September 19, 2004

The Punisher by Jonathan Hensleigh, 2004

5.5
wow. not even Thomas Jane was able to save this dreck of a movie. what a shitty job these guys did. i wanna give these guys some props for trying to make it a darker-than-average flick but, shit, there's so many things wrong with it: a mostly brooding Thomas Jane that inexplicably throws wisecracks around every once in a while; cartoony characters; actors who aren't left any room to breathe life into their characters; a series of scenes that are just attached to one another for no reason; etc. nothing. there was a five minute span towards the end where it got interesting but that's it. it's a revenge flick but there's never any emotional attachment to the main character other than, 'oh, his family got killed. he must avenge them.' we don't care that much. oh god, Jonathan Hensleigh co-wrote Armageddon, Jumanji, and Die Hard with a Vengeance. this was his first directorial job. the short shooting schedule might have played a part in the failure of this film but i'm also holding Hensleigh (and cinematographer Conrad W Hall) personally responsible for this hack job. it should've been gritty, realistic, and dark. instead it looks like an overlight direct-to-video hack job. they failed. [ the dvd, though, includes some excellent featurettes that explain the origins of Frank Castle, right up to Tim Bradstreet's excellent cover designs. Lions Gate, in a very wise move, used his art to market the film. too bad the gritty style and tone were nowhere to be found in the actual film, though. ] Rebecca Romijn is one of the good things about the film, though, showing she can still effortlessly act her ass off. the best thing about it: Thomas Jane in the Punisher skull shirt. but avoid this film. it's a by-the-numbers straight-to-video flick. too bad. i really wanted to like this film.

Posted by Sam | 10:09 AM |