Franchise Evolution: The Punisher (part 2 of 2)
After recovering, Frank heads to Florida to seek his revenge. Said revenge is a little more cerebral than one would expect from the character. He plays mind games with Saint, turning him against his wife and best friend, while slowly chipping away at the man’s criminal enterprise.
In between bouts of ‘70s style action, we get comedic interludes with Frank and the neighbors in the apartment adjacent to his. There’s pretty much every sort of cliché covered here. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos is on hand as a sweet woman who Frank can confide in and get comfort from, Ben Foster is a heavily pierced slacker who figures in the film’s most unpleasant sequence, and comedian John Pinette is the requisite fat funny guy. Sadly, John is nowhere near as funny in the movie as he is in his act.
Frank eventually goes after Saint in a more direct manner by way of shooting up the man’s club, killing everyone in sight, and finally delivering some poetic justice to Saint himself. It’s a decently over the top finale, but it’s a rather strange tonal change when you go from what’s basically a ‘70s style revenge picture to an ‘80s style climax, with cheesy CGI at the end.