Monday, March 10, 2014

The Punisher (1989)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie The Punisher (1989).

I have waited for a long time to see this movie. Now it became available. Movie has some sort of cult status. Some say, this is the best Punisher movie. I wouldn't go that far. Two other movies are quite solid action movies. I might get back to them later. This time we check 80's Punisher.

In comics Frank Castle's family was killed in park, when they where in middle of fire fight. They were collateral damage. In this they were intentionally killed, when someone set bomb to Castle's car. No mentions why bomb was set or what Mafia had against Frank Castle. Family was killed and Castle went underground. He became Punisher, vigilante, who kills criminals. He has killed 125 criminals in five years. New kills doesn't seem to change that number.  Mafia is so weak now, that Yakuza is coming to their territory. Castle decides to take break, when Yakuza and Mafia start to fight over territory. Yakuza kidnaps Mafia bosses kids. Punisher's informant talks Punisher to save the kids. This starts the stupidity, which make you wonder, how Punisher has survived this long.

Punisher attacks Yakuza's bar to send a message. He kills couple guys and uses couple minutes to destroy the bar by shooting his machine gun. He stands on pool table in middle of bar during this time. No cover what so ever. Any criminal with any brain could have easily taken him out. Because he survived this, he test his luck even further. He goes to amusement park to free kidnapped kids. He takes his informant with him and leaves him outside amusement park. It was Yakuza's ambush. Yakuza catches Punisher and informant. How could they catch the informant? Where did they found him?

Punisher tells Batman sent him, when Yakuza tortures him. Batman is DC character and Punisher is Marvel character. How they got away with that is beyond me. Punished escapes Yakuza and gets real location of kidnapped kids. He saves all of them except one, who is a kid of only surviving mafia boss. Yakuza kills other bosses in café. They poison bosses. Then shoot their henchmen and tell bosses they are poisoned and watched them die. Why create such a complicated plot? Shooting everyone or poisoning everyone would have had same result. Police catches Punisher after he saved the kids.

Surviving mafia boss breaks Punisher free and forces him to save his kid. They attack Yakuza's hideout. Punisher takes informant with him and shows him to mafia boss. No need to hide his identity. If boss survives, surely he won't tell anyone who is punisher's informant. Punisher caries easily breaking guns with him. He can't use them after he drops them. They have to be broken, because they can't be out of ammo, since he didn't fire a shot, before he drops the gun. All his guns seems to be like that, because this happens with all of his guns.

Boss and Punisher kill all Yakuza members. Then boss tries to kill Punisher. Boss' kid sees the fight and how Punisher kills his father. He says he will kill Punisher. Punisher urges him to do that, so he won't become bad man. Kid can't kill Punisher. Punisher tells kid he won't become bad man like his father, if he become, Punisher will be waiting him. That line alone is worth watching the movie. Dolph Lundgren is awful actor in this movie. He talks like he did as Ivan Drago, Dialog is often bad. Characters are bad stereotypes and do stupid things.  But that line made movie worth watching. I can understand why this has cult status. Lundgren's over the top tough guy Punisher is unintentionally comical at times. Why he was naked in sewer, when he talked about god and punishment?

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