The Punisher: Not a total disappointment

Tuesday, May 4, 2004


Written by Monique Loveless

Monique Loveless

I have no prior connection to this particular comic book, so I found myself intrigued by the trailer for this film. I did not know what to expect because the story line was a little foreign to me going in to the theatre. Comic book movies either disappoint or compliment the stories they are portraying, making them accessible to the possibility of a greater fanatic fan base.

The Punisher was surprisingly good. As I said I did not have any prior connection to the comic book, but for a comic book/action movie it was great. It had a good story that wrenched at the heart. The massacre scene of the Castle’s (the punisher) family was disturbing in its utter brutality, especially the deaths of his beautiful wife and young son.

John Travolta (Mr. Saint, he blames Castle for his younger son’s murder and as a result has Castle’s entire family killed) was not disappointing in the role of weird head bad guy. His character did not have a lot of depth, which worked because we as an audience are supposed to hate him. The character’s that inhabit the decrepit apartment building Castle ‘sets up shop in’ adds comic relief to the unbelievable situation which Castle has found himself in.

Assumed dead after the massacre, Castle returns to find nothing has been done about the murders of his family. To make matters worst the family presumed themselves out of danger because he was leaving his dangerous life of active FBI agent to work behind a desk. Instead, Castle spends his time punishing those that took everything from him.

There were some cheesy moments in the film, the ending being one of them, but that is to be expected with any film now days, especially the comic movie genre. The cheesiness was more then adequately balanced by the fight scenes. The scene between “the Russian” was comical and very amusing, since the guy seems indestructible until the end of course. The big climactic fight elicited amazement from the crowd. Some of the ways the ‘bad’ guys died were impeccable and at the same time disgusting, but let’s be honest that’s why people attend these movies. The film was better than the average action movie because it had a story about a man devastated by a great loss and everything is not fixed or made better at the end. The ending leaves a set up for a sequel, but that’s okay because this one was one of the best movies I have seen lately.

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