Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.18%
Worth A Look: 12.5%
Just Average: 8.82%
Pretty Crappy: 20.59%

6 reviews, 100 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Peter Sobczynski

House With A Clock In Its Walls, The by Peter Sobczynski

Life Itself (2018) by Peter Sobczynski

Unity of Heroes by Jay Seaver

Hanagatami by Jay Seaver

Predator, The by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Rob Gonsalves

Madeline's Madeline by Jay Seaver

Won't You Be My Neighbor? by Rob Gonsalves

Brothers' Nest by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Punisher, The (2004)
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"Someone needs some Prozac in a SERIOUS way."
2 stars

Who wants to see a movie about a guy who takes it upon himself to punish people? Fighting for justice and capturing bad guys is one thing; that's what superheroes are supposed to do. But actually PUNISHING them? That's for the courts, dude. LEARN YOUR CHECKS AND BALANCES, MR. PUNISHER!

The punisher in "The Punisher," a relentlessly dark and unintentionally funny movie, is Frank Castle (Thomas Jane), a tightly abbed, often shirtless man who has just retired from the FBI despite being, what, 35? On his last bust, a screwed-up punk got killed, and now the kid's father -- powerful underworld boss and nightclub owner Howard Saint (John Travolta) -- wants revenge.

Saint's idea of revenge is not to kill Castle, however. It's to kill Castle and his family. But it's not just the wife and son who get axed, like it usually is in revenge movies. It's his ENTIRE FAMILY -- parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, everyone. This is easily accomplished because the Castle family has conveniently scheduled a reunion in Puerto Rico on the very weekend that Saint decides he wants them all dead. (If family reunions weren't already a bad idea, here's another reason to avoid them.)

Frank Castle survives, though, and now HE wants revenge. He's gonna take down the whole operation, every part of the Saint crime organization. He'll hatch elaborate plots to turn the Saints and their associates against one another, plant evidence and manipulate facts to get them where he wants them, and spend weeks training, planning and scheming. And yet still, as it always does in these movies, it will all come down to two men shooting at each other.

The film is directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, a film writer ("Armageddon," "Die Hard: With a Vengeance") making his debut in this capacity, and written by Hensleigh and Michael France ("Hulk," GoldenEye"). It is based on a Marvel comic book, one of the more unusual titles, as it deals with a character who has neither super powers nor a particularly good motive: Once he's avenged his family's death, why does he need to go around killing OTHER people who have wronged someone? Again, fight the crime if you want, but QUIT KILLING PEOPLE!

The dialogue is frequently laughable, and the supporting characters -- including a trio of misfits who live in the apartment next to Castle's -- are cartoonish. It's all kind of diverting, in a big, dumb way, but it doesn't come close to connecting on the level that the good comic book films have done, and it's too dark and occasionally gruesomely violent to feel very "fun" anyway.

Travolta's insane, fey villain, Jane's steely-eyed avenger, the henchmen and goons and lackeys -- shouldn't Steven Seagal be starring in this? And if he were, would I even have wasted THIS much space writing about it?

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=9242&reviewer=247
originally posted: 04/17/04 19:53:54
[printer] printer-friendly format  
Marvel Characters: For more in the Marvel Characters series, click here.

User Comments

9/21/17 morris campbell IT SUCKS 1 stars
6/21/15 David Hollingsworth not even thomas jane's muscles can save this piece of junk 1 stars
10/29/13 The Big D The guy sitting next to you wasn't farting; the stench came from the movie! 1 stars
9/25/13 David Hollingsworth A gay man's wet dream, and not in a good way 1 stars
2/19/11 Ark Basicallly a turd, I found the '89 version actually funny ! 2 stars
8/02/09 David A. A rugged individual gets mad and goes on a kill rampage--that's all it is. 1 stars
2/05/09 cody a very good action movie, thomas jane is awesome as frank castle. let thebodies hit !!!! 4 stars
10/21/08 Dan Wasn't a great movie, but damn it was pretty cool. Good acting and really good country song 4 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner Intense Action!! 5 stars
10/24/07 Monday Morning Needed more tits, drugs and gunplay but still good 5 stars
8/07/07 Johnny Tom Jane is one Grade A slab of beefcake, great eye-candy for the women & gay guys at least 4 stars
7/22/07 johnnyfog Great battles!...But bookended with heinous violence that made me depressed. 4 stars
6/05/07 The Peacemaker A different and unique style of "punishmen". Well done. 4 stars
2/09/07 Frank Rountree Real stunts and stuntmen! No CGI crap! Good action movie 4 stars
1/03/07 Alex Thorne Chris Parry, u are wrong!. they had $2 mill and 1 month to shoot. ace film!!! TJ rocks! 5 stars
12/11/06 Morow A kik ass movie 5 stars
11/01/06 R.W.Welch Popcorn flick; passable for the genre. 3 stars
10/17/06 Sugarfoot A fun film, I liked the Dolph Lundgren one also though. 4 stars
10/15/06 Pritchett It was better than HULK, but...that's not saying much, is it? 1 stars
9/26/06 Jarkko Perälä Simply, irredeemably unlikable 1 stars
9/16/06 dan thepunish crash great film loved it, great start to many more to come. cant wait to see punisher2. 5 stars
9/09/06 matt probably the worst comic book movie ever, even worse than spawn 1 stars
8/14/06 George Goodman One of The most enjoyable films I've ever seen 5 stars
5/02/06 Anthony Feor Travolta brings the rating down, but Tom Jane is on the right track 2 stars
3/27/06 Brian Meyer Average revenge flick. lose the 3 circus freak sidekicks and it's watchable. 3 stars
10/23/05 Suk-R-Punch In a dead-on tie with HULK (of shit) and BLADE 1 & 3 for worst Marvel movie ever made! 1 stars
10/15/05 OodlesofOs I did get an enema instead...'saw this later on DVD...'enjoyed the enema more. 1 stars
10/12/05 Bryant Gumby I wish I had gotten an enema instead. 1 stars
10/11/05 Jennifer Free A lot of gore. 1 stars
10/10/05 Biz-e WATCH OUT FOR THE SHIT-BOMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
10/07/05 Jonathon Holmes John Travilta should be ashamed of himself for signing on to this turd 1 stars
9/25/05 tony Tom jane was better in deep blue sea.Also, Travolta needs to get a life 2 stars
9/22/05 Jakub Were they trying to punish the audience?! Or just bore them to death??? 1 stars
9/15/05 drippy Wow...how could they fuck up a simple revenge tale TWO TIMES?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? 1 stars
9/12/05 matt big steaming pile of CRAP 1 stars
9/06/05 Bitchum This movie was poop on a stick. 1 stars
9/05/05 JubJub I don't think they could have made it more boring, stupid, and just plain B-A-D!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
9/03/05 Craven I didn't think they could screw it up worse than the Lundgren film...I was wrong. 1 stars
9/02/05 Mailk I walked out of the theater and, once I stopped laughing, forgot everything I'd just seen. 1 stars
9/01/05 Edward What a disappointment...all those years for them to get it right this time...wasted. 1 stars
8/31/05 unlimited Makes the 1989 version look like a masterpiece of comic-book perfection! 1 stars
8/30/05 Vasquez they've crafted the most boring, pointless, and stupid revenge film ever made. 1 stars
8/29/05 Brisbane God...they just had no clue, did they? Not a single clue. So sad and pathetic, this is. 1 stars
8/16/05 ES Mr. Travolta shows us the same bad guy from swordfish, broken arrow, battlefield earth... 1 stars
7/25/05 Scott "Made you kill your best friend. Made you kill your wife. Now I've killed you." 5 stars
5/27/05 cinkcool cheesy junk 1 stars
5/24/05 Jake Highly Underrated. I don't understand why a lot of people hate this flick. 5 stars
5/16/05 what? yeah, like we've never seen this shit before 1 stars
3/26/05 indrid cold There's a brief sequence at the end where he's actually "The Punisher". What the hell? 2 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Explosive and enjoyable! Worth the time. Great movie if you weren't into the comic. 5 stars
1/04/05 carlos r guzman the last 15 minutes more accurate w/ comic, but the rest of film was comic-al 1 stars
12/10/04 the Grinch Makes the original Punisher movie look like Die Hard 1 stars
12/08/04 Kristina Williams God, this was bad. I cheered when his family got WASTED! 2 stars
11/23/04 DaveDaRave The mad max of my generation. Dark moody, loved it 4 stars
11/18/04 hoy pinoy ako 1 stars
11/15/04 Dunce I can't believe I'm saying this but it's true - THE DOLPH LUNDGREN FILM IS BETTER. 1 stars
11/09/04 chaz The costume, plot, characters are NOTHING like the comic. 2 stars
11/07/04 i have huge eyes christos has big eyes 5 stars
10/22/04 LilyM Unexpectedly enjoyable. Ending's a letdown, though. 4 stars
10/10/04 Matt Waterhouse Far better than indicated by reviews like this. Old-school revenge flick that does the job! 4 stars
9/26/04 Viktor Navorski why movie bad??? movie not bad!!!!! 5 stars
9/23/04 Agent Sands GREAT action sequences. Some of the most well-staged violence in recent memory. Good score. 5 stars
9/15/04 CK it was better than daredevil or hulk and i think anyone who liked those others is nuts! 5 stars
9/11/04 Gray w Vicious said plus I loved the popcicle scene 3 stars
9/08/04 Scott Hoffman The Guiltiest Pleasure I Have Spent In A Long Time!!!! 5 stars
9/07/04 Vicious Better than expected but the Punisher demands to be darker, more violent Tarentino-ish 4 stars
8/27/04 Mike Stanbridge Worth every penny i spent and will spend! 5 stars
8/13/04 terrence garner punisher should have been more heartless. He's definitley better at hand-to-hand combat!!! 4 stars
7/30/04 Nikolai This side toward adolescents easily separated from their wallets 1 stars
7/12/04 Chris LOVED IT and I'm a hardcore Punisher fan 5 stars
7/07/04 cap8al great movie 5 stars
6/26/04 malcolm hilarious! what? what do u mean it wasn't a comedy? 2 stars
6/25/04 M As bad as SPAWN! but delicious eye candy 2 stars
6/11/04 Shawn Awesome!! movie critics dont know shit 5 stars
6/06/04 Ninja Williams Action Packed 5 stars
6/05/04 alien assassin Sick rubbish 1 stars
6/04/04 Mr. me Great fun! fuck the idiots who think it sucked 4 stars
5/29/04 Cameron Slick Disgusting and poorly adapted comic book movie grinding its superhero into reality. 1 stars
5/25/04 Hilarium Completely missed the point of the character. Where's the conflict? Whare's the action? 2 stars
5/08/04 Stephanie LOVED IT, I HOPE THERE IS A PUNISHER 2 5 stars
5/05/04 Ajax Horrible, horrible stuff. Like Death Wish part 56, only worse. 1 stars
5/03/04 John The film was alright, despite the bullshit that the movie critics usually spew out. 4 stars
4/25/04 Meryl We laughed through the whole thing - my god, it was awful. 1 stars
4/25/04 astrotart Survey Says: Thomas Jane, shirtless through half the movie, was directing at its best!!! 4 stars
4/24/04 Me okay 3 stars
4/23/04 AfroFett Punisher's "origin" and Ennis-style humor didn't mix too well 3 stars
4/22/04 CrowEater What did you expect the first "Punisher" movie starred Dolph Lundgren!! 2 stars
4/21/04 Mark Planteri What else can you expect from John Travlota? 1 stars
4/21/04 meat-cheese-dirt fine filmmaking if you're retarded and on crack 1 stars
4/19/04 KingNeutron Nice to see the gal from Broken Arrow again; hard to watch (torture scene) in spots, but OK 4 stars
4/19/04 Andrew this movie was awesome, i hope they make a 2nd one, it stayed true to most of the stories 5 stars
4/19/04 Mike V It's a great, dark, R-rated, comic book movie. 4 stars
4/19/04 A F If the whole thing wasn't bad enough, he had to say "Call me The Punisher". Call me Bored. 1 stars
4/18/04 luke good movie 5 stars
4/18/04 Christina never read the comic, but damn was it THIS bad? 1 stars
4/18/04 Maxx2004 If you like the comic avoid the movie, an insult to the work of Garth Ennis and Marvel 1 stars
4/17/04 Severe Grisley tale of a man who avenges 30 murders by commiting about as many himself. Brilliant. 3 stars
4/17/04 Unknown Very horrid film. 1 stars
4/16/04 nuked what a crap load of a movie. go read a comic instead. 1 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  16-Apr-2004 (R)
  DVD: 21-Nov-2006



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast