The Punisher. A man who keeps a record of the scum that he puts to waste in his journal of death. Who do we think of when we think about this vigilante?
This movie is a documentary on the harsh life that Dolph Lundgren endured each day in the 80's. Back then, Marvel didn't have much for movies so they decided to capture footage of Dolph during his day-to-day routines and call it The Punisher. The movie starts off after Dolph has already claimed 125 lives in 5 years. How has he managed to do this you might ask? Well you see, he lives nude in the sewers and...
"THE GUILTY WILL BE PUNISHED!"
Yeah, if you watch this movie. That is what you will see. Apparently they do go with the whole "family was murdered and now I'm a vigilante" routine, but they changed the names of the family and made the murder incident a car-bombing. But it's okay because the Punisher does spend the entire movie killing people. Not the people who killed his family, but still people. When he's not working on his awesome tan in the sewers, he spends his time killing Yakuza who kidnap children. After killing the Yakuza, the children often end up scared out of their minds and then wish the Yakuza would protect them from the boogeyman named Dolph Lundgren.
Memorable Quotes -
'You're a good boy, Tommy. Grow up to be a good man. Because if you don't... I'll be waiting.'
This version is a more sophisticated Punisher movie. It takes it self much more seriously and opens with the brutal massacre of not only Frank Castle's wife and son, but every single person on Earth named Castle. What brutal monster of a man could do this to the Punisher?
Don't worry it's the guy on the right, but nobody's ruling out Mickey's involvement.
After the massacre, the Punisher heals his wounds by walking it off just like in the comics and then goes to the mafia manor guns ablazing and takes out the entire mafia family within just a few minutes just like in the comics... Oh wait. That was just a Punisher comic, not the actual movie. No what happened in the actual movie involves a medicine man who heals him with magic and then a skull shirt washing ashore. Then the rest of the movie involves the Punisher spying on John Travolta's gay henchmen, making Travolta's wife receive a parking ticket, and getting his ass kicked by a senior citizen with a guitar and a russian wrestler inside his own apartment. If they know where he lives then why don't they send all the hitmen at once?
Well I guess this works...
If only the writers of the video game wrote this movie. It'd probably involve alot more of the Punisher being the Punisher and not being the Punishee. Lets see if the Russian fight in the game went any better for video game Frank...
Why was this game so short?!
But at least he tortures criminals to make them tell him everything he needs to know... with popsicles. But it's okay because that was taken out of an actual Punisher comic! And boy what a manly punisher that was!
(Not seen. Popsicles.)
Can you just imagine the wanted vigilante walking into a grocery store and buying a box of push-pops? Wonder what the game writers did instead of using popsicles...
Guess he ran out of Ice cream...
Speaking of buying popsicles at the store, what store did he manage to buy all those explosives to set up a perfectly coreographed Punisher skull in the Saints parking lot??
How do people get their cars out of the middle if they want to leave early?
"Those who do evil to others - the killers, the rapists, psychos, sadists - you will come to know me well. Frank Castle is dead. Call me... The Punisher."
"It won't hurt at first. It's too hot, you see? The flame sears the nerve endings shut, killing them. You'll go into shock... and all you'll feel is... cold. Isn't science fun, Mickey?" (Mickey was involved!!)
We're onto you Disney...
In a world of remakes and reboots, none does it more different than the originals than Marvel does. It's too bad it always takes them at least twice before the decide to just explain the origin story within a few minutes by the third movie. Luckily this origin sticks completely true to the comic book in which the Punisher's family is massacred at a picnic after witnessing a mob event occuring. In fact this entire movie stays very true to the source material and it works when you look past all the B-ratedness of the entire movie...
"I miss Seinfeld"
But what the director went for was a Punisher film that's true to the comic violence and doesn't ruin itself by trying to take itself seriously. The director even manged to give the Punisher a new costume everyone can agree with.
"I was just saying that it -looks- like a turtle neck!"
Who is The Punisher fighting this time? Yakuza? The actual crime family who killed his own family minus John Travolta and Mickey Mouse? Nope...
Meet Jigsaw and Loony Bin Jim. They're brothers. The resemblance might not be there, but their lack of sanity is very close in comparison. Jigsaw starts out a simple mobster with a bad accent named Billy who is thrown into a pit of glass by the Punisher. After surviving and emerging from the pit he then decides to call himself Jigsaw and scold anyone who calls him Billy.
"My name is Jigsaw!!!"
He then decides the only person who can help him get revenge on the Punisher is locked up in a mental hospital. So he breaks his brother Loony Bin Jim out of the hospital and recruit every gang in the city to start a war against the Punisher. They then hide up inside a building with all the gangs and lure the Punisher to the building by kidnapping Punisher's less-than-valuable sidekick Microchip (The fat Seinfeld guy played by Wayne Knight) and the wife and daughter of an undercover cop the Punisher accidentally kills early in the movie. Drama! The Punisher then makes his way head on into the trap and declares it a warzone! Get it! Because that's what this movie is called! What ensues is several scenes of the Punisher punishing people, but then comes the battle that everyone has been waiting for...the brawl between the 6'4 Frank Castle and the...wait... 5'6 Loony Bin Jim? That doesn't sound as challenging as the Russian from the 2004 Punisher movie... I'm sure the Punisher kicked Loony Bin Jim's loony...
"Yummy, yummy, yummy in my tummy, tummy, tummy."
"For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "
The Punisher (1989) movie is basically a Dolph Lundgren movie trying to be a comic book movie. The Punisher (2004) movie is a dark vigilante movie that ruins itself by trying to be a comic book movie by adding unwanted humor to a screenplay that otherwise wants to go in the same direction as Taxi Driver and Deathwish. Infact Thomas Jane wanted to do a Punisher sequel and make it aimed towards being like Taxi Driver and not like the Punisher at all. Punisher: Warzone (2008) relishes in it's B-movie style acting and throws in cameo after cameo and homage after homage of famous character references from stories like The Punisher MAX series. It's almost like the director knew this movie would be the last shot at The Punisher for a long time to come and she just wanted to make it more like a fan piece rather than make the same mistakes the Punisher (2004) made. In the end we're stuck with three very different Punishers who didn't take home any oscars.
Three movies and the only award won is for best fire stunt. Wow.