movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
NOTE: This submitter of this great spoiler says... "This was an excellent movie. Kind of refreshing to have an "R" rated Marvel movie. Probably will be the only Marvel franchise to carry this rating seeing as how Spider-Man, X-Men, and so on are PG-13. Anyways, on to the spoiler:"
The movie starts out with two men (Mickey Ducka and Bobby Saint) going to meet an arms dealer with some odd Russian sounding name. The arms dealer turns out to be undercover FBI Agent, Frank Castle. They discuss some business before the FBI swoops in to break up the party with sirens blaring, choppers, and guns drawn. Frank is gunned down while Mickey and Bobby panic and Bobby pulls a gun, which leads to him getting shot and killed. After the smoke clears, back at FBI's post, we find that Frank wasn't really shot, it was all part of the ruse. His friend then goes on to lead him into a room where Frank's colleagues throw him a surprise retirement party. Apparently this was his last mission.
We then go to Howard Saint's mansion where his other son (Johnny, Bobby's twin, played by the same actor) informs his mom, Livia, and his dad that their son has been killed. Livia breaks down obviously. We then see a woman packing up boxes obvioulsy readying to move. When she turns she sees her husband standing in the doorway. This is the Castle residence, with wife, Maria, and son, Will. Maria tells Frank that Will is upset about them moving again after constantly moving due to his job. He goes outside and promises his son that this is their final move. They are moving to London because it's safe and he'll explain why they moved so much when Will is older.
But first, the Castles are going to Puerto Rico to have a family reunion. We then see Howard Saint (John Travolta) identifying his son's body at the FBI's post. He then asks Frank's friend who the Russian arms dealer was that had his son killed (which WAS Frank undercover). His friend tells Saint to leave it to the professionals, to which Saint replies, "I'll do that". Later that night, Mickey Ducka comes back to Tampa, Florida, where this movie takes place, and is picked up by Quentin, Bobby, and some more of Saint's thugs. He is beaten up, until Saint comes in and says that the man responsible for his son's death must pay. He pulls a gun on Mickey, but then suddenly shoots another man three times saying that he should have never let his son out of his sight. He then tells Quentin to find out everything he can about Otto Krieg (Frank's alias as the arms dealer).
In Puerto Rico, the Castles are having a ball, with Frank's dad (Roy Scheider of Jaws fame) giving a toast saying how happy he is to have everybody there. Back in Florida, Howard Saint is burying his son. As he and his wife are preparing to leave the cemetary, Quentin informs him that their contacts have found out that Otto Krieg is really Frank Castle, FBI agent and that he is currently in Puerto Rico for a family reunion before leaving for London the next week. Howard orders Quentin to take some men and kill Frank, but before he rolls the window up, Saint's wife chimes in and says, "No...his WHOLE family". Howard asks if that's what she wants, and she nods.
Now it's morning in Puerto Rico and Frank is in his son's room watching him sleep when his wife joins him. They talk about wanting to have another kid when Will wakes up. They talk and Will says that he got a shirt for his dad that the man at the store says wards off evil. It turns out to be the infamous black t-shirt with Punisher skull emblazoned on it. Unknown to the Castle clan, Quentin and his men are coming up on their beach house where the entire family is outside eating. A shot rings out while Frank's dad is showing his son his restored gun collection. They both turn to see Frank's mom fall over dead. Then a hail of gunfire tears through the picnic with bodies dropping all over the place. Frank and his dad grab two shotguns and prepare for battle. They take out a couple as more relatives continue to die. Outside, Frank's dad is shot, but manages to stab another man before dying.
Meanwhile, Frank's wife and son are hiding and decide to make a run for their jeep. They are spotted and Quentin and his men chase after them in their truck. Frank hops on a dirtbike behind them. Eventually Maria and Will flip over, but manage to climb out and start running out on a dock towards Frank's dad's boat. But the bad guy's truck is right behind them, and they fall and are run over and killed. Frank finally catches up to see their bodies on the dock and the truck turning around. He shoots at them, but he is shot twice himself. He is then beaten and dragged to a dock where gasoline is sprayed all over and Johnny Saint shoots Frank in the chest after saying, "This time...no blanks". Then the gas is lit and Frank is blown into the ocean. Hearing the news, Howard rewards his wife with a pair of Harry Winston Diamond earrings (important), while she rewards him with...you know what.
Frank is found by a native whom everybody claimed to be a "witch doctor". He is nursed back to health by this man, and then returns to his beach house to round up his father's guns to start his revenge mission. He finds his son's gift, the shirt on the beach and takes it with him. He lives in a rundown apartment building with Joan, Dave, and Bumpo (Rebecca Romijn, and two other guys). They're intrigued by him since he never talks, never comes out of his room, and always works on his loud as hell GTO. Later on, Frank finds Mickey Ducka and takes him back to his apartment where he hangs him upside down and threatens him with a blow torch in a very funny scene involving a steak and popcicle. Mickey hates the Saints and agrees to help Frank set up and kill them. Apparently Frank has been a recluse because his FBI friend and another man are surprised to see him when he shows up to tell them it's been five months since his family was slaughtered and not one man is in jail.
Joan, Dave, and Bumpo see this on the news and Joan tells him that they're sorry about his family, but he needs to not destroy himself as well. He blows them off time and time again, until Joan's abusive ex-boyfriend shows up banging on her door and slapping Dave around. Frank punches the guy and throws him out, gaining admiration from the three. They then set out to include him in their life. Meanwhile, Mickey continues to inform Frank of the Saint's activities, including Howard's bank. Frank then goes to the bank and throws thousands of dollars out the window to the street below. He exits the building after killing two goons. Howard now realizes that Frank Castle is alive after finding Frank's tombstone on his golf course and tells Quentin to get all men on him. Mickey tells Frank that Howard is very protective of his wife and that if a man even looks at her too long, they'll end up in Tampa Bay (important later).
Frank trails Quentin with a camera and finds him roughing up a man in a park before passionately kissing him. Turns out Quentin is gay. Frank snaps photos of the makeout session. Frank also finds out that Livia Saint has a routine where she goes to the movies every Thursday. He steals her car while she's in the movies and uses her phone to call Quentin to threaten him with the pictures if he does not pay $5,000. Quentin goes to meet the "mystery man" at a hotel where Frank left Livia's car to get a ticket (important). He then returns her car with her never knowing. Later on, Frank is eating in Joan's diner when a man walks in carrying a guitar case. Frank gets nervous and reaches for his gun, but turns out there really is just a guitar in the case. The man sings a threatening song and says he's gonna sing it at Frank's funeral. The man says his name is Harry Heck and then walks out. Later, Frank is at a drawbridge, when a green car slams into the back of him. Out gets Harry Heck with a huge gun. Frank pulls down some metal sheets he installed so he is safe in his car. He jumps the bridge, but swerves to miss a kid and ends up flipping over. Harry catches up and is about to shoot Frank, when he pulls out a knife that shoots the blade into Harry's throat, killing him. Frank takes his car. Quentin informs Howard that Heck failed, so Howard says, "Call The Russian".
Back at the apartment, Dave knocks on Frank's door saying Joan's abusive ex is in her apartment, Frank goes to help out, but turns out they wanted to have dinner with him. They sit in silence when Joan suggests that they name what they're thankful for even though it's not Thanksgiving. She says she's thankful for being sober and being alive and having a job, Dave says that he's happy his mom's out jail, and Bumpo says he's thankful for good neighbors and friends. Frank gets up and leaves. Joan, Dave, and Bumpo are cleaning up listening to a famous Italian Opera, when Frank gets another knock on the door. He opens it to see a huge man, he tries to shut the door, but "The Russian" punches through it. Frank stabs the man, but gets no reaction, the Russian then stabs Frank.
A vicious fight goes on with Frank getting his ass literally tossed around the place until he's thrown through Joan's wall. He throws scalding water in the Russian's face and spears him down the stairs finally killing the Russian. Joan then stitches Frank up while he downs an entire bottle of Wild Turkey. after the fight with the Quentin and some men show up to the apartment. Joan and Frank hide while Quentin tortures Dave by pulling out his facial piercings, eyebrow, nose, and lip to get him to talk, but he doesn't. Bumpo and Dave are left alone while Quentin believes they really don't know anything.
Later, Frank steals Livia's car again and calls to blackmail Quentin with the gay photos on Livia's car phone saying the price is now $10,000. Quentin leaves to meet the mystery man again while Frank sneaks into his house and plants one of Livia's diamond earrings. He then returns the car to the movie theater. At the Saint mansion, Mickey asks Howard how he would like to pay for Livia's parking ticket, which Howard becomes mad at assuming she is cheating on him with Quentin, after the first phone call led to Quentin being spotted at the hotel where Livia's car was ticketed. (See? The set up) Howard then gets in his car and leaves pissed off. He goes to Quentin's house and finds his wife's diamond earring. Quentin arrives and is surprised to see Howard. Howard goes on to challenge Quentin and accuse him of banging his wife while Quentin denies the whole thing. Eventually Howard snaps and stabs Quentin to death. Livia Saint arrives home to see her husband throwing her things off a balcony, he tells her he knows she's cheating on him while she tells him that's not possible because Quentin was gay. He accuses her of saying anything to get out of it and backhands her before dragging her into a limo. They drive through Little Cuba where Howard says that it's a neighborhood for whores and that she'll fit right in. He drags her out and throws her off a bridge onto some train tracks where she is run over and killed. He then tells the limo driver to take him to his club for a martini.
Back at Frank's, he is gearing up to battle Howard and his remaining men. Joan tells him he'll be no better than those that killed his family, but he doesn't listen. He is decked out in a bulletproof vest with The Punisher skull on it. Very cool. He rigs a bunch of cars in the club parking lot with explosives before heading into the club. Takes out two men with arrows before sending up a bucket of ice rigged with an explosive that tears apart the club. He then shoots the remaining men while Howard runs outside. He then sees Johnny Saint trapped under a bookshelf, he places an explosive in his hand that will go off if he drops it and walks away. Outside, he catches up with Howard and Howard says that he killed his son. You then hear a scream and explosion, to which Frank replies, "Both of them". Howard then pulls a gun, but Frank is faster and shoots Howard in the chest dropping him. Frank then walks over and tells Howard how he made him kill his wife and best friend and throws the pictures of Quentin kissing a man to him. Howard is in shock, he then pulls some cables from under a car and ties Howard to the limo with them. He then throws the car into gear as it rolls towards the parking lot. Frank then starts detonating the charges as cars blow up around Howard and he catches on fire. Finally Frank detonates the one on the limo, blowing up and killing Howard. The camera then goes to an aerial view of the burning cars, and it's in the shape of the Punisher's skull. VERY COOL!
Frank goes back to his apartment wounded, and drinks heavily again, then holds a gun under his chin to kill himself, when he has visions of his wife and he stops. Later, we find Joan, Dave, and Bumpo reading a letter Frank wrote before leaving. At the end of the letter he tells them to look in the cabinet. They do and find he left them a ton of money from when he broke into Saint's bank. We then see Frank standing on a bridge saying that he has work to do and that those who do evil will come to know him. Finally he says that Frank Castle died with his family, and that you can call him...The Punisher.