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The Punisher 4K UHD Review

Punisher

2004’s “The Punisher” is the best of the three film versions…which isn’t saying much.

After retiring as a cop, Frank Castle hopes to spend more time with his wife and son. During his last day on the job, however, the son (Bobby) of a mob boss (Howard Saint) is killed which sets off a nasty revenge plot by Howard, his wife Livia and their other son Johnny. This revenge plot ends up in the death of Frank’s entire family with only Frank being the lone survivor. Frank, in turn, decides to get his own revenge on those who killed his family so he decides to track them down. His mission of bloody revenge is easier said than done as he has to face assassins and plenty of other gun toting minions along the way.

“The Punisher” is a strange take on the classic Marvel vigilante character. On one hand, the movie nails several things. Thomas Jane is perfectly cast here and it’s a real shame he never got to reprise the role aside from in the unofficial fan film “Dirty Laundry.” There’s so much potential with him as this character. John Travolta also gives a fairly solid performance as the villainous Howard Saint. It’s probably one of his better performances in the past 15 years to be honest. Additionally, there are moments of this movie that are quite intense and thrilling such as the sequence in which Frank’s family is killed, Frank’s one on one battle with The Russian, and the violent climax with The Punisher predictably getting his revenge. Outside of all of that, the movie struggles a bit.

The script by Michael France and Jonathan Hensleigh (who also directs the film) is ultimately what lets this movie down. Not only is the story simple and generic, but it’s filled with problematic elements. Why is The Punisher toying with people so much instead of killing them? Why is the story set in sunny locals like Florida and Puerto Rico when the dark settings are a huge part of the comics? Why is there an offensive homophobic subplot? Why is there so much focus on Frank’s outcast neighbors? It is things like this that really hamper the movie overall.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p. How does it look? A definite upgrade from prior home video releases but not significantly so. The Puerto Rico scenes certainly look the best. Note: Dolby Vision does enhance the image more.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? The audio fares better here as the Atmos track kicks the sound up a notch.

Extras: * Digital copy & Blu-ray copy * Drowning Pool’s “Step Up” music video * 2 deleted scenes with optional commentary * “Keepin’ It Real: Punisher Stunts”- Behind-the-scenes footage of various stunts alongside interviews, rehearsals, and more. * “Army Of One: Punisher Origins”- A featurette on the history of the Punisher comic books. * “War Journal: On The Set Of The Punisher”- A half-hour extra containing footage, interviews, storyboarding, rehearsals, and more. * An informative solo commentary by director and co-writer Jonathan Hensleigh.

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September 25, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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