THE PUNISHER (EXTENDED CUT)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A former military man named Frank Castle has his family brutally murdered. He takes the law into his own hands, and uses his expertise to hunt down Howard Saint and his gang members, one by one until Punishment is served.
Is it good movie?
When I saw the trailers for this flick many moons ago, I thought it looked friggin’ awesome. The Punisher himself is the very definition of bad-ass, and after the uhh..flawed Dolph Lundgren version, the timing seemed right for Marvel to get their act together and make a Punisher movie, proper. Unfortunately, things really didn’t play out that way on the big screen.
What bugs me the most about this movie is that the Punisher should be a no-nonsense, shoot you in your face type of fellow who shows no mercy and takes no prisoners. Instead, we get the Punisher playing games with the hearts and minds of the fellows in Saint’s syndicate. He plays dirty tricks and turns them all against each other and makes them doubt allegiances and their wives, and all that kind of stuff. Where is the ‘you are guilty, I shoot you in your throat and tear the wound’ Punisher? Why is he such a dork? Don’t get me wrong, Tom Jane owns the role and looks the part, but come on, what a lame way to write the character. And what about the final fight, that still ends up being short in the extended cut? Almost no confrontation whatsoever, it’s so quick, and don’t even get me started on that ‘skull explosion’ thing- when I saw that in theatres, I booed the screen out loud. And John Travolta must have had a blast as Howard Saint, he’s so over the top, it’s ridiculous.
Now, we get a double-dip edition of the film, an ‘extended cut’ that brings 17 minutes of extra footage we’ve never seen before. Does it add a lot to the movie? Unfortunately not. What’s new is the animated opening scenes featuring a battle in Kuwait, and a subplot regarding an old war friend of Castle’s who betrays him to add extra drama to the movie. All that these extra scenes do is just drag the movie along at such a plodding pace. Most of them come before Castle’s family even get killed, which means that by the time the dude finally slips the skull shirt on, we’re just bored because we’ve been waiting so long for that to happen.
Overall, The Punisher is a movie that I want to like so badly, but it just isn’t nasty enough for me to truly appreciate it. It’s got some action, but not nearly enough for me
Video / Audio
Picture comes in 16x9 widescreen, and is a little dark, but still crisp and clean.
Audio comes in your choice of 6.1 DTS-ES, or 5.1 Dolby, both of which are clear as hell and sound so nice when cranked nice and loud.
We have really only 2 special features here.
One is The Punisher comic book Gallery, a little picture gallery with various pictures and covers featuring Mr. Castle at his nastiest.
The second featurette is called Tour Of Duty: Making the Extended Cut, a short feature which really only details the making of the animated sequence, which involved a process of actual photography and animation mixing together. Other than this, the other subplot is mentioned, but not in any great detail. Pretty bland stuff.
You also get the option to watch the extended version of the flick or the normal version, but that doesn’t really count as an added feature. It’s technically the whole reason why you bought the disc!
If you absolutely LOVED The Punisher, you should pick this up. Other than that, I don’t know why you’d have to get this edition. It’s bloated (almost 2 and a HALF hours!) and the extra scenes don’t add much, and the previous edition’s extras were so much better than these. I can recommend this edition to fans only.