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"THE PUNISHER"
(2004) (Tom Jane, John Travolta) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Extreme Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Heavy *Heavy Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate Extreme Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: After his entire family is wiped out and he's left for dead, a retired FBI agent sets out to get revenge on all of those who wronged him.
PLOT:
Frank Castle (TOM JANE) is a former Delta Force op and current FBI agent who's looking forward to his retirement with wife Maria (SAMANTHA MATHIS) and young son Will (MARCUS JOHNS).

Yet, the inadvertent death of Bobby Saint (JAMES CARPINELLO) on an undercover assignment has left Frank a marked man. The victim's father, Tampa businessman and crime boss Howard Saint (JOHN TRAVOLTA) wants Frank's blood, while his socialite wife Livia Saint (LAURA HARRING) demands that their vengeance go one step farther. Accordingly, she orders Howard's right-hand man, Quentin Glass (WILL PATTON), not only to kill Frank, but his entire immediate and extended family as well.

Thus, at a Castle family reunion in Puerto Rico, Saint's men massacre Frank's entire family -- including his father Frank Castle Sr. (ROY SCHEIDER) -- believing they've killed him as well. Yet, he barely survives the attack and takes months to recuperate. After returning to the States, Frank takes up residence in a low-end apartment where his neighbors -- the heavily pierced Dave (BEN FOSTER), cook wannabe Mr. Bumpo (JOHN PINETTE) and ex-addict Joan (REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMOS) -- wonder who he is and what he's up to.

As they eventually crack his toughened social shell, they soon discover themselves in a dangerous world where Frank plots to get revenge. Whether it's manipulating Saint's own men -- such as Quentin, lowly goon Micky Ducka (EDDIE JEMISON) and other son John Saint (JAMES CARPINELLO) -- or outright attacking those who wronged him, Frank is determined not to stop until everyone who's responsible is dead.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the original comic book, adaptations of such, and/or anyone in the cast, it's a good bet they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive brutal violence, language and brief nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TOM JANE plays a recently retired FBI agent whose entire family is massacred at the hands of Saint's men. From that point on, he sets out to get his revenge on those who wronged him. While doing so, he takes a beating, kills many villains, uses strong profanity, and drinks a lot.
  • JOHN TRAVOLTA plays the businessman and crime boss who ordered that massacre and then finds his empire unraveling as Frank systematically attacks it. He kills, uses strong profanity, and smokes.
  • WILL PATTON plays his gay and ruthless right-hand man who uses strong profanity, kills people and smokes.
  • LAURA HARRING plays Saint's pampered, glamorous and mean socialite wife who orders the killing of the entire Castle family.
  • BEN FOSTER plays Frank's new neighbor who sports many facial piercings, uses some profanity and is tortured for not giving up Frank's location.
  • JOHN PINETTE plays his large friend who's into cooking and similarly befriends and helps Frank.
  • REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMOS plays their ex-addict neighbor who smokes once, and befriends and helps Frank.
  • JAMES CARPINELLO plays both of Saint's criminal sons, one of whom dies, the other who beats Frank and leaves him for dead.
  • SAMANTHA MATHIS plays Frank's loving wife who's murdered along with their young son played by MARCUS JOHNS.
  • EDDIE JEMISON plays one of Saint's goons who Frank forces to assist him.
  • ROY SCHEIDER plays Frank's father who's briefly in the film.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated action flick. Profanity consists of at least 12 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are used. Some sexually explicit dialogue is present, some women and men are seen in revealing attire, some topless women are briefly present, and one man is noted as being gay.

    Violence includes many murders (by various means) along with several brutal fights, injuries and some brief torture. Some of that has rather bloody results and those scenes and others may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers. The villains all have bad attitudes, while the hero takes the law into his own hands to get revenge on those who killed his entire family. Other tense family material is also present.

    Various characters drink and/or smoke, while some drug references are made. Other imitative behavior is also present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • There's talk of a hash bar in Amsterdam.
  • People raise a toast to Frank.
  • There's talk that Micky sells pot.
  • Various family members have beer or champagne at a reunion (including a toast).
  • Miscellaneous family members have drinks.
  • Quentin has drinks with Howard's immediate family.
  • We see Frank drinking.
  • We see liquor in front of Frank.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks.
  • Frank does much more drinking.
  • A man appears to be drunk.
  • Quentin has a drink, as does John.
  • Joan states that she's thankful for being alive, having a job and being sober.
  • Frank drinks straight from the bottle and then has more.
  • Frank guzzles liquor from a bottle following a brutal fight.
  • Quentin asks Dave, "You're not doing drugs, are you?" Dave replies, "Not now."
  • Howard states, "I need a martini."
  • Some people have champagne.
  • Frank drinks more.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Frank has fake blood on his clothes following a fake shooting.
  • We see a dead body on an autopsy table (a sheet covers it up to the chest).
  • Frank slices a guy across the face with brief, bloody results.
  • Maria has blood on her arm and head following a truck crash.
  • Frank and his clothes are rather bloody following a battle with Saint's goons.
  • We see a bullet hole scar on Frank's chest.
  • A man approaches Frank and prepares to shoot him dead, but Frank shoots a blade from his knife that impales the man in the throat, killing him (with bloody results).
  • A switchblade has some blood on it after being stabbed into a man's chest that has some blood on it.
  • A man's face is severely scalded after boiling water or something similar is thrown onto him. We later see a pool of blood around his head.
  • Frank is very bloody following a brutal fight.
  • We see Joan sewing up an open knife wound on Frank's chest.
  • We see Quentin wiping blood from his hands and then see that Dave's face and shirt are bloody after Quentin has torn the rings from his many facial piercings.
  • We see some blood on Quentin's arm after he's been cut.
  • Livia has some blood from her lip after she's been backhanded.
  • Frank slices a guy's neck, with blood splattering out.
  • Various goons are bloody following Frank's attack on them.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Saints and those who work for them have extreme bad attitudes for being criminals and ordering or killing all of Frank's immediate and extended family.
  • For those concerned about any forms of mysticism, etc. there's talk that a Puerto Rican man is a witchdoctor.
  • Some may view Frank as having a bad attitude for taking the law into his own hands (from breaking into Livia's car to killing others).
  • Quentin calls Bumpo "fat man."
  • Howard purposefully breaks his wife's things when he thinks she's betrayed him. He then backhands her to the floor, grabs her and then does worse.
  • Howard hires many killers to take care of Frank.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • A mariachi type man enters a restaurant carrying what appears to be a guitar case and Frank slowly reaches for his gun (but it does turn out to be a guitar in the case).
  • Quentin and some goons arrive at Frank's place looking for him. As Joan hides Frank (who's wounded) in a compartment below the floor, Quentin confronts Dave and Bumpo, asking them where Frank is. When they won't answer, Quentin takes a pair of pliers, talks about Dave's many facial piercings, and then takes the pliers to his eyebrow ring. We then see the motion but not the actual tearing out of that ring. He then does the same to the ring in his nostril.
  • A man puts a gun to his chin to commit suicide, but thoughts and images of his wife stop him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Shotguns/Machine guns/Knives/Explosives/Bow and arrow: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see gunshots hitting the Marvel logo during the opening credits where we then see more gun images.
  • We briefly see Dave playing a first-person shooter video game.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "He's gonna f*ck your life up," "He's already f*cked my life up," "Go f*ck yourself," "Holy sh*t," "Ah, sh*t," "Small piece of sh*t," "I'm not saying sh*t," "You little pr*ck," "What the hell /happened/are you doing?" "Broad," "What a putz," "Shut your face, you lard ass," "You're one dumb son of a bitch," "Fat man," "Whore" and "One hell of a workout."
  • All of the fighting, action and stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Dave has many facial piercings (lip, nostril and eyebrow).
  • We see that Frank has Micky tied upside down from the ceiling and he grabs him by his hair. He then lights a blow torch and talks about what it will do to Micky's skin upon touching it (saying it will eventually feel cold). He then sears a steak that Micky can't see and then places a popsicle on Micky's bare back to make him think his flesh is being torched (and to make him talk).
  • We see some young women wearing midriff-revealing tops.
  • Frank puts a "portable" fire hydrant next to Livia's car so that she'll get a ticket.
  • A mariachi type man has tattoos on his fingers and wears fingernail polish.
  • A Russian man has tattoos.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of dramatic and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song in the closing credits sounded like it had at least 1 use of the "f" word in it, while other lyrics couldn't be understood (thus the opportunity of them possibly containing other potentially objectionable material).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 12 "f" words (2 used sexually as is the term "do it"), 8 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 3 hells, 2 asses, 2 S.O.B.s (and another incomplete one), 1 damn and 2 uses each of "G-damn," "God," "Jesus" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see Frank in his briefs (from behind). He's also shirtless in many scenes during the film.
  • We twice see Maria in a bikini top.
  • Frank and Maria passionately kiss on the beach, he kisses her clothed belly and the two then lean back out of the shot.
  • Micky, who's working as a valet, asks another man, "You gonna make love to that car or park it?"
  • Livia wears a dress that shows cleavage. She then lets it drop, revealing her in her lingerie (as a reward for Howard having Castle's family killed). He starts to kiss her neck but the scene ends there.
  • We briefly see some topless waitresses in an establishment.
  • We see Quentin pushing and then kissing a guy in secret.
  • We see some young women wearing midriff-revealing tops. One bends over in her short skirt, revealing the lower part of her bare bottom.
  • We see Joan wearing a tight, form-fitting tank top.
  • We see John wearing just a towel around his waist.
  • Livia shows some cleavage.
  • Howard confronts one of his men whom he believes has betrayed him with his wife. He then asks, "Where were the two of you going to do it next time?" He later confronts Livia and says, "You're f*cking him. You're f*cking my best friend." He later takes her somewhere and says that since it's a neighborhood just for whores, she'll fit right in.
  • SMOKING
  • Howard (pipes and cigars) and Quentin each smoke several times, while Frank (working undercover) and Joan each smoke once, while various minor and miscellaneous characters smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Livia collapses upon hearing news that her son has been killed. Howard visits the body at the morgue, we see him and Livia at the end of the funeral and he then vows revenge on Frank and his family.
  • Young Will isn't happy that their family is moving yet again and Frank tries to explain why.
  • Frank sees his entire family (including parents, wife and son) murdered by Saint's goons.
  • Howard purposefully breaks his wife's things when he thinks she's betrayed him. He then backhands her to the floor, grabs her and then does worse.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Revenge and retaliation.
  • Whether two wrongs make a right.
  • Losing one's entire family.
  • The comment that if you want peace, prepare for war.
  • Frank's statement that what he's doing isn't vengeance, but rather natural judgment and punishment.
  • A man puts a gun to his chin to commit suicide, but thoughts and images of his wife stop him.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Micky and Bobby try to buy illegal guns from Frank who's working undercover. When the police and FBI arrive, a brief gun battle breaks out with Frank and Bobby being shot. Yet, where the latter is dead, we later see that Frank was faking it.
  • Various goons kick Micky who's lying on the floor, followed by Quentin grabbing him by the hair on the back of his head.
  • Howard shoots one of his own men in the leg, then the shoulder and then kills him with a third shot (no blood).
  • We see Quentin and various armed goons approaching the Castle family reunion. They then proceed to open fire on the gathering, hitting various family members. Frank and his father, who are inside a small house, arm themselves and Frank then blasts a guy backwards with a shotgun blast. A goon then fires his machine gun at Frank and his father. More people are shot outside and Frank then shoots a propane tank that explodes and kills a goon, setting him on fire. A goon then shoots Frank Sr., prompting Frank to hit and knee the goon. Another goon then tries to strangle Frank, but Frank Sr. stabs him in the back. Frank slices a guy across the face and then slams him into a post.
  • Various goons in a truck chase after and shoot at Maria and Will who are trying to flee the scene of a massacre in another truck. The boat it's pulling eventually lands on top of the goon's truck, but more gunfire causes Maria's truck to crash and flip many times, wounding both her and Will. They then get out and try to flee as the goon's truck repeatedly smashes into the crashed one to try to get around it. Maria and Will flee out onto a dock with the goon's truck chasing and eventually running over them (we don't see the impact, but do see their bodies lying on the dock).
  • Frank fires his shotgun into the goon's truck several times (causing it to crash), but he's shot and wounded several times. John then kicks Frank in the face and then punches him. Another kick to the back follows and Frank is then kicked back through a railing that breaks. He's shot in the chest and the goons then pour gasoline all over the dock and ignite it. The wounded Frank tries to get out of the way, but the resultant explosion knocks him through the air and into the water.
  • Frank breaks a gun display case with his hand to retrieve some guns.
  • We see that Frank has Micky tied upside down from the ceiling and he grabs him by his hair. He then lights a blow torch and talks about what it will do to Micky's skin upon touching it (saying it will eventually feel cold). He then sears a steak that Micky can't see and then places a popsicle on Micky's bare back to make him think his flesh is being torched (and to make him talk).
  • We see Quentin pushing and then kissing a guy in secret.
  • Frank grabs a goon and slams him into a wall and then grabs another whose head he slams into a railing, leaving both men unconscious.
  • Frank throws food from a pan into a criminal's face that he the smashes with the pan. He then holds his gun on two other criminals.
  • Frank shoots and kills two goons who confront him and they smash back through glass displays as they fall.
  • We see a flashback of Frank being shot in the chest.
  • A man slaps Dave and then opens a switchblade at Frank who punches and then removes the guy.
  • A mariachi type man sings a threatening song to Frank. Later, he crashes his car into Frank's as a drawbridge in front of them rises. The guy fires his shotgun at Frank who quickly gets his armor plating in place and then drives off, flying over the open bridge span. He nearly hits a girl and then crashes into and over another car, flipping over onto its roof. That man then approaches Frank and prepares to shoot him dead, but Frank shoots a blade from his knife that impales the man in the throat, killing him (with bloody results).
  • A man barely gets off a boat before an explosive detonates and destroys it.
  • Howard throws something that shatters when it hits a wall.
  • A large Russian man attacks Frank, punching him and then through his door. The two exchange many blows and Frank stabs a switchblade into the Russian's chest, but it doesn't seem to faze him. The Russian then takes that knife and slowly pushes it into Frank's chest as he tries to prevent from that happening. More hitting follows, with the Russian roughing up Frank and bashing him with various objects. Frank then tosses a grenade at the Russian who hits it back at him like a baseball. Frank then dives into a bathtub to avoid the resultant explosion that causes a great deal of property damage. The Russian then continues to toss Frank about and then bashes him through a wall with a toilet that he's ripped from the floor. He then tries to strangle Frank and then smashes his head several times with a fridge door. Frank reaches for a handgun, but the Russian smashes it to the point of being useless. He then blasts Frank through a wall and then a door into the neighbor's place where he again tries to strangle him. Frank then kicks him away and throws boiling water (or something similar) into the Russian's face, severely scalding him. Frank then drives the Russian out through a banister and the two tumble down the stairs. We then see that the Russian is dead and his arm is bent back in an unnatural fashion.
  • Quentin and some goons arrive at Frank's place looking for him. As Joan hides Frank (who's wounded) in a compartment below the floor, Quentin confronts Dave and Bumpo, asking them where Frank is. When they won't answer, Quentin takes a pair of pliers, talks about Dave's many facial piercings, and then takes the pliers to his eyebrow ring. We then see the motion but not the actual tearing out of that ring. He then does the same to the ring in his nostril.
  • Frank takes the large blade from a paper cutter (the size of a machete) and then slams it down onto and into a goon's head, killing him.
  • Howard confronts one of his men whom he believes has betrayed him with his wife. He then has that man by the neck and slices his arm with a switchblade. He then punches and stabs that man (we don't see the latter impact) and then repeatedly stabs him in the chest, killing him (no blood and we hear more of the sound than actually see the impact).
  • Howard purposefully breaks his wife's things when he thinks she's betrayed him. He then backhands her to the floor and then grabs her.
  • A man throws a woman a considerable distance down from a bridge onto train tracks below him. She survives the fall, but a train then approaches and runs her over (we don't see the impact and presumed death).
  • Frank shoots an arrow into a man's back and another through a second man's neck.
  • A big explosion takes out many people. Frank then fires a machine gun at the survivors (with some bloody results) and appears to be shot a few times himself (but is later okay). He then shoots others with a handgun and shotgun until a goon shoots him twice in the chest with a shotgun (he's wearing a bulletproof vest). Frank then shoots this man, stabs a knife into him and then drives it up through his chin (we see the bloody blade in the man's mouth). An explosion kills one person and Frank shoots and kills another.
  • Frank positions an explosive in a villain's hand so that if he moves it, it will go off and kill him (we later hear the resultant explosion).
  • Frank shoots a villain and then ties him to a car that he puts into gear. That car then drives into others that then explode and catch the villain on fire.



  • Reviewed March 24, 2004 / Posted April 16, 2004

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