So I wrote this artcile over at Bags and Boards
about the Punisher movie franchise and want to know how you clowns feel about it.
It wasn’t until around the year 1994 that I became acutely aware of The Punisher. In the 14 years in between, the entertainment industry has done nothing but made me sour with putrid hate coursing through my pulsing veins with what they have done with my favorite Marvel hero.
Frank Castle is the only true embodiment of the meaning of “man.” Sometimes it was all I could do to keep from punching someone in their stupid face when they told me a Chuck Norris fact, as if HE were the definition. A real man isn’t concerned about anything other than justice. Real men don’t have time for high-maintenance over-pampered women. They don’t have time for beers with the guys after work. The only thing they have time for is making sure there is a slug lodged firmly in the skull of every punk degenerate that roams the streets (preferably said street is in New York City or any metropolitan sprawl with tall buildings stacked side by side. Also, loads of steam would be nice.)
To me, this is like shooting fish in a barrel as far as character development or a story are involved. And yet, I’ve yet to see one single drop of Punisher decency outside the pages of a comic book and it’s driving me insane. I’m not kidding. I just ate a scoop of my cat’s IAMS dry food. It tasted awful but that’s what I do, alright? I’m insane now.
But in order to regain some sanity I will provide to you, faithful reader, two things that can be done to make the perfect Punisher movie. First, whoever cast Tom Jane in 2005’s “The Punisher” needs to be shot in both legs with a harpoon. No offense to Tom Jane, he was in a couple episodes of “Arrested Development” so that automatically makes him good people, but Frank Castle is a rugged tower of a man who has no soul and feels no emotions other than anger. Jane possesses none of those qualities. The person portraying Castle should also have the voice of a man who has smoked three packs a day since the age of four. But the most important quality that this iteration of The Punisher must have is a face that can tell Frank Castle’s story in one glance. Think of a face that never makes eye contact when talking because they are either too disgusted with you or they don’t even acknowledge your existence. As far as facial hair is concerned, this man is going to need a 9 o’clock shadow.
The only other piece that is needed is a storyline that is based around one thing: death. Notice I didn’t say “killing.” This is where Hollywood has gone wrong. I haven’t seen “Punisher: War Zone” but it looks like it’s all about killing. I can already tell you that that movie is going to be a steaming pile of garbage. The reason that The Punisher’s story would work so well in a movie is because deep down all of us love what he does. To make it even better, it’s a story that could easily happen in real life. You can’t tell me that if you picked up your local newspaper and saw a front page story about a guy who had blown the head off a druglord with a sawed off shotgun, that you wouldn’t think that justice had been served, and that you weren’t just a little happy. Then, the next day if you read another story about a group of three pedophiles found dead and castrated, wouldn’t you start getting the feeling that someone was actually doing SOMETHING about the filth in our society?
It’s these emotions that the entire Punisher franchise our founded upon, and yet, not one filmmaker has come forward to knock this slow-pitch softball out of the park.