(Review originally written at 13 May 2006)

This is a very straight forward action flick with lots of violence and tough characters. Fans of the action genre will most definitely not be disappointed by this movie.

From the start on, you know that this movie is a violent one that doesn't hold back. After we've seen the entire family of Frank Castle being killed (and I mean every single last family member, both young and old) you know that this movie is going to be different from most other action movies. It's a movie that is very straight forward and doesn't hold back but at the very same time it doesn't try to force, or go too much over-the-top. I think this is most probably thanks to the directing skills of Jonathan Hensleigh and the talented cast that was involved with this movie that makes it a very enjoyable, cool and still somewhat credible, summer-action-flick.

The story is basically very simple and is set around one very simple good old fashioned concept; vengeance, or maybe even better said; punishment. It's not really a sort of action movie that needs much story. The characters, both the main 'hero' and the main villain are interesting enough to carry the entire movie and make it a very pleasant one to watch. Even though the main 'hero' is pretty dark and brutal himself, you still root for him because you understand him.

Thomas Jane is pretty good as the leading man and he proves that he is a great and perhaps somewhat underrated action movie star. It's always a pleasure to see John Travolta in a villainous role and he certainly also does not disappoint in this movie. Same goes for Will Patton, who also was really great in this movie (he's beginning to look old and fat now by the way.). Roy Scheider also shows up in a small role, or better said cameo as Frank Castle Sr. Kevin Nash plays a pretty cool role as a Russian hit-man. The fight sequence between him and the main character was one of the highlights of the movie to me.

But seriously, were all those sequence's with the Punisher's neighbors really necessary? I understand that they were put in the movie to still give the main character an humane and more soft side but the sequences just didn't worked out good enough and perhaps only were distracting from the main plot line. The sequences also are really a waste of Rebecca Romijn's qualities. She doesn't get to do anything good or interesting in the movie. Why did she even agreed to be in this?

It's nothing too memorable all and the action and story themselves are nothing more than average but it's the straight-forwardness of the movie that makes me regard this one as an above average one, that has more to offer than the average, simple action flick. The style of the movie also ain't bad and hopefully we'll hear more from director Jonathan Hensleigh (who already is a successful writer of many well known action movies) in the future.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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