The Punisher (2004)
It’s probably a bad omen when the co-writer of Armageddon makes his directorial debut (J.J. Abrams is a fluke). The Punisher is one of the ugliest movies I have ever seen. The action isn’t exciting; it’s pat, poorly shot and grotesque. The story isn’t interesting. It’s not enough that The Punisher has his family killed; he has to have his ENTIRE family killed during a reunion. When he does exact his vengeance, the film stops an audience from engaging with the characters and pushes them away by callous misstep after callous misstep. This is just sadistic, ugly, and over-the-top while simultaneously being entirely, sadly predictable. By the time John Travolta gets dragged by a slow-moving car through a field of explosions, you may have thrown up in your mouth, swallowed it, and thrown up again.
Nate’s Grade: D