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Punisher, the


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2 used from CDN$ 17.49

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Mca (Universal)
  • VHS Release Date: July 1 2001
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630195565X
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,147 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

First, a few facts. Dolph Lundgren expresses emotions ranging from stoic to, well, really stoic. There are holes in the story large enough to pilot the Exxon Valdez through without spilling a drop. And the film is littered with action movie clichés. But none of this matters. The Punisher succeeds because it stays true to its origins, the Marvel comic of the same name. Studio-engineered films such as Batman never quite capture the mixture of loyalty and betrayal, justice and revenge, moral ambiguity and emotional truth that are the hallmarks of the graphic novel. Films such as Darkman do. So does The Punisher. Lundgren plays Frank Castle, a dedicated policeman whose family was wiped out in a mob hit. He went underground (literally) and, as the Punisher, has been exacting his revenge, killing 125 mobsters in the past five years. But when the yakuza (Japanese Mafia) moves in on the mob's territory and kidnaps their children, it's up to the Punisher to rescue the kids. The action blazes, Lundgren (a former full-contact karate champ) moves with feral grace, the production design is a pleasure to watch, and director Mark Goldblatt (whose credits as editor include such big films as Starship Troopers and True Lies) has a clean, efficient style. --Geof Miller

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on June 18 2004
Format: DVD
Let's face it, before Blade (1998), X-Men (2000) and Spider-Man (2002), Marvel Comics really didn't have much luck in getting successful films made based on their characters. The reason? Because they would often sell the movie rights to anyone who had two coins to rub together, releasing cinematic flops like Dr. Strange (1978), Howard the Duck (1986), Captain America (1989), and even a Fantastic Four movie that was so bad it never saw the light of day, as it was too bad to even release on video. And then there was The Punisher (1989), a character introduced in the 70's within the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man, issue 129, circa February 1974, a former police detective, now vigilante, taking revenge on criminals, motivated by the death of his family. Most people I know who've seen the film have pretty distinctive feelings about it, ranging from dislike to severe hate, but I always thought it was pretty good, considering...
The film, directed by Mark Goldblatt, whose primary credits include editing films like The Howling (1981), The Terminator (1984), and True Lies (1994), stars Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett, Jr., and Jerome Krabbé. Yeah, I know what you're thinking...Dolph Lundgren? I think a number of people had instant reservations when hearing Dolph, certainly an interminable dweller of the B movie circuit, pre-judging the film unfairly. Lou Gossett, Jr. brings a little star power to the table, but he also is no stranger to B movie fans appearing in films like Jaws 3-D (1983), Firewalker (1986), and any of the four or so Iron Eagle films.
The film opens with a television news report, giving us some expository background with regards to a mafia type recently acquitted of the crime of killing detective Frank Castle (Lungren) and his family five years prior.
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By A Customer on April 20 2004
Format: DVD
This movie is great for what it is: an 80's Punisher movie. It's also the type of movie that seperates those who enjoy a great action movie from the more dogmatic and less fun. Take a look at the reviews on this site and you'll see what I mean. Action fans, who have read some Punsher comics and think it's a fun character, know an 80's action movie when they see one and can appreciate them for what they are: escapism. They enjoyed this movie.
You also have the flip side of the coin. These folks can't get past the Punisher's shirt, his having the wrong number or gender of kids, the wrong mobsters being the baddies, the wrong form of execution of his family (it's a car bomb in the movie), the wrong location of the execution (it's not in Central Park)...etc. and this is not a happy bunch. They aren't happy when Dolph is super-heroic and they aren't happy when he's more human and his shirt really bugs them.
Do any of these changes really get in the way of the movie being a great 80's action film. No. It's still a decent and entertaining movie, but they would disagree. "The Punisher has on the wrong shirt" is a major complaint, and "the new movie will be better" they hoped in vain. "Better" meant more true in every little detail to the book with no changes.
Now the '04 Punisher has arrived. Other than the shirt is the 2004 Punisher free of many of the "problems" that geekdom has with the '89 movie? Not really. Once again it seems the bad guy isn't exactly right in the new one, the Punisher's family isn't exactly right, and they are killed in Puerto Rico and not in Central Park...etc. and once again there will be folks that won't be happy. They are very "by the book" and the word escapism apparently is not in their book.
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By Crazy Jim on March 22 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Not to be confused with its 2004 remake, Mark Goldblatt's dark and unapologeticly violent comic book adaption from 1989 takes onscreen brutality to a new level. Dolph Lundgren is a former cop, believed to have been murdered in a car bomb that ended his family's life, who exacts revenge on the crime syndicate that he believes is responsible. Louis Gossett, Jr. is a cop who believes that all of these murders are in fact being caused by his former partner. With the mafia bosses suffering such massive losses, the head of the Yakuza enters and violent assurts herself into the acquation, kidnapping the bosses' children and holding them for ransom. With nowhere else to turn, the bosses call on "The Punisher" for an unlikely alliance.
"Punisher" is excessively violent. There are torture scenes, bloody shoot-outs, and more than a few people getting kicked in the face with blade-tipped shoes. The story, courtesy of Boaz Yakin, does have a sense of humor though. Most of the film's big laughs come from Barry Otto's drunken out-of-work theatre peformer who doubles as Lundgren's unwilling sidekick. Lundgren himself gets to drop a few funny one-liners as well while Louis Gossett and Jeroen Krabbe give performances that prove worthy of their resume. The relatively-unknown Kim Myori is also great as the super evil Yakuza boss.
As far as full-length comic book movies go, this one is not quite on the level of Tim Burton's "Batman" or Sam Raimi's "Spider Man" but there have certainly been a lot worse.
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