Monday, July 9, 2012

Trailer Rewind: The Punisher (2004)

For the latest edition of Trailer Rewind I'm taking a look back at the second movie featuring Marvel Comics' violence-prone vigilante -- The Punisher.

The Dolph Lundgren version from 1989 is a hard-to-find action classic that played nowhere. So when it was announced that a new film was being made starring Thomas Jane, a dude known for his acting chops, people got excited. Then the masses saw the flick and . . . yeah.

Let's take a look at how it was sold and how it turned out, from The Basement's perspective.

The Trailer: From the opening country song to the line "You shouldn't play with knives," this has cool written all over it, at least if you're a fan of 80s action/exploitation movies. This was the second trailer for the film. The less said about the first the better. That one was a poorly edited mess that screamed bad B-movie. This one has Jane kicking ass, guns by the boatload, lots of straight-up action, and the hotness of Rebecca Romijn. Plus that classic line: "This is not vengeance, it's punishment." Cue Drowning Pool.

The Movie: For all the shit this Punisher movie takes, it's pretty fucking badass. Sure, some of the plot falls into 90210 territory, with planting of earrings etc. But, when The Punisher gets down to business, shit gets real. Jane is a great presence, the subplot involving his neighbours provides an emotional core, and the fight with The Russian is one of the best -- and most brutal -- in recent memory. I dig the movie and I own it. Can't say the same for the shit that is the Ray Stevenson take from 2008. That movie can fuck itself.

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