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The Punisher More at IMDbPro »

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174 out of 207 people found the following review useful:

A Pleasant Surprise

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
4 November 2005

I was surprised how good this movie was, not stupid as I figured. It's another one of those based-on-a-comic book hero films that seem to be popular nowadays (Hellboy, Batman, Sin City, Spiderman, Superman, etc.)

However, this was the not the cartoon-like film I expected. It was more of a pretty brutal revenge-crime movie. It's a rough movie, pure and simple.

Believable? Of course not. Some of the action is ludicrous but the most ridiculous of all - the fight against the huge Russian, is actually the most fun of the action scenes. The rest is just plain mean as the hero's entire family gets wiped out by gunman and "The Punisher" (Thomas Jane) goes after them after almost being killed himself.

A smart aspect of this film was inserting a bit of humor in it, such as the two nerds down the hallway who befriend "The Punisher."

The sometimes-juvenile but interesting action scenes, the diverse characters in here and the humor all combine to make this better than anticipated.

No, it's anything but a thinking man's movie, but it IS entertaining and harmless if you look at everything tongue-in-cheek.

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222 out of 313 people found the following review useful:

Punisher too dark?

Author: VelvetRevolver2 from United States
4 January 2005

Someone said that this movie was too dark for the genre...He must not have ever read any of the source material. The Punisher may be one of the darkest comic book characters ever created. This film and especially Thomas Jane, get that. This film is one of the better in the genre, because it sticks to the source better than most.

Yes, I am a fanboy. But I am a fan of action movies too. This movie took from some of the classics but made it their own. Its too bad that spiderman or superman fans cant see past the all superheros must be good guys...The Punisher is a different type of hero. The kind you wish we would never need, but also one that you may want.

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181 out of 285 people found the following review useful:

One of 2004's Best Movies - GREAT revenge film

Author: UMWolvie2442 from Go Blue!
2 May 2004

This wonderful revenge film was acted and directed with complete conviction but still found the time to kick ass. This is one of the best movies I have seen this year and I go to at least one movie a week. The acting was good. I would recommend this movie to everyone. I thought it was going to be some type of 80's action movie, but it turned out to be great movie aimed towards an older crowd. The beginning is a bit slow, but the action really keeps you focused. Thomas Jane did an excellent job as the Punisher and Travolta's performance was much better than I was expecting. This is a movie that thinks so deeply about its conflicts and decisions that there are times when the audience itself feels like it has a personal stake in the outcome. This is by far the best film in the reinvigorated sub-genre of comic-book-to-screen conversions.

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147 out of 234 people found the following review useful:

vigilante-style justice done right

Author: grizzley from East Riding of Yorkshire
17 January 2005

If you like the old Clint Eastwood & Charles Bronson revenge movies then you'll like this film. Great pace and action that's gritty but extremely enjoyable. I can't say I knew anything about this Punisher character before seeing this film but I thoroughly enjoyed it none-the-less.

The Punisher is a shining example of revenge and vigilante-style justice done right. It's also yet another comic book adaptation done properly. In fact, this may be the first time I wished we could give half-vaults, because it was just that good. In the compendium of comic movies, this falls just shy of the two X-Men movies, but it is right there with Spider-Man and easily surpasses Batman, Superman and The Hulk. The fact that it is an R-rated movie killed any possible chance of decent box-office numbers, but it was a necessary step to take, and the quality of the movie just makes up for it. Hopefully this was Thomas Jane's breakout role.

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61 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

"Isn't science fun, Mickey?"

Author: DarthBill from United States
20 April 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A fairly good adaptation of the Marvel Comics vigilante character originally introduced in the Spider-Man comic books.

Former soldier and FBI man Frank Castle (exit Dolph Lundgren, enter Baltimore native Thomas Jane of "Deep Blue Sea" and "Dream-Catcher", who's about six or seven inches shorter than Dolph Lundgren but still pretty buffed up and also a naturally blond man having dyed his hair black to match the character's appearance in the comics) has retired from the action and is looking forward to living a quiet life with his wife and kid. While attending a family reunion at the beach (Roy Scheider plays his dad) Frank's family is attacked by assassins sent by Howard Saint (John Travolta) to avenge the death of one of his sons from Frank's last mission. In a shot similar to the original "Mad Max" (1979), Frank's wife and son are brutally run over with a giant truck while his father, brothers and in laws are gunned down. After being beaten to a pulp and shot in the chest and nearly blown to bits, Frank is saved by a local and nursed back to health. Naturally, he is enraged at the heartless murder of his family and goes after Howard saint, his wife, son, and secretly gay lawyer, thirsting for revenge. He sets up his base of operations in a run down building with three misfit neighbors - a sexy but unloved waitress, a guy with lots of piercings in his face, and an over weight Asian guy.

In many ways closer to the comic book than the earlier film, this one manages to get the skull shirt in there and remembers to at least mention that Frank was originally a soldier before going and making him a cop/FBI guy. Thoug Thomas Jane is not as physically imposing as Dolph Lundgren, he still manages to be a fairly menacing yet sympathetic figure. John Travolta delivers his usual joyful villain routine. Rebecca R-Stamos of the X-Men films (and yes, I know she's separating from her husband John) plays the sexy but unloved waitress who's spent the last few years trying to keep undesirable men out of her panties but once she gets an eyeful of Frank she wants to get into his pants because he's a strong, confident Alpha male who sticks up for the underdog and tries to steer Frank away from his suicide new life style. Rebecca is okay in this role, certainly no worse than any other comic book movie love interest.

One thing that surprised me about this film was how much humor was in it, whether it was Frank's fight with a giant blond Russian thug or his torturing the informant to be by threatening to blow torch him while actually burning a thing of meat while poking him in the back with an ice pop ("You are not a nice person."). Also worth noting is Frank's response to being told that obviously he's upset: "I used to get upset when I had a flat tire... when a plane was delayed... when the Yankees won the series..." Still, despite this humor, the film is never as ridiculously unbalanced as "Daredevil" or as disconnected as "Hulk" (both released in 2003). I was also expecting a little more violence, but all in all I was satisfied with what I got.

So far this is probably the best of the non-X-Men/Spider-Man Marvel movies. Of course, studios have a tendency to NOT give the lesser known characters a suitable running time to establish who they are because they ARE lesser known and try to compensate by making them fast paced. Once studios learn not to do this, better superhero films will become more common.

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75 out of 111 people found the following review useful:

I enjoyed everything about this dark tale.

Author: bumblebeeman777 from United States
19 April 2005

The Punisher put my faith back into revenge movies. The action in this film is unbelievable and grim. I found myself not wanting the story to end. Many of the movies based on superheroes in a comic book tend not to sticks gritty and real. This one was and then some. The movie has surpassed my expectation and I certainly look forward Punisher 2.

The next film sets itself up for a kick butt start. They should take a page from X2 or the Lethal Weapon series and just open the next film with a wild battle. You can grab the viewer right away and still tell your full story right after. I hope the entire cast as well as the director returns because they crafted one quality origin story here. In summary, I enjoyed everything about this dark tale.

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91 out of 143 people found the following review useful:

Well written and casted, Beautiful cinematography.

Author: dorlich from United States
7 July 2005

Though I was unfamiliar with the comic book character, I was impressed with the all around quality of the production. It didn't hurt to have the cosmically beautiful Laura Harring (mullholland drive)cast as Saint's wife. Should have had more of her character. Thomas Jane turned in a very worthy performance, as I think it's difficult to play these comic book characters without causing nausea and guffaws. Interesting that there was a bit of philosophy re society and it's criminal element, kudos to the director/writer for a cogent screenplay. Did Jane remind anyone of the french actor in the original Immortal? i.e. his guttural delivery and dour countenance.

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74 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

Another amazing Marvel Flick

Author: Bryan ( from New Hampshire
5 October 2004

This is the second version of 'The Punisher', and while I enjoy the original that starred Dolph Lungren, I LOVED this one. Thomas Jane was amazing, he definitely had the essence of the tortured Frank Castle down perfect. The acting in this movie was extremely well done, a lot more well done than many people (critics) have given it credit for. I think that John Travolta even though he can be a bit annoying at times played a great bad guy, and his character was sinister, and cruel, but loving at the same time. Will Patton I think almost stole the show with his portrayal of his character Quentin Glass, because he had a charisma about him that was equally disturbing. It was a great movie, not just 'great for what it was'. The story was good, the stunts, and the violence amazing, and I really hope they greenlight for a sequel.

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97 out of 162 people found the following review useful:

Tom Jane is absolutely breathtaking!

Author: Christopher Cook ( from United States
8 July 2005

This movie is one of those movies that make you wonder why every movie isn't as good. However, if you are aren't the type that likes intense violence and content a bit more mature than PG, then I don't recommend this at all to you.

Tom Jane plays Frank Castle, a broken and confused F.B.I. agent who loses his family to a band of mobsters, who horrifically slaughter every last one of the members of his family, including his extended family. The pain and anger that he deals with causes him to become what he used to hunt down, a murderer who slaughters criminals day and night. His first target is the man responsible for his family's murder, a man named Howard Saint (terrifically played by John Travolta). The suspense and excitement experienced throughout the film eventually unfurls into a dramatic and astonishing conclusion that movie-goers will never forget.

I can't think of anything more to say about this movie, so I will say this: The value of this movie is beyond words. At least 10x better than the original 1989 film starring Dolph Lundgren as the executioner, this is a memorable and unforgettable film that is guaranteed to leave you in awe.


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49 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

GREAT MOVIE! vigilante-style justice done right

Author: Paul (zefman2) from Midwest USA
4 March 2006

"The Punisher" is a shining example of revenge and vigilante-style justice done right. It's also yet another comic book adaptation done properly. I thought this movie was one of the best I have seen in a long time. In the compendium of comic movies, this falls just shy of the two X-Men movies and Spider-Man but easily surpasses Batman, Batman Begins, Superman and The Hulk. The fact that it is an R-rated movie will kill any possible chance of decent box-office numbers, but it was a necessary step to take, and the quality of the movie just makes up for it. Hopefully this was Thomas Jane's breakout role, as he was outstanding and has the potential to be a contender to Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, Colin Farrell, and Matt Damon as the next big action star. If you like action movies, check out this movie. If you like comic book adaptations, check out this movie. Heck, if you just like movies in general, The Punisher is two hours well-spent. Like Thomas Jane himself says, "Frank Castle is dead. Long live The Punisher."

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