Thomas Jane.. get in the back seat. Dolph Lundgren.. get out. The Punisher has arrived. Though Jane’s Punisher was slightly more emotional and carried more star power, this go ’round is right off the page.
Following closer to the storyline than any of the previous flicks, Stevenson hits his character mark like a gold brick. Cold, nearly emotionless (except for his family and the occasional screw-up) and the perfect machine to carry out the punishment of the corrupt. Though Thomas Jane had a meatier script with a far better supporting cast, Stevenson gets the comic book movie. A villain who was trying a little to hard to be a Joker or Two-Face type (as compared to Travolta’s cold care-free villain in the previous fare) this Punisher stills kills and blows stuff up with a good deal of gusto. The opening 20 minutes alone rivals the glued to your seat final 20 minutes of action the Punisher represents. With a slight recall of Lundgren’s “You’re guilty, you die” type, yet not as emotional or torn as Jane’s brooding sort of anti-hero, this is definitely the Punisher the comics books wrote about.. just not the villain or supporting characters he really needed.
Not quite comic epic, but bring the popcorn and no bathroom breaks.