The Punisher - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Punisher Reviews

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November 16, 2016
As much as I try every time to find redeeming qualities in this, I can't. It's nice to Dolph beat people up, as usual, but as a Punisher movie is pretty lousy. As just a straight up action movie, it's pretty generic. Lou Gossett Jr is awesome as always. The logo on the poster is accurate at least...
September 17, 2016
The Punisher(1989)
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett, Jr., Jeroen Krabbé, Kim Miyori, Bryan Marshall, Nancy Everhard, Barry Otto, Brian Rooney, Zoshka Mizak, Kenji Yamaki, Hirofumi Kanayama, Larry McCormick, Todd Boyce, Lani John Tupu, John Negroponte, and Christian Manon
Directed By: Mark Goldblatt
Review
JUDGE, JURY, EXECUTIONER, ALL IN A DAY'S WORK
This wasn't even a Punisher movie, not once throughout this whole generic boring action piece of garbage film did this feel like Punisher.
The avenging angel of Marvel Comics fame comes brilliantly to life in this searing action-adventure thriller! Dolph Lundgren stars as Frank Castle, a veteran cop who loses his entire family to a mafia car bomb. Only his ex-partner believes Castle survived the blast to become THE PUNISHER ... a shadowy, invincible fighter against evil who lives for total revenge on his mob enemies.
He isn't sporting the skull on his chest and for an 80's action film it's not as brutal as other 80's action films like Commando or First Blood. And the plot's just boring and we don't delve into Frank Castle as a character at all.
The acting is lifeless, like a decaying tree with some low budget standard effects. You'd think that in an 80's action film about one of the most violent crime fighter's in comics it would be more fun, but it's no fun at all.
I've seen all three Punisher movies now and personally give Thomas Jaynes any day. I'm giving this Punisher a one out of five.
August 3, 2016
Hollywood's first and possibly the best attempt at adapting Marvel's most popular anti-hero at the time is probably the most puzzling. The dark tone is muddled throughout, but it's the over-the-top action sequences that make it all the more entertaining. Guns are fired, blood is shed, and the lines are chuckle-worthy that you can't help but not take it seriously. That's probably far from the point with this movie, as can be shown in Dolph Lundgren's staggeringly zombified performance. The vastly baffling shift of tones is what makes the 80's Punisher movie such an instant enjoyment you can just add some hot water to.
½ June 24, 2016
Just bad in almost every way
½ June 12, 2016
Bloody no bs 80's action flick with some great well choreographed action scenes.Faithful portrayal of the source material Dolph Lundgren fits the role of our psychologically disturbed anti hero Frank Castle quite well also some great dialogue between Jake and Castle makes this an enjoyable entertaining action ride.Storytelling is decent enough with some amazing one liners and Frank monologues,but limited as the movie is extremely fast paced.This movie is definitely not for pretentious hipsters and movie critics,but loyal Punisher fans will enjoy it I give this 7/10.
½ June 12, 2016
The 1989 Punisher movie has got some good elements in it but the delivery was downright atrocious. The execution is so unfocused that watching it is quite a pain. This explains why I fell asleep about 20 minutes towards the end of the show.
½ May 9, 2016
Dolph Lungren is humorously terrible as always. Not too bad for an 80's superhero movie, I guess.
½ April 27, 2016
Between the onslot of New Yorker accents and a serious lack of "skull" on Dolph Lundgren's chest, I was soon thinking that Max Payne would have been a better fit in Mark Goldblatt's adaptation, instead of a stoned Frank Castle. Although filled with gun slinging goodness, the story seemed to focus more on the crime lords story instead of the titular Punisher. But when he did appear you were still eager to see the bodies mount up.
½ March 18, 2016
Well it is pretty clear that the only people who were truly punished in this is everyone who took part in making this crappy movie. So this is Marvel's second attempt in making a mainstream comic book film, since the whimsical sci-fi comedy of Howard the Duck didn't quite float everyone's boat, the executive's must have said to each other "Hey, people like gratuitous violence AND we're still in the eighties! Let's make a comic book movie of the Punisher!" And sure enough that's what we get. The 1989 film about former police detective Frank Castle who goes on a one man killing spree for five years in Los Angeles after his family is murdered by a car bomb planted by the mob all the while having his former partner Jake Berkowitz, played by Louis Gossett Jr., trying to hunt him down. Everything in that last sentence is part of the plot, despite everything being highly inaccurate to the main comic book character, and yet it is not NEARLY as bad as Fant4stic. So what can I say about a low budget movie that was filmed in Australia and was given a worldwide theatrical release, except in the United States, Sweden, and South Africa while receiving negative reviews by everyone over the last twenty years? Quite a bit, actually.

Well every actor in here is either absolutely boring or one dimensional characters that are not really worth caring for. Every one of the actor's expositions are told by someone else in the most non interesting way. A lot of the side mafia goons in here only say things like "Fuck you, (insert racial slur here)" or every time the children talk it is poorly dubbed over by some other kid's audio. They focus more on the side characters and antagonist's rather than the Punisher himself and even then it is downright appalling. Dolph Lundgren gives one of the most uninteresting efforts in his acting career along with the least amount of dialogue. There are times where you can tell he just does not give a shit at all that he is in a movie and the lines that he delivers are just so robotic while coming off sounding a little Stallone-ish. The soundtrack in here is flat-out dull, especially 80's standards. The only credit that I can give it is the sheer amount of violence that they deliver which is okay at times. Overall, it doesn't help that this movie is just nothing more than a heaping pile of eighties. It is all the troupes and clichés of an action flick without even the slightest of the modicum of the depth of that genre. What's left is crazy, hammy, overplayed, and even at times completely nonsensical. The Punisher might have started as a comic book but this movie turned out to be more of a cartoon. Which is why in the end I give it a 1 and a half stars out of five.
January 11, 2016
This movie is hard to watch. Mostly because of Ivan Drago, but the poorly written script further expands the cheesyness and bad humor.
½ December 13, 2015
The much maligned early Marvel attempt to adapt one of their few hard edged characters (at the time) to film did not improve with age and does deserve it's reputation. However, there are some things that kind of work. Dolph Lundgren does look like The Punisher, even if he doesn't wear the trademark skull on this shirt. Louis Gossett Jr. is a great actor who for whatever reason seemed to appear in quite a bit of garbage like this. On the downside, the film's script, particularly a lot of dialogue seems awful, which is surprising since the film was written by Boaz Yakin, who wrote and directed some terrific films like "Fresh" and "A Price Above Rubies." But in Yakin's defense, I read on IMDB that the producers rewrote his script. The overall story seems like a solid comic book story; The Punisher is killing mob figures and the cops deny his existence, when the Yakuza comes to town looking to take over and kidnaps the children of the current mob power structure. The mob and the Punisher then team up to stop the female Yakuza crime lord. The film was directed by an ace action film editor Mark Goldblatt, who worked on films such as "The Terminator" "Rambo" and all the way up to "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," but he falters here i his action sequences. They seem like they nicely fit together and I'm not sure if it was the poor photography or if it just didn't cut tougher, but most of the action sequences lack any kind of suspense. Overall, this really ins't a good film at all. It doesn't work for comic fans or for causal action film fans, so there really is no audience for this film outside of people interested in watching comic book misfired like the Roger Corman "Fantastic 4" or the 1970s TV movie version of "Captain America" or the 70s "The Amazing Spider-Man" TV series. Pretty weak stuff.
December 2, 2015
Not the worst marvel movie ever, has decent action and acting, but a really weak plot and bad effects
October 2, 2015
Stupid and unforgivingly dated... which makes it have its own charm.
September 22, 2015
The 2004 film was so much better. Dolph Lundgren looks bored and drunk in this movie and that alone just made it more hilarious to watch. This is one of those "it's so bad that it's kind of funny to watch". Not once did I feel bored while watching the movie, because the whole time I was laughing my ass off at the stupid shit in this movie.
½ August 4, 2015
Low on quality, high in entertainment, this version of the Punisher may overdo the action scenes but it's all fun. Lundgren plays the badass well, and while the other characters are underdeveloped, they're likable. Plus, they always show the gun reloading, what a treat. The ending is ultimately where the film falls flat though. Still, the rest can be a good time.
½ July 19, 2015
pretty good for back in the day and with low budget
May 17, 2015
As a kid I had this on Video and loved it.
April 18, 2015
The much weaker earlier movie edition of the popular comic strip.
April 8, 2015
Anybody who was looking for anything more than a low budge action flick with the wonderful B-Actor Dolph Lundgren should get a cat scan, stat. If you expected a B-Action movie and something loosely, we are talking extremely loosely based on a Marvel property, then your brain is just fine. In no way is this a good movie, but I love Dolph and I love Frank Castle and he makes a pretty good one. Too bad they wasted him in a shitty script with shitty direction. But I digress, I was expecting that. So I liked it.
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