The Punisher

Watching THE PUNISHER starring Thomas Jane, I felt conflicted over the presentation. It starts off pretty straight and lean, and there is a rather grim view of the world born out the loss of his family. That said, as the film progresses there is a distinct whiff of camp and silliness that is doubtless brought about by its comic book origins, Mr. Jane’s studied dourness, and John Travolta’s unintentionally humorous villain. I will say Will Patton is good as Travolta’s right hand man, and the stunts are impressively physical and well executed given the low budget of the film. It looks suitably comic book real, and has some pleasures to it. Still, the sequel, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE was a lot darker and far funnier in a grisly fashion, and Ray Stevenson made for a more compelling Punisher. Ah, comic book films!

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