In an interview with UGO, Thomas Jane explained that his interest in The Punisher was derived from the intention of it being similar to Taxi Driver. Of course, this pretentious statement led to not only a film so disappointingly lacking action, but a film whose emotional depth can be represented by a puddle on the side of the road. Should I even bother to bring about the Punisher's logo and its point of origin? The only surprising facet of this film is the brutal paper slicer death scene which took long enough to build up to. Just when you think that Thomas Jane's acting can't get worse, John Travolta is flamboyantly introduced into the happy family.
The Punisher takes the male's fascination of muscle cars and creates an inanimate object into a major player that attempts to steal the scenes with its horsepower. This Punisher plays out more like Robin Hood with bumbling tenant sidekicks that cater to the countercultures with an irritating character with a plethora of facial piercings. It wouldn't be until the year 2008 where a Punisher film would strive for a beauteous art direction that appeals to fans of the comics and an absolute demonstration of what Max Payne attempted to do.
The only sadist viewpoint form this film is the fundamental Castle family slaughter. Not only does Frank's family get murdered by New Jersey Guido's, but near every guest at his party gets massacred by a sea of machine gun fire. Thomas Jane does the legend of The Punisher no justice at all and only clutters the gene pool of Marvel adaptations. Thank God that the sequel to this didn't hold tact. I guess we have to thank Jane's adamant stubbornness on account of this film failing as a Taxi Driver clone.
The Punisher (2004) is a swift kick in the nuts of Punisher fans. The naked truth's that none of the crew or cast has read a Punisher comic book and this is plainly manifested in a venomous format for none to enjoy. I've heard comments before following these guidelines - "Well. I'm not a fan of the comic book but I think the film did well as a standalone.. *shrugs*- It's this kind of response that makes my stomach churns. Shit will always be shit. Nothing you say or do can prove this film to be of substantial quality. This is a far cry from Dolph Lundgren's Punisher which spent more time with personalization rather than tedious subplots.