My actions are not judgment, they are punishment.
2004, a year that saw many good movies and many other films that would establish their own line of franchises. Movies including the remake of Dawn of the Dead, Shrek 2, Hellboy, Spider-Man 2, and the wildly successful, Napoleon Dynamite. But there was one movie that is often forgotten...but maybe wrongfully so. That film? None other than The Punisher.
Based on the Marvel comic of the same name and starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta, the movie went on to get a cult following and a short film sequel entitled Punisher: Dirty Laundry. But Thomas Jane has stated that he does not want to return as The Punisher, unless the script is right. Showing that he generally liked the role and that he feels like it needs the proper treatment. That being said the 2008 film Punisher: Warzone was initially supposed to be a sequel to Jane's film, but Jane had artistic differences with the director about the movie. Leading to Warzone being a completely separate entity from the 2004 movie.
I honestly believe that Jane should return as Frank Castle because he just felt like [The Punisher](movie:1007544). The Punisher has always been an athletically built American vigilante, not a Schwarzenegger-esque European bodybuilder as portrayed by Dolph Lundgren in the '80s. Jane just hit it on the head, in my honest opinion. He was just so convincing, he really seemed damaged and lost. Sure, there were a few times where he brought some cheese to the character but not a whole lot.
Now, less about Jane and more about the movie itself. The movie takes place in and was filmed in Tampa, Florida in 2003. I used to have family down there and I even lived 4 or 5 hours away. In fact, I believe I was down there around the time of filming. Although, I was unaware of it. At the time I was around 9 or 10 when it came out. A little too young to watch even though I begged my mom and she finally gave in so we ended up renting it. I still enjoy the movie to this day. Also the acting in the movie: not great, but I wouldn't say terrible. There are plenty of sins in this movie as 'Cinemasins' would put it.
Now, the acting, as I said...was not perfect and among those that come to mind is John Travolta. You can tell he hammed it up. Also his strange hair did a better job in the film than he did. However, in terms of good acting; I liked Rebecca Romijn in the film as Joan. She just seemed like an average person in the role and it made her very likable. Although I do wish that they put a little more into her and Frank's relationship instead of just teased at it. And yes, I understand that this is not the most accurate in relationship to the comics. Like a background in Puerto Rico, and having his entire family killed instead of just wife and child. The movie is more based on the 'Welcome Back Frank' line of comics, which included Joan, and a few other characters.
Even though the film had some violent parts, it wasn't overly so. The other two Punisher films were filled with violence and gore making this film relatively tame in comparison. As I said earlier - aside from a few parts. The film actively tries to avoid being a gore fest while also being gritty and intense. A combination that should be utilized more often. Let's not forget that it included - probably - the greatest interrogation scene ever put to film. Though, I'm not going to spoil it here.
In short...I just believe that The Punisher (2004) was a very underrated film and deserves better. When I think of Frank Castle I think of Jane in the role. I just think he should come back whether in another movie or in a Netflix TV show for the character. In fact, even though I know it's never going to happen: I believe that Thomas Jane should return in a Tarantino directed/produced Punisher film. Just a dream, though. Anyway, I just really believe that Thomas Jane was born to play The Punisher, a role that seemed made just for him.