As I said in the last post, The Punisher should be a dark, raw and gritty character, wich was the part that Dolph Lundgren failed at. But if you look at the “remake” from 2004 where Frank Castle is portrayed by Thomas Jane (Deep Blue Sea, The Mist), did they really find the best actor at the time? Let’s take a look at some of the big male names and sort out some of the potential Punishers!
We have Eric Bana (Troy, Hulk), who in my opinion, based on his acting-talent and his built could’ve been a pretty good Punisher if it weren’t for the fact that he actually looks like a good guy. Then we have Dennis Quaid (Dragonheart, Flight of The Phoenix). This is an actor that keeps on surprising me with his talent and I think he could’ve made a spectacular Punisher, if he was 10 years younger, so no dice. Patrick Wilson (Hard Candy, Watchmen) were in my book a prime candidate, based in his extremely wide talent and the way he gives life to his characters is something that many actors fail at, but, he was a little inexperienced at the time. He could be a contender for Renner in the 2014 remake though. And finally, the last name that comes to mind in ways of being able to portray the Punisher properly, Clive Owen (King Arthur, Shoot’Em Up). He feels raw by nature and the way he handled his guns in Shoot’Em Up proves that he could’ve done the Punisher justice.
But after looking at these names, thinking about how they look and act on screen, I have to say that, at the time Thomas Jane was the ultimate choice. The only thing he lacks is that he’s too short. Standing at mere 5’11 he is the shortest actor yet to portray the Punisher, where Dolph Lundgren stood at 6’5 and Ray Stevenson at 6’4.
But back to the movie a bit. Where the -89 version only showed us in some brief flashback-scenes what happened to Castle’s family, the one from 2004 shows us in detail how, and more specificly why, his family was murdered. Frank Castle is an undercover FBI-agent who by Howard Saint (John Travolta) is believed to be the cause of his sons death. Saint sends a troup of his “finest” men to eliminate Castle and his family at a resort where they’re having a family get together. Frank survives the attack and is distraught with vengeance and goes on a killing spree. Well, the basic story of it is the same as it always has been. The rest of the movie we see him go around punishing those in need of punishment and so on, but the way it was put together moved me in ways I only felt from an action movie once before (Face Off).
We can see him hurting alongside of him showing compassion for his neighbours, we see him plot his revenge against Howard Saint and his entire family in such gruesome ways that we almost start to believe that he is the bad guy. But thankfully, Travolta gives us one os his best performances since Pulp Fiction and we can really see the pain and evil in his eyes when we see him kill his own wife. The reson for this action? Thoughts planted in his head by Castle ofcourse. The entire movie is, both in the movie and in reality, well planned, viciously brutal and all-and-all a monster-hit… I sure as hell hope that they give this one justice if the 2014-remake is going anywhere alongside its idea.
Finally I just want to say that the way Castle planted the bombs in the end, was one of the most ridiculous and corniest way of displaying himself as the Punisher ever created, but at the same time, it was the most awesome, coolest and loveable ways he could’ve done it. It put a smile on my face that I kept with me for at least a few hours after the movie was over.
This is it for the -04 version but stay tuned for a conclusion with the -08 version tonight, or possibly early tomorrow.
But until then…. Peace out hombrés!