Excuse me while I let my inner geek come out. Last night I watched the DVD of The Punisher. The reason I watched it was because I used to be a huge fan of The Punisher in the comic books. The Punisher was one of the heroes that I based my screen name on. I used to own his first appearance ever in a 1970’s issue of Spiderman and the first issue of his own series from back in the late 80’s. And as usual, with most comic book to movie translations, this movie blew goats. As a matter of fact, I know I’m committing comic book and movie heresy by saying this, but I actually liked the 1989 movie version of The Punisher with Dolph Lundgren better. I’ll even admit that I even own the 1989 version and I’ll defend it to anyone who says the new version is better. I’ll even do a side by side comparison to prove my point.
What sucked about both movies:
First off NO JIGSAW!!!! How can you have a true Punisher movie without Jigsaw? It’s like having a Batman without The Joker or Superman without Lex Luthor. It just shouldn’t be done. Secondly, both movies screwed up the way his family was killed. Frank Castle was a Vietnam vet whose family was killed in Central Park in New York when they got caught in the crossfire between two organized crime families. In the first movie, Frank Castle was a cop whose family was killed by a car bomb set by the Mafia. In the recent movie, Frank Castle was an ex-FBI agent whose family was killed in Puerto Rico after an organized crime boss’ son was killed during a bust led by Castle. Neither of which was remotely even close.
First off we have Dolph Lundgren. Not the greatest actor in the world I know but look at him. When I first saw him with the black hair and leather jacket to me he looked like Frank Castle. The only problem was Dolph didn’t wear the skull. Then, on the other hand, you have the man with the woman’s name, Mr. Patricia Arquette, Tom Jane. He looks like a cross between Christopher Lambert and Oswald from the Drew Carey Show. That is not meant as a compliment. Plus he looks like he weighs about 90 lbs. He may have the better clothes than Dolph but he is not Frank Castle.
The 1989 movie may have been over the top cheesy but it was non-stop from start to finish. The new film dragged on and on and on. If you’re going to make a Punisher movie it needs to have non-stop killing. They made the Punisher too human in the new flick. Sorry, but I like my Punisher to be an emotionless killing machine. The Punisher doesn’t cry. In the first movie, Dolph cauterizes his wounds with a glowing hot knife. Tom Jane has to have a little stab wound sewn shut by Rebecca Romijn. The new movie takes place in Tampa. The Punisher is not from Florida of all places. The Villain names were lame at best. Howard Saint? What kind of name is that without some kind of “saintly” gimmick to back it up. While it was one of the few characters in the new Punisher I liked what kind of name is Harry Heck? So then you need someone big and mean who can take out The Punisher so you get wrestler Kevin Nash, shave his beard, give him a bleach blonde haircut, put him in a red and white striped shirt that makes him look like he should be in the French navy and you call him “The Russian”? The original rumor was that Kevin Nash was going to play Tombstone which would have been a lot cooler even though Tombstone was more of a Spider-Man villain. Granted that Dolph only fought generic Yakuza and Mafia types but The Punisher didn’t always fight the super villains. He also fought everyday scum.
The Closing Lines:
This pretty much sums up the entire argument for me.
From the 2004 version: Those who do evil to others – the killers, the rapists, psychos, sadists – you will come to know me well. Frank Castle is dead. Call me The Punisher.
Is that corny as hell or what? Now let me give you one of the greatest movie lines ever…
From The 1989 Version: I still talk to God sometimes, I ask him if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I’m still waiting for an answer, and until I get one, I’ll be waiting, watching, THE GUILTY WILL BE PUNISHED!
How fucking cool is that?
So all you movie elitists can kiss my ass because to me Dolph Lundgren is Frank Castle.
Geek mode off.