For some reason Marvel Comics’ Punisher has been a difficult nut to crack–despite the fact that the character is essentially Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) from 1974’s Death Wish, a movie that went on to do pretty well at the box office.
His first appearance was in New World Pictures 1984 movie The Punisher, and despite the criticism that surrounds that movie, wasn’t terrible–which isn’t to imply that it was great, though it was enjoyable in its own way–and Dolph Lindgren (and his ever-present Swedish accent) interpreted the material pretty well.
Unfortunately, not even the Punisher couldn’t get people into theaters, and the movie flopped.
The character was revisited again in LionsGate’s 2004 movie The Punisher, this time starring Thomas Jane.
Jane does pretty well in the role, despite not being as physically similar to the character as Lundgren.
And it once again underperforms–despite that if you move forward ten years to 2014 Denzel Washington starred in the successful movie interpretation of The Equalizer (based on a 1985 CBS television series) who essentially IS the Punisher.
Lionsgate tried again in 2008 with Punisher: War Zone which was similar in tone to the 1984 movie (with its violence intact and intensified, if nothing else).
And it too didn’t do that well, and since you’d be lucky to get one chance at success, never mind three, you’d be safe in assuming that the Punisher had killed his last opponent. Continue reading