HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
Funeral Home, The
Sailors Three
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  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 3475 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
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: