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Movie of the Week: The Punisher

 

Film poster for The Punisher (2004 film)

My Movies Collection Number: 366

IMDB Synopsis: After his wife and family are killed, G-Man Frank Castle takes it upon himself to distribute punishment to those responsible for the vendetta. IMDB Link

Why it’s in my collection: One of the main reasons this movie is in my collection is that I am a big Marvel comic book fan and the OCD part of me wants to have every Marvel movie made since the original Blade

I also love the “Welcome Back, Frank” storyline that the movie uses as part of its basis.  Seeing some of the scenes from that story on screen just really made the Punisher fan in me really happy.

Thoughts While Watching: The bad guys in this movie are way over the top.  They are so cheesy and over the top it becomes funny.  Then you realize that John’s Travolta’s sons are played by the same actor and you know that you have to check any hopes of this being the Punisher movie you were hoping for.  And how can you be taken seriously as a mobster when your base of operations is Tampa, Florida???

As you watch this movie it feels like every decision made by first time director Jonathan Hensleigh was as an homage to 1980’s cop/action/crime movies.  The attempts at manipulating your emotions, the music, the coincidences used to advance the plot al make you say “seriously!”.

There are scenes taken directly from the comic book that I enjoyed seeing but overall the movie falls flat.  If I am going to see a movie this cheesy then I am going to watch Punisher: War Zone.  At least that movie has more of the character from the comic book and KNOWS what it is.  It does not try to put a serious face on a movie that should be fun silly action.   Of course I would love to see a real budget and a real director (like Michael Mann) make a Punisher movie.  That would be amazing.

Why it should be in your collection: The only reason this movie should be in your collection is if you have the same compulsive need as me to be complete.  I thought this movie was finally going to do the Punisher right but it made two crucial mistakes for me: taking Frank out of New York and not pitting him against the traditional mob.  John Travolta’s Howard Saint character is HORRIBLE.  I think Punisher War Zone is a better representation of the world and the character.

Similar movies from my collection: Face/Off, The Crow, Punisher: War Zone, Bad Boys, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Blade, Die Hard, Kill Bill Vol.1, The Boondock Saints

My Movies Collection Rating: 5

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