HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Punisher, The Gun Laws
Year: 2004
Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars: Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Will Patton, Eddie Jemison, Rebecca Romijn, Ben Foster, John Pinette, Laura Harring, James Carpinello, Marco St John, Samantha Mathis, Marcus Johns, Bonnie Johnson, Roy Scheider, Veryl Jones, Kevin Nash, Mark Collie
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: It looks like another black market weapons deal, and two Florida hoods turn up at the appointed time to hand over the cash and receive the shipment of guns. The gun runners are South African, and they and the hoods seem to meet an understanding, but just as it's all going smoothly there is a wail of sirens and the police arrive toting their own weapons. There's a brief period of confusion and shots, which end with the South Africans and one of the hoods dead, and as the deceased gangster is the son of one of Florida's most powerful bosses, Howard Saint (John Travolta), there will be hell to pay. Especially when he finds out that the South Africans were actually very much alive undercover cops led by Frank Castle (Thomas Jane), who happens to be retiring with this last mission. However, in Castle's future there will be tragedy and revenge as he turns vigilante...

A Marvel Comics character, The Punisher had reached the big screen before in the shape of Dolph Lundgren back in 1989, which was very much part of the cycle of eighties action movies that spread like a rash throughout that decade. With that in mind, there's a distinct air of throwback to this incarnation of the hero, it's almost a tribute to the era where you're never to far away from seeing a violent death, and the more energetic the better. Scripted by director Jonathan Hensleigh with regular Marvel adapter Michael France, the lack of originality doesn't do the film any favours, though they manage to make the lead, who is essentially an obsessed psychopath, sympathetic up to a point.

That said, Jane isn't exactly charismatic in the role, and it's only the mayhem around him that makes him stand out. As this was based on a comic book, this is an origin tale, and after Castle has left behind his old life for what he thinks is the final time, we see him relaxing with his family (including wife Samantha Mathis) in his Puerto Rican hideaway. As this is near the start of the film, this idyll won't last, as we realise when Saint and his wife Livia (Laura Harring) decide vengeance will help them get over the loss of their son, and Castle must pay with his life. And the lives of everyone around him. This means a massacre that ends up in the deaths of, well, everyone there except Castle, who rises Christ-like after being left for dead by right hand man Will Patton's thugs.

Fans of the comic will be pleased to see the skull logo, on a T-shirt given to him by his son, is present on Castle's chest, but there are really only two sequences where the lurid quality of the original shines through, and they both involve the hitmen sent to take down Castle when he starts causing trouble for Saint. The first is a Johnny Cash lookalike (Mark Collie) who produces a guitar and sings about how Castle is doomed, and the second is "The Russian" (Kevin Nash), an almost superhuman muscleman who practically destroys Castle's apartment block in his efforts to bump him off. In that run down block our hero finds an approximation of a new family among his three neighbours, led by Joan (Rebecca Romijn in another comic book role). While this is a mere distraction, Travolta in yet another head bad guy role doesn't get enough to do, and Castle's actions in bringing him down just prove how weak he was in the first place. All in all, this Punisher is probably more faithful than the previous film, but it's still basically the overfamiliar good guy mowing down the bad guys plot, and nothing will disguise that. Music by Carlo Siliotto.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4100 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: