Let me start off by saying this isn’t going to be in anyone’s Top 10 list… actually, saying that it’s bound to be somewhere. Not that it’s a bad movie, not by a long shot. It’s a great movie just not a stellar movie.
Ok lets start this off by saying that Tom Jane as Frank Castle IS ‘The Punisher’. Im not saying that lightly either. I’ve seen The Punisher (1989) with Dolph Lundgren and Punisher: War Zone with Ray Stevenson and out of the three of them i just feel that Tom Jane was the best fit for the role. If you’re still unconvinced, look at this short done with Tom Jane as The Punisher.
The short was done 8 years after the main movie but if anything it fits Tom Jane as The Punisher even move.
Now back to the movie.
Our main character has his family slaughtered, and by family i mean cousins, grandparents, kids, wife… hell i would swear his entire bloodline. This comes about after the youngest kid of a mobster or some other such, it’s never really made clear what they are, is killed during an undercover operation.
Frank Castle never directly killed the kid or was responsible for his death but hey, lets blame him anyway. It makes a good movie.
So Franks family dies… Frank survives… comes back and, wait, you’re expecting me to say he murders everyone in a psychopathic rage. Well close but not quite. This is where i think the movie is a little clever.
Frank uses his nemesis’s Howard Saint, (John Travolta), unbalanced nature against him causing him to kill his own wife and best friend. While at the same time Frank destroys Howards business empire almost causing the people that hired the ‘Saints’ to do work for them to turn on them in the process. In all, out of the three films i would say this Frank Castle killed less people.
There’s not a lot to really talk about with this movie, Good Guy does his job. Son of Bad Guy dies. Bad Guy’s wife wants Good Guys family murdered in revenge. Good Guy survives and takes his revenge on Bad Guy and HIS family.
I guess i should mention that when he returns to the city and takes up residence in his new ‘abode’ he does have several side characters befriend him with one of them attempting to be a kind of love interest. She does try to save him by trying to remind me that old bad memories can be replaced by new good ones which in the end pretty much works.
Props to the other side character ‘Dave’ for proving to Frank that they’re a little family unit together when being tortured by the Saints men and not giving up Franks location.
I would rate this a solid: