Monday, April 22, 2024


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Best Work with a Vehicle” at the World Stunt Awards. It lost to The Bourne Supremacy.

• Best Scene/Moment: The Thomas Jane vs. Kevin Nash fight sequence.

• Best Song (tie): “In Time” by Mark Collie and “Bleed” by Puddle of Mudd.
• Best Merch: A “The Punisher 2004 - John Travolta Polo Shirt w/Studio COA” for $175.00. So, let me get this straight, I can own a screen used polo shirt my favorite actor wore in The Punisher (2004)? This is tempting. The problem is once I own it, what am I going to do with it? It’s not like I’d wear it or frame it or anything. It’s still tempting.

• Writer/Director Grade: The Punisher was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh in his directorial debut. I don’t have a great gauge for him as a filmmaker because The Punisher is the only film of his I’ve seen. I missed his other movies like Welcome to the Jungle, Kill the Irishman, and The Ice Road. His writing credits (before he was a director) include a lot of movies I have nostalgia for such as Die Hard with a Vengeance, Jumanji, and Armageddon. This is a bit of an incomplete grade but because I really like The Punisher (2004), I’ll give him an Overall Grade: B.

• Double It with This 2004 Movie: Ladder 49

• Year 2004 Movies to Trailer Before Them: Blade: Trinity, Catwoman, Hellboy

Color of Night or The Punisher? The Punisher
• Mall Movie? A revenge picture based on a comic book property? You bet it’s a mall movie!

• Only in 2004: Releasing a revenge movie like The Punisher on the same day as another (better) revenge movie - Kill Bill: Vol. 2. What were they thinking? In addition, Man on Fire came out a week later and Walking Tall was also released in April 2004. No wonder The Punisher didn’t perform better at the box office.

• Scene Stealer: Will Patton.

• I Miss (tie): Roy Scheider and pre-Iron Man Marvel comic book movies.

• I Don’t Miss: Eddie Jemison’s character actor run post Ocean's Eleven (2001). Nothing against the actual person but he creeps me out on screen even in roles where he’s not supposed to creep me out.

• 2004 Crush (tie): Laura Harring and Samantha Mathis.

• 2024 Crush (tie): Rebecca Romijn and Samantha Mathis.
• What I Thought in 2004: I loved it and felt like a crazy person because no one else did.

• What I Think in 2024: The Punisher is one of my favorite movies of 2004. I like the character relationships; the action is exciting, and Thomas Jane kicks ass in the lead role. I wasn’t a reader of the Marvel comic, so I wonder if this movie’s reputation suffers because it isn’t faithful enough to the source material. I’m not sure. Nevertheless, as an action movie it delivers the goods with my guy John Travolta having fun in the flashy, debonair villain role. Us action fans were spoiled in April 2004.


  1. I've read the storyline the movie is based on. The changes are fine. It's surprisingly close actually.

  2. Great article, Adam! Just the other day, I was thinking about giving this movie another shot. I didn't care for it at the time, but I suspect it's aged well.

    Also, you can totally get a t-shirt framed. I've seen framed movie costumes go for big bucks at conventions. I'm pretty sure sports fans also do this with jerseys.

    1. Yeah I just don't think I would want to invest the money or wall space to frame a shirt if I bought it.