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YMMV / The Punisher (2004)

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  • Awesome Music:
  • Better on DVD: The "Extended Cut" release; several scenes are added in that actually improve upon the film's theatrical cut and flesh out a few plot holes - most specifically, scenes with Frank's former partner, who is revealed to have sold Frank out to Howard Saint, which lead to the Castle family being massacred. (The "Extended Cut" of the film is also the one shown when the film plays on the FX network.)
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  • Can't Un-Hear It: Thomas Jane as the Punisher for some.
  • Critical Dissonance: The movie was not well-received by critics, sitting at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it has an audience rating of 63%.
  • Cult Classic: The movie didn't exactly crush it at the box office and nets some derision from comic-book purists, but is well-liked among action buffs for being a throwback to gritty, oldschool shoot-em-up flicks at a time when The Matrix copycats were still all the rage.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Harry Heck. A Johnny Cash-esque, Affably Evil hired killer who sings the tune to Frank Castle's life. Then he dies one chase later. The character made quite an impression on audiences however, and is often mentioned as one of the most memorable scenes of the movie. Keep in mind Harry Heck was nothing but a named Mook in the comics, who appears and dies in one page.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: John Travolta's character kills Frank's family as payback for the death of his son. Five years later Travolta's son died.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • "My father and mother send their regards" becomes funnier after the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones' third season.
    • In the 2005 video game, Matt Murdock became Frank Castle's lawyer. It happens again a decade later in Daredevil season 2.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Frank. He's cold, unpleasant, and his quest for vengeance leads him to do some really horrific things, even if the victims do have it coming. But considering how he lost everyone he ever loved, it's hard to not feel sorry for him.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Saints cross it with the massacre of Frank Castle's entire family.
    • In a deleted scene, it is revealed that Jimmy Weeks had sold out Castle (albeit reluctantly) to cover his gambling debts. When confronted about his betrayal, he tries to shoot Castle. No going back from that.
  • Narm:
    • Howard's "screaming" when his legs catch fire in Frank's trap — it sounds like he's merely slipping on a banana peel instead of dying in agony.
    • Livia's Stock Scream when Howard throws her off a bridge and onto a train track — she does another one as a train runs her over.
    • When Frank is fighting one of Howard's mooks during his shootout at Howard's club, he shoots him in the foot, making him give a comical groan. Then Frank pins the mook's hand behind his back and stabs it, making the mook give out a yell of pain that suspiciously sounds like he's doing opera. And then Frank stabs him under his jaw, with the result looking darkly silly.


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