The Most Underated Comic Book Film Ever Made
"The Punisher" is one of the most intriquing super hero films I've ever seen. The film is based off the popular Marvel comic book character. The story begins with an undercover cop, Frank Castle (Tom Jane) busting a son of a mafia leader, Howard Saint (John Travolta), in a drug shipment. However, when Howard finds out about it, he orders to have Frank's entire family killed at a family reunion. Frank, being the sole survivor of the massacre, vows revenge, and dedicates his life to punishing the guilty and aiding the innocent using nothing but guns and violence. The good old American way! The story is basically your run of the mill revenge tale, but the direction and character development engulfs the viewer into the film. The visuals were intense allowing for people to see the violent life Frank leads after becoming the Punisher. However, it seems like the film goes too far out it's way to show excessive violence. In one scene, you see Frank cut a man's head in half with a knife. Yep, just your typical Kodak moment there. "The Punisher" is a excessively violent film, but it's definitely worth watching.
Besides looking like the character, Tom Jane does a good job playing the Punisher. In the film, it would've been easy to have cheesy one liners and be like Vin Diesel and Arnold Schwarzenneger but instead, Tom plays the character as just another guy whom feels that society has failed him. Because of this approach, it allows the viewer to see how Frank has become isolated in his quest for revenge. In one scene, Frank's neighbors invite him to a party, but he is too upset to enjoy himself. The Punisher doesn't have any super powers nor any bat gadgets, so he has to use other methods to fight crime. This allows the audience to buy into the story.
The direction of the film was great as well. The director does a great job creating a dark world full of deciet, lies, love, lust, and violence with grittingly real characters.
Sadly, the story isn't that original, with the whole revenge stuff, and the film could've been toned down the violence. I'm not one of those people that get offended by violence, but it does make you question if a lot of that stuff was neccessary. I don't mind seeing guys get shot, stabbed, ran over, or blown up on screen. I just question if it was neccesary to see guys get their heads split open with a knife, plucking out earings off a guys face, or get shot then get dragged through a bunch of exploding cars. It just seems like the director and writers might've been trying too hard to make this film dark.
"The Punisher" is still a solid action film. With good acting and direction, Marvel is able to deliver another good product onto the big screen. Although it's a bit excessive with the violence, it's still one of the best super hero films out there.