Frank is an undercover FBI agent emotionally destroyed when his family is killed in a mob retaliation for his work. Psychologically broken, Frank sets a course on vengeance building a new persona for himself as “The Punisher” in the process.
Thomas Jane (Castle), John Travolta (Howard), Will Patton (Quentin), Tom Nowicki (Lincoln), A Russell Andrews (Jimmy), James Carpinello (Bobby), Mark Collie (Harry), Ben Foster (Dave), Eddie Jemison (Mickey).
The Punisher begins nicely with some misdirection that sets up the plot well. As the story unfolds there is a strange mix of drama and action while the film has a decidedly unnatural feel blending an unrealistic aspect of Frank’s life with the more mainstream life of Howard. This strange mix does a lot to keep the film interesting between action scenes and remind us of the comic book roots behind the story.
Acting from Jane was flat and somewhat emotionless as usual. Travolta was an interesting protagonist who almost felt out of place in the film but pulled it off in the end. Patton was superb in his role, delivering a creepy personality that felt incredibly realistic. The remainder of the supporting cast did well, bringing good depth to the film.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were all nicely done and the film apparently had a good sized budget. Effects were fairly well done with nice physical work. The exceptions being a couple of scenes where dummies were obviously used in place of real people. Dialogue was good and fit the film well, as did the soundtrack.
Overall The Punisher is a somewhat quirky but entertaining action and adventure flick with a dark storyline and interesting presentation. Action adventure fans will enjoy this the most with action drama fans next in line.
With plenty of brutal graphic violence, foul language, and some mild nudity this should be fine for older teens and above.
The Punisher is no longer showing in any Littleton Colorado movie theatres.
Official movie site.
Star rating: 3 out of 5
copyright ©2012 Dave Riedel
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