The Punisher Is the Worst Movie I've Ever Seen

I should like to apologize for the scatterbrained approach of this near-pitting. It was written on the el ride home on my Palm. I ran it through Word to catch the most glaring errors, but the information contained below is so important, I needed to disseminate it immediately. I don’t think there are any spoilers, but be warned all the same.

Welcome back Frank indeed.*

As your friend and respected counsel, I highly recommend that you do everything in your power to avoid seeing this movie. Should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of actually being in the theater, leave and don’t look back. You will not know what you’re missing and that will only work in your favor. you may not thank me now, but eventually you will meet someone who has seen this movie and you will understand.

As you read this, please understand that I got to the theater a bit late and missed the first five minutes or so of this movie. The lady at the ticket booth was very nice and said that if I wanted to, i could come back and ''yell at her if the movie had already started. I thought about going back to yell at her for not stopping me from buying the ticket, but she was very nice and they pacified me with a free comic.

Of course, you may be wondering why I didn’t take her up on the offer (they would have given me a refund, you see), but remember, I strive to help my fellow man whenever possible, and in this case, to truly tell you how awful this movie was, I had to see it.

In no particular order:

Why did they send Johnny cash to kill the Punisher?

There were 2 scenes of Joe Campbell-style rebirth, but the second one was gratuitous, like much of the rest of the movie.

In-jokes/references to other movies/etc: as often as they could fit them in: Modern Bride-reading thug, police chief (?) advisor with the cup of coffee, “Year One” license plate, wild-west show-down, did Frank move in to The animal house, what, no explosive arrows?

I can’t help thinking that the, ‘‘but he’s gay’’ line was played for laughs. Which was odd in a scene of domestic violence, which is usually a sore spot (no pun intended) for audiences, although this movie had enough machismo in it that the audience’s reaction was, “sure she didn’t do it, but the bitch deserved it.”

Apparently, the Punisher is a hypochondriac, seeing as he can’t use a weapon more than once. He even took the special .45 his father made; tricking it out with everything including extended capacity magazines and shot it all of once!

I can understand that they might not want to set the movie in ny for fear of offending…someone, but did they set it in Miami so they cold dress the bad guys up like slightly more upscale Miami vice characters and jokes about Cuban cigars?

There’s got to be a way to steal someone’s car than by carrying a fire hydrant in your duffle bag. and, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think he even drove the car the second time.

What was the point of keeping Mr. Bumpo for the movie?

A paper cutter? he used a paper cutter?

The Punisher as performance artist? re: the creative pyrotechnics at the end, maybe Joan wasn’t so far off. I am Jack’s sense of poetic retribution.

“Hello Mr. Smith.”
“Hello Dave.”

I’m glad that the actors appeared to have fun hamming up this piece of…i can’t bring myself to finish. about the only thing i enjoyed about this crapstorm was that some brainstems across the aisle brought their little girl to the movie and she squealed with delight at every killing.

I dunno, i probably should have made this a pit thread so i could swear.

  • If you haven’t read welcome back frank, and you have even the slightest interest in he punisher, I highly recommend it. This film drew from that story (mixing in the origin story as well) and is everything this film is not: coherent, witty, poignant (yes, poignant), clever and Mr. Bumpo and the Russian aren’t throwaway characters (ha, a double pun).

Just be glad you didn’t watch the Dolph Lundgren version of The Punisher.

Well, was the location nice? Much of it was shot near me so I was really rooting for the location.

Just saw the movie tonight myself. We snuck in after watching “Walking Tall”, but we payed so much for that ticket that we figured we might as well truly get our money’s worth.

Speaking of ripping off other movies, when the first assassin walked into the diner and started playing the guitar, I thought “Desperado”.

Why didn’t Dave and co. just lie?

Why was his family so annoying that I wanted them all to die? I mean, I coudn’t wait for the bad guys to crash the party.

When he pulled out the fire hydrant I said to myself, “He’s gonna make her get a parking ticket, and her husband will be so pissed he’ll kill her.” But actually, the fire hydrant was so that no one else would park in her spot while he was off doing revenge things.

And what happened to Mickey after all was said and done? I woulda bet money that he’d die before the end of this over-long movie.

I do give the director credit for having Castle try to commit suicide the right way (gun under the jaw through to the base of the skull). Next time we sneak into a movie, we should choose with more care.

Sweet Christ, on second reading that “commentary” I posted is almost as bad as the movie itself and possibly even more incoherent.

I trust you can see how distraught I was.

Tracer: the Dolph Lundgren movie was the hell of a lot better than this movie. Punisher sitting around naked in the sewer, confiding with Louis Gossett Jr…everything about it was better and Dolph looked a lot more like Frank than Mr. Jane.

Tiramasu: They ruined the location just like everything else. I mean, how freakin’ hard is it to make a beach look nice? The color timing on some of those completely unecessary establishing shots was so far off that they cut the shots down to near-subliminal levels.

They also spent a lot of time and money making things look “dirty” or “hedonistic” that was completely disproportionate to the actual amount of dirt or hedonism that was going on.

Ichini: If I recall, Dave did try to lie at first. I thought he said something like, “he’s not here” and when Quentin started threatening him, he fell back to, “I ain’t talking…” I wanted to know why they just let Bumpo sit there, apparently he was so still that they didn’t notice him, despite the fact that he looked like he was going to burst out laughing at any moment.

Regarding Micky, I think the moral of the story is that you can prosper by either 1) sticking to your guns (i.e. Dave who, although tortured finds a sort of inner strength) or 2) selling out you friends/employers (like Micky). No black-and-white moralizing here!

The Chicago Tribune review nicely pointed out that Saint was a truly poor choice for villain as he simply was…a banker. Sure he worked with drug dealers, but the drug dealers were completely incidential to the plot (unless something was explained in the five minutes or so that I missed at the beginning).

[spoiler]I also couldn’t help but think that the money that Frank left the apartment dwellers at the end was so they could pay off their security deposits whenever their slum lord came back and found the dead bodies, holes in the wall, shrapnel and all those weapons that Frank never bothered to pick up on his way out.

The thing I liked best about the family scene was where the dude from Jaws asks what happens when you take the Castles and the…Maria’s family and give ti five years as he holds up the kid’s hand like he’s some sort of prize genetic experiment.

Also, where did the killers get the keys to the pickup?

All in all, the movie was just-out-of-film-school-somehow-escaped-made-for-cable-hell Directors Gone Wild.

Actually, the reviews I’ve seen(all of which are incredibly negative) are saying this version makes the Dolph Lundgren version look GOOD.

Considering the first one was panned, I don’t want to think of the depths this one sinks to.

It wasn’t set in Miami, it was set in Tampa. And if you haven’t been to Tampa before, Ill have you know it is extremely dirty and hedonistic…

I haven’t seen the movie yet… probably Ill wait for the dvd, and borrow it.

But this one has bigger explosions!

Yeah, me too. I was going to watch it to play “Hey, I’ve been there!” but if it’s so awful, maybe I shouldn’t.

Also, 1 - 5, I like your name. Very creative.

Wow. Just… wow.

I know that in the past I’ve advocated taking action movies on their own terms. I’ve said that people are too harsh on popcorn shooters. That we should all lighten up and enjoy these gunfests because they’re not supposed to be art.

But good lord, this movie stunk! The first 40 minutes was nothing but plot exposition.

I like the Dolph Lundgren version. I own the Dolph Lundgren version. This movie made me sit down and watch Dolph Lundgren version all over again, just to get the bad taste out of my eyes.

So, what do your eyes taste like?

They pretty much taste like whatever you cook them in.

Okay, am I the only one who liked this?? I felt it was orders of magnitude better than the Dolph version.

Of course, I liked the Scooby Doo movie too, so I guess I’m just wierd.

I didn’t hate the movie, I just found it disappointing.

On one hand, I love my Marvels and feel bad for them when they underperform. On the other hand, I have little sympathy for creators that don’t have high aspirations. Say what you will about the Hulk, at least Ang Lee tried to push boundaries.

I hope that the Punisher and the upcoming Catwoman (I just know this is going to tank) will convince the studios that just making a super-hero movie isn’t guaranteed success, that you have to invest the same talent, narrative and creative direction as with any other type of movie.

Looking forward on a related note, I think it will be difficult for Elektra to outdo Beatrix Kiddo. I say this with no disrespect for Jennifer Garner, but for the by-the-numbers script and direction she will be getting.

Look, Marvel has a very long history of making Comic-book flicks that stink. Of these, the original Punisher was the best (thnk about it) . I think that Nick Fury starring that guy from Babewatch was the worst- but they were all so bad, it’s hard to remember- since for Gods sake-please don’t make me remember the horror. (they don’t want you to remember, but all the Marvel heroes had a shot- Cap, Thor, etc etc). Well, then they hired a good director and made X-men (and XmenII.) Then Spiderman- and Xmen was pretty darn good, with a great cast, acting a budget, etc- and so was Spidey. Daredevil was starting to show how bad Marvel could really be, but it was watchable. Then there was Hulk, and the slide started back again.

Marvel cheaps out, thinking that the fans will see it “since it is a Marvel flick”. And yes, they got us back into the theatres with Xmen & Spiderman. But- those were flukes, dudes, those were flukes. :frowning:

Was anyone else stumped as to why Marvel included the first appearance of the Punisher as a giveaway to ticket buyers? This issue, from the ‘70s has Punisher looking like Dirty Harry, refusing to kill and generally very poorly drawn. There was no real correlation between this comic’s Punisher and the one we saw in the movie (he does use an actual gun once, but uses a net gun and a consussion something-or-other). Nothing about his family, nothing about being a cold-blooded murderer, nothing even remotely interesting to a non-Punisher fan (who has probably read the issue anyway!). Even the freakin’ scan of the original was awful.

There were ads for the movie (Tim Bradstreet posters) and pinups that may or may not have been Bradstreet’s covers for the Punisher series, but nowhere was there an ad for the comic book. You think they would have at least put in an ad, or, better yet, reprinted the first issue of Ennis’ run, which is just as cartoony as this issue but the hell of a lot better in all respects. And it had something to do with the movie.

I think they lost a great opportunity to introduce the non-comic fan to the Punisher. As it was, they essentially gave out a collector’s item to the collectors (I assume they were the very people who would be the first in line and get all the goodies). They could at least have put in an ad for the freakin’ comic shop locater.

Anyway, one of these days, I’m going to learn to stop seeing these movies (skipped Hellboy and Daredevil, will try my best to miss Spider-Man 2).

If you want to see some real stinkers, take a look at the Marvel Comics TV serieses and TV pilots that aired during the late 1970s. There was:[ul][li]Dr. Strange (only one pilot ep ever made)[/li][li]Spider-Man starring Nicholas Hammond (lasted one season)[/li][li]Captain America starring Reb Brown (one 2-hour pilot and one 2-hour follow-on ep)[/li][*]The Incredible Hulk starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno (the only one of these attempts to catch on – but later “return of” episodes guest-starred Daredevil and an awful interpretation of Thor)[/ul]All of these serieses and pilots departed severely from the way the characters were portrayed in the comic books, usually by drastically weakening their superpowers.

I liked Daredevil.

I liked all the Marvel movies in the last few years and I liked this one. That said, there were some flaws with it, but I just don’t understand the depths of venom being spit out here.

It’s true there wasn’t nearly enough shooting in this movie. But on the other hand, I thought this made it stand out against films like the Matrix and other gun-things-down flicks, in that the hero doesn’t go out and blow away six hundred guys every day. The fewer deaths and more spaced out ones made them all seem more important.

The waitress/cook girl was poorly cast. Her acting was numb and she looked too blandly gorgeous (oxymoron, I know). I was fine with the joking around they did for the most part, because when they did it, it led shortly to some scene of awesome brutality. I rather got into the fight with “the Russian.”

I didn’t anything about the gay guy being played for laughs.

There were definitely scenes that needed to get cut, but all in all, it was a flawed but watchable attempt to make a movie that tried to be a bit more than, say, a popcorn (albeit fun) flick like Hellboy. It felt like they got to the editing floor and couldn’t decide what kind of movie to make, so they tried to make them all at once. Still, I enjoyed it and sooner or later it will wind up on my shelf.

I’m a Punisher fan from back in the day. To wit, I’ve read every single issue of The Punisher, PWJ, PWZ, and even the crappy relaunch in which Frank was an angel.

I didn’t think the movie was too bad.

There were some nice touches for the comic fans, including the popsicle torture of Mickey (which was cribbed verbatim from Punisher War Zone). Sure, they took some liberties with the origin, and the casting of Travolta was pretty goddamned terrible, but all in all it’s not a waste of celluloid. Maybe I’ve just seen some terrible movies recently, but it delivered what I wanted.

And I’m not a habitual Marvel movie sympathizer, either. I thought Daredevil and especially The Hulk sucked sour frog balls.

All in all, what would I have liked to see that I didn’t?

  1. I don’t have any problem with his being in Tampa as opposed to NYC. However, you do lose some of the feeling that the town is rife with violence and decay. If you’ve no intent on putting it in New York, I’d put it in Detroit instead. The steady decay of the city needs to be a motivating factor for Frank to do what he does.

  2. Frank should not reveal himself to the police EVER. He also should not reveal himself to the Saint family until the moment when all the dominoes are in place. This smacks of bad planning, and Frank is nothing if not prepared. ALWAYS.

  3. How 'bout a little back-story on why The Russian is such a bad-ass? Would it kill you to have a little exposition? Of course, being a fan, I knew why he was such an unstoppable killing machine, but nobody else in the theater did.

  4. Would have liked to see a brief sequence introducing The Punisher to Microchip. For those who aren’t fans of the comics, Microchip is the code name for a man who ends up joining Frank’s little “war on crime” as a tactician and weapons expert. He enables him to hunt down his victims by providing intel and computer assistance. A little touch that would not have interfered with the plotline at all.

  5. Smack in the head the guy that decided the exploding cars should look like the skull logo. In fact, also smack in the head the guy that decided the skull shirt should be a gift from his son. Christ Almighty, enough. Frank wears the skull for two reasons – it’s emblematic, so it strikes fear into people, and it provides the clearest target for gunfire, which will be absorbed by the Kevlar. We all buy those reasons – why make it more epic than it needs to be?
    All told, I would have done it a little differently, but I didn’t feel ripped off. What did you detractors want from the movie?