Once again a Marvel character is thrust into the cinema. Don't get me wrong, I love Marvel, and because of this I am more than willing to see a film from this universe.
The Punisher I like. Firstly, its a fast film, you need to keep up, and whereas this can be seen as a bad thing, you have to remember that the sensibility of Frank Castle is a ticking timebomb of rage with a blob of the terminator thrown in. Thus, after his family are killed, he declares payback, and hes does it quite cleverly, as he preys on Saint's (Travolta's) own paranoia. For the viewer that isn't just into the videogame violence, at least Frank uses some strategic thinking, which is pleasing. The comic fight scene with the Russian is another break from the stiff jawed intensity of the rest if the film, and actually had me smiling, even though Frank was getting a rather huge beating. The character of Frank is superbly presented by Tom Jane, and is able to hold together the hero that takes no rubbish from anyone, gets to the point and gets his man, but still shows that vulnerability and sensitivity that all failed heroes show when presented a small piece of attention.
Opposite him, John Travolta puts together a rather uninformed, but wholesome performance as Castle's nemesis; travolta had the right idea, but at times I felt he was in danger of losing character.
The film as a whole is in no ways patronising, or needs no prior obvious knowledge, and although some details are changed from the comics, this is obviously a film made with not only the essence of the character at the heart, but a pretty good idea about how to make a film as well, which is sometimes lost as soon as the name 'Marvel' appears.
It may be said that this is an over the top film, but I think this quality works well - again I found myself smiling at the sheer confidence that the film had, but still kept grounded.
A no nonsense, sharp shooter of a movie, that does exactly what is says on the tin.
N.B this is no way releated to the dire Punisher film made previous to this - the less said about that the better.