The Punisher

Year: 1989
Production Co: New World Pictures Australia
Director: Mark Goldblatt
Producer: Robert Mark Kamen
Writer: Boaz Yakin
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett Jr, Barry Otto, Jeroen Krabbe
With the dire 2004 Jonathan Hensleigh version as a comparison, there was little chance this movie could be as bad as you'd think.

Surprisingly, it's a little better than you expect. While it's not Shakespeare and a post- Rocky V Lundgren isn't Olivier, it does have a slightly enigmatic feel as Frank Castle (Lundgren) makes his way through the sewers underneath the city to exact punishment on the guilty.

If you're any sort of comic book fan you'll know the story about how cop Castle's family was murdered and he himself left for dead by gangsters. He goes underground and turns into a less theatrical vigilante than his Marvel stablemates, tracking down and executing criminal prey.

I wanted to see this film as it was produced and shot entirely in Sydney, although aside from some North Sydney CBD exteriors and the chase through Luna Park, the character of the city is altogether absent.

It's a facsimile of a million other origin story/big final boss superhero mythologies, and in 1989 it was a lot less boring than it is now we've seen all of them - including The Punisher all over again - so many times.

And of course, if you take note of the release date it didn't have a hope of standing up next to the media blitz that surrounded the other comic book-based movie release of 1989.

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