Since then, his life has been about revenge. Castle declares war on the underworld, he ‘punishes’ crime.
The biggest selling point of this character is the idea of him being an anti-hero and therefore getting a lot of action. His moral dividing line between good and evil is very narrow. Castle’s actions usually differ little from those of his enemies. On the other hand, I can’t blame him as his entire family gets killed.
The casting of action star Thomas Jane as Frank Castle is very well chosen. The role of a vengeful, tormented man suits him just fine. In particular, his somber, blank, chilly facial expression approximates the look of the comic book version of Frank Castle. In doing so, Jane’s growling voice is perfect for the character.
Unfortunately, as a viewer, I never felt any part of his pain through the screen. That’s partly because of how the film is brought to us and partly because of its closure to the outside world. Other people live in his apartment block, though, who brings a little more life to the film. This may seem like an odd choice to many, but somehow it works.
The best scene also happens in his home with the infamous Russian. It’s pretty over-the-top, but so much fun to watch. Beyond these, there are other exciting confrontations.
The Punisher is also consistent in its violence. The film gets progressively gory as Castle approaches his goal, with knives and bow and arrow in play and a torture scene midway through, but the film sticks to its roots and covers everything it needs to.
For the film’s bad guy, John Travolta has been cast. Have I seen him in better roles? Yes, definitely and this is not one of his good roles. Still, I am entertained to see him as a mob boss. He certainly has the looks to play one, so why not? However, most of the critics didn’t like his performance at all. In other words, you might dislike him in that role.
Obviously, there is more violence involved when you compare this movie to other superhero movies. Violence is a part of The Punisher’s comic book stories. For its time, this was quite hardcore, though and some people were shocked. In this day and age, I think it’s pretty soft if you compare it to some DC movies like their last movie, The Suicide Squad. It’s getting more and more graphic, and we’re getting more and more used to it.
The Punisher is a good movie and the best attempt that was brought to the screen via film. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun and offers many exciting and cringe-worthy moments and plenty of violence. In the end, it is Thomas Jane’s performance alone that makes this film a success.
Still, I have to admit that Jon Bernthal is the best Punisher we’ve ever gotten, but this was via a Netflix Tv Show.