Starring: Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Omar Avila, Mark Collie, James Carpinello, Kevin Nash, Laura Harring, Eddie Jemison, Rebecca Romijn, Will Patton, Roy Scheider
Written By: Jonathan Hensleigh and Michael France
Directed By: Jonathan Hensleigh
Buy On Amazon
FBI agent Frank Castle was on the brink of hanging up the badge when tragedy struck while he and his family were celebrating. Now seeking revenge for the death of his family, Frank Castle takes on the moniker of the Punisher in order to seek vengeance and justice for their untimely deaths against the criminals who caused them.
Originally released in 2004 in what some may call the dark ages of super hero movies, this version of the Punisher was pulled from a spectacular Punisher run from a few years before by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon called “Welcome Back, Frank”. Having been away from the punishing scene for a while, an older, grittier Frank Castle finds himself moving in on a crime syndicate and holing up in a rundown motel full of social misfits and outcasts. While modified quite a bit to fit the big screen, the elements of Frank having some semblance of a family, albeit a ramshackle one, to care for and protect is what gave this iteration of the Punisher the heart and soul that most Punisher stories gloss over or lack entirely.
“The Punisher” stars Thomas Jane as Frank Castle and brings the star power with the casting of John Travolta as Howard Saint…the man responsible for the Castle’s deaths. Jane always felt right for the role as he was extremely likable even when he was doing the most gruesome of things to his enemies and John Travolta channeled his “Face-Off” evil twin to deliver a memorable foil to the Punisher’s all-out war.
This polished release sees the film get the 4K treatment for the first time and comes bundled with the standard Blu-ray as well as a digital download. First off, the movie never looked so good. The 4K lends itself spectacularly to the action scenes that the movie is chock full of. The release also features Dolby Atmos audio, 16×9 widescreen format as well as a ton of special features, audio commentary and deleted scenes with commentary.
If you think that you’ve seen “The Punisher” before in one of its dozens of previous version, then you are in for a surprise. No stone is left unturned in this ultimate remastering. The audio remix is amazing, Dolby Vision HDR brings the somewhat drab color palette of the film to life with the vibrant remastering and you’ll get a ton of new features for your viewing pleasure. I was slightly disappointed that Lionsgate couldn’t find a way to include the unofficial “Dirty Laundry” Punisher short but that’s show biz I suppose.
• Audio Commentary with director Jonathan Hensleigh
• Deleted Scene with optional director Commentary
-“Introduction of Saints and Sinners Club”
-“Livia Saint Insults Mickey Duka”
• “Keepin’ It Real: The Punisher Stunts” Featurette
• “Army of One: The Punisher Origins” Featurette
• “War Journal: On the Set of The Punisher” Featurette
• Music Video “Step Up” Performed by Drowning Pool
• “Drawing Blood: Bradstreet Style” Featurette
4K Audio Status: English Dolby Atmos, French 5.1 Dolby Audio™
Blu-ray Audio Status: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio™, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio
4K Ultra HD™ Format: Dolby Vision, 2160p Ultra High Definition 16×9 Widescreen 2.35:1 Presentation
Blu-ray Format: 1080p High Definition 16×9 Widescreen 2.35:1 Presentation
Bottom Line: The 4K release of “The Punisher” isn’t just another repackaged release. Not only does it sound stunning and look beautiful, it comes with loads of new features to whet your appetite.
Running Time: 125 Mins