Set Up and Sarcasm
In Marvel’s new conquest of cinematic features none are spared, sort of like the hero and villain characters in this 2004 movie about the popular Punisher comic series. Tom Jane plays Frank Castle a lawman who has the misfortune to kill the son of a respected business man and 800 pound gorilla of most underworld activities in Miami, Florida. That gentleman is Howard Saint, played by John Travolta.
In revenge for his Son’s death, Saint kills Castle’s entire family. And thus we get to the crux of the film and the comic. Frank Castle made a habit of taking on the wrong kind of villains, the ones with power, money and connections (sort of like Bill O’Reilly with an M-16). Now, he’s dropped the badge and decided to take on those same evildoers only in the slightly illegal way of brutally murdering them. I’ll let you guess who comes out the winner in this film, as in the comic.
Ratings and Rantings
In 1989 or so, Marvel attempted to put their character into action in a feature also named The Punisher. By all accounts this movie was a flop, the actor Dolph Lundgren was unable to capture the essence of the character and the villains were nothing even remotely similar to those of the comic.
In 2004, well I have a feeling the purists will not be satisfied (after all, like most of these Marvel movies a liberal dosage of poetic license had been taken by the directors). However, it is entertaining, and worth the watch. I’m going to give it a 4 because it was a step up from Dolph Lundgren but the 2 points minus to keep the purists from hunting me down in the street.