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The Punisher: Extended Cut
DVD disk
12.06.2006 By: Scott Weinberg
The Punisher: Extended Cut order
Director:
Jonathan Hensleigh

Actors:
Thomas Jane
John Travolta
Will Patton

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Ass-kicking ex-soldier Frank Castle wreaks elaborate revenge on the crime boss who (unwisely) killed his family.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I'll admit I didn't think much of THE PUNISHER when it first hit theaters, but I'm known to give action-type flicks another shot once they hit DVD. And now that Lionsgate has delivered the flick in an extended director's cut, that gives me (and you) a solid opportunity to give the movie a second chance.

Having said that, and fully intent on trying to find the flick's specific assets this time out, I just gotta say: Still, THE PUNISHER is not a very good movie. It's a very standard and somewhat rambling revenge flick that spins its wheels for quite some time (focusing on a goofy subplot involving gay henchmen and fake fire hydrants) before getting down to the goods. For every positive asset the flick displays (Thomas Jane's a cool action hero-type, one particular mega-brawl is pretty amusing) there's two or three others that yank it right back down again. When the flick tries to be funny, it fails -- and when it tries to be serious, it's actually pretty silly.

While certainly not among the lamest Marvel flicks out there, THE PUNISHER is basically too dry and predictable to warrant much enthusiasm. Action fans will undoubtedly enjoy the few brief moments of mayhem, but they're stuck within a fairly dreary package. Writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh is obviously a fan of the source material, which means the longtime Punisher pals will enjoy the freaky T-shirt and the silly side characters ... but there's simply not enough meat on these bones to warrant a satisfying meal.

As far as the new footage goes, nearly all of it focuses on a subplot involving "who betrayed Frank," and none of it is all that interesting. Plus, for a ruthless villain, John Travolta sure is goofy.

THE EXTRAS
In addition to the extended cut of the film (which runs about 17 minutes longer than the theatrical cut) you'll also get a rather cool 4.5-minute animated prologue sequence that adds a little extra backstory to Castle's character.

Also included is a 9-minute "making-of" featurette that explains why the filmmakers were happy to go back and make a few changes to their movie.

The Punisher Comic Book Gallery is a slick little addition that allows you to scroll through decades of Punisher issues.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
For a guy called THE PUNISHER, he sure does a lot of moping, drinking and avoiding the act of punishment. But for those who dig the flick more than I do, this Extended Cut might be worthy of a curiosity rental. On the plus side, it's a bit darker. On the negative, it's a bit longer ... and it feels it.
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