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The Punisher (2004)

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An undercover FBI agent becomes a vigilante assassin and sets out to unleash his wrath upon the corrupt businessman who slaughtered his entire family at a reunion.

Director:

Jonathan Hensleigh
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1,553 ( 23)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
A. Russell Andrews ... Jimmy Weeks (as Russell Andrews)
Omar Avila ... Joe Toro
James Carpinello ... Bobby Saint / John Saint
Mark Collie ... Harry Heck
Russell Durham Comegys ... Tattooed Mike (as Russ Comegys)
Antoni Corone ... T.J.
Rick Elmhurst Rick Elmhurst ... Bay News 9 Newscaster
Ben Foster ... Spacker Dave
Michael Reardon Michael Reardon ... Toro Croupier (as Michael Francis)
Laura Harring ... Livia Saint
William Haze ... EMT (as William Hasenzahl)
Thomas Jane ... Frank Castle (as Tom Jane)
Eddie Jemison ... Micky Duka
Marco St. John ... Police Chief Morris
Marcus Johns ... Will Castle
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Storyline

Special agent Frank Castle had it all: A loving family, a great life, and an adventurous job. But when his life is taken away from him by a ruthless criminal and his associates, Frank has become reborn. Now serving as judge, jury, and executioner, he's a new kind of vigilante out to wage a one man war against those who have done him wrong. Written by Mystic80

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The punishment has begun. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive brutal violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Punisher See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,000,000, 18 April 2004

Gross USA:

$33,810,189

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,700,105
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hugh Jackman was offered to play Frank Castle but passed on it and instead starred in Van Helsing (2004). See more »

Goofs

(at around 26 mins) Obvious stunt double when the Blazer starts to flip over. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bobby Saint: So I'm gonna get a three-to-one return on my money?
Micky Duka: Otto is the real deal. I met him at a hash bar in Amsterdam. He speaks Russian, German, Arabic...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Marvel Comics logo features comic-book images of the Punisher in its pages; after it fully forms, it is shot three times and "bleeds" white paint which forms the Punisher's skull, and the film's title. See more »

Alternate Versions

German theatrical version was cut rather sloppily for violence (34 seconds) to secure a "Not under 18" rating from the FSK. The uncut version is available on Blu-ray/DVD and has no FSK rating but a SPIO/JK approval. See more »

Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Broken
Written by Shaun Morgan (as Shaun Welgemoed) and Dale Stewart
Published by Seether Publishing and Dwight Frye Music, Inc. (BMI)
All rights adm. by Dwight Frye Music, Inc.
Performed by Seether featuring Amy Lee
Courtesy of Wind-up Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Old-school
30 October 2006 | by Flagrant-BaronessaSee all my reviews

Producers and distributors alike can try to market this as a superhero movie all they want but the fact is that at the end of the day The Punisher is an action movie – no more, no less. That is not to say it is a bad achievement, for the end product is fun, exhilarating and stylish. I do however feel it is extremely important to debunk the 'comic book' label since it is both unjustly applied and it will perhaps generate false expectations from the mainstream audience.

Although The Punisher is adapted from Marvel Comics, the R-rating alone should be blunt indicator of the path it intends to take. Half an hour into the film it still leaves us clueless and oblivious to the dark turn it will twist into. During which Thomas Jane undergoes an apt transformation of character from heartfelt family man on that one last undercover op to a hard-boiled, brooding vigilante who downs whiskey, swears, tortures and broods. The catalyst for this development is the brutal murder of his family and now he's out to get the hierarchy of villains (headed by John Travolta) – only he isn't just out for vengeance or justice – he's out to punish. In a corrupt city of thugs, Frank Castle becomes the judge, jury and executor.

What is so refreshing about Thomas Jane in the part of Punisher is that he is a sprawling surge of old school with a splash of Clint Eastwood protagonist – the detached, effortless action hero who is too cool for romantic interests, with hardcore one-liners and a merciless approach to duels. In this way, he is easily one of the most successful 'superhero' actors of the new millennium. But alas, Jane went unnoticed and Punisher did poorly at the box office probably BECAUSE it adopted this off-beat, old-school style to acting and action.

I also want to comment on said action, which was spectacular. Truth to be told, I have been waiting a long time to say that about a film. Usually it's the obligatory "the visuals are stunning" or "it's extremely fast-paced and kinetic" but here the sheer hand-to-hand combat is the film's goldmine because it moves back into close character mode instead of the epic scenarios that Batman, Superman and Spiderman dish out to keep out interest. It's gloriously gritty, graphic and dirty which unfortunately also begs the question of where the $33,000,000 budget went. Did they spend it all on late night taco runs?

For that matter, The Punisher is far from devoid of faults. Its fatal flaw stems, in part, from what made it a good film in the first place: its sparseness of effects, general minimalism and lack of superhero formula. Rather it is a model-kit assembled from seedy old-school revenge action movies, the type you'd sort of casually catch a bit of on TV one night.

7 out of 10


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