The Punisher

The Punisher

Jonathan Hensleigh (2004)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Based on the Marvel comic of the same name, this faithful take obliterates the 1989 Dolph Lundgren version. The feature debut of Die Hard with a Vengeance's screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh, it's loud, fast and extremely vicious. Deep Blue Sea star Tom (then Thomas) Jane plays former FBI special agent Frank Castle, who turns vigilante when his family is gunned down on the orders of Florida Mob boss John Travolta. Dressed literally to kill in the antihero's trademark skull-emblazoned T-shirt, Jane has the cool air of a superhuman rock star as he orchestrates the darkest of retributions. There's no let up in the destruction and violence, nor is there any semblance of reality. The film's every element, from costumes to scenery, seems to be engineered for ultimate ocular effect, while even reliable actors such as Rebecca Romijn-Stamos are eclipsed by Travolta's excessive theatrics. Consequently, although the murder sequences of Castle's wife and son are painfully tragic, there's no real emotion, only visual spectacle, in everything that follows.


FBI agent Frank Castle enrages a powerful gangland kingpin when a gunfight accidentally causes the death of the mobster's son. The crime boss retaliates by wiping out Castle's entire family, but the lawman reinvents himself as a vigilante, acting as judge, jury and executioner to the underworld. Thriller based on the Marvel comic-book anti-hero, starring Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Will Patton, Rebecca Romijn and Roy Scheider.

Cast & Crew

Frank Castle / The Punisher Thomas Jane
Howard Saint John Travolta
Joan Rebecca Romijn-Stamos
Quentin Glass Will Patton
Frank Castle Sr Roy Scheider
Livia Saint Laura Harring
Spacker Dave Ben Foster
Maria Castle Samantha Mathis
John Saint / Bobby Saint James Carpinello
Jimmy Weeks Russell Andrews
Micky Duka Eddie Jemison
Mr Bumpo John Pinette
The Russian Kevin Nash
Harry Heck Mark Collie
Director Jonathan Hensleigh
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia TriStarGuidance: Violence, swearing, a sex scene, brief nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 24 Sep 2004