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(2004), R
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
April 15, 2004
27 out of 100

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2004), R -- more than 48 examples of violence or murder per hour.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Punisher Productions, Marvel Enterprises, Lions Gate Films Inc., Partnership Films
Distribution (US): Lions Gate Films Inc.
Director(s): Jonathan Hensleigh
Producer(s): Ari Arad, Avi Arad, Christopher Eberts, Kevin Feige, Andrew Golov, Andreas Grosch, Gale Anne Hurd, Stan Lee, Amir Jacob Malin, Chris Roberts, Richard Saperstein, Andreas Schmid, John H. Starke
Written by: Michael France, Jonathan Hensleigh
Cinematography/Camera: Conrad W. Hall
Music: Carlo Siliotto
Film Editing: Steven Kemper
Casting: Pam Dixon
Production Design: Michael Z. Hanan
Art Direction: John Dexter, John Hansen, Steve Saklad
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

In this latest Marvel comic book to big screen adaptation, recently retired FBI agent Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) ends up with more than he had planned for retirement to a desk job in London. His last undercover operation was a major arms deal bust in Tampa, Florida with Germans headed by Otto Kreig (who was Castle undercover). During the ensuing melee Bobby Saint (James Carpinello), the son of a major money-laundering boss [Hab. 2:9], Howard Saint (John Travolta) was killed at the hands of the FBI. Saint blamed Castle for his son's death.

Saint vowed to end Castle's life. [Rom. 12:19] Through the rear right window of his limousine, Saint ordered Quentin Glass (Will Patton), his chief aide, to kill Castle. Before Saint could roll up the window, Saint's wife, Livia (Laura Harring) ordered Glass to murder every last one of Castle's family. [Gal. 5:21] Castle's immediate family was wife, Maria (Samantha Mathis) and son, Will (Marcus Johns). Frank Castle, Sr. (Roy Scheider) and wife, Betty (Bonnie Johnson) were to be included. And were. An opportunity to comply with Saint's wife's orders presented itself since a Castle family reunion was coming up in Puerto Rico. At that family reunion every last Castle was toppled. Except one -- Frank Jr.

After killing most of the bad guys [Prov. 3:31-32], Frank Jr. chased down the bad guys who were chasing his wife and son. After wrecking their SUV, Maria and Will escaped on foot to a dock where the bad guys, which included John (also James Carpinello), the second son of Howard Saint and brother to Bobby whose death at the hands of the police started this whole thing, murdered Maria and Will by running over them. Witnessing the murders, Castle, full of bullet holes, went after the bad guys but was out of ammo. John Saint pumped one more bullet into Castle's chest while another bad guy set the dock on fire. That was the end of Frank Castle, Jr. Or so John Saint thought. [Mark 7:21]

And that was supposed to justify the rest of the show in which the title character, with single-minded fixation, sought revenge for the murder of his family. [Rom. 12:19] Oh, excuse me. It isn't vengeance. It's punishment. According to Castle anyway. By the way, that T-shirt Castle is wearing on the poster art with the famous modern art skull on the front was a gift from his son. How poetic. Castle has no super powers nor any unusual abilities beyond top-notch police work and academy conditioning. Just the mother of all drives. That is the only thing that kept Castle going and focused. jealously consumed by the one thought - to kill those responsible for his family's death. [Prov. 6:34 - 35]

After recuperating at a rundown shanty, Castle launches his campaign of vengeance -- er -- punishment. I gotta get that straight. Maybe I already do?

Some of the characters Castle meets along his path of vengeance is recovering drug addict and waitress Joan (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) who lives in the same nearly condemned apartment building as Castle. Even on the same floor. At opposite ends of the hallway. Joan has a boyfriend with a bad attitude which Castle properly adjusted. "Properly" if it is vengeance that consumes one's waking days. At any rate, that boyfriend won't be back. His tail is probably still between his legs.

Also in the same apartment building and also on the same floor, between Joan and castle are pseudo chef Bumpo (John Pinette) and perforated Spacker Dave (Ben Foster) with at least four loops of steel poking through parts of his face. The rebellion statement made by facial piercings was well made. [Is. 30:1; 1 Cor. 15:33] Dave seemed to be the cowardly wimp. However, when Quentin Glass started yanking the facial piercings out of Dave's face, a strength and projection appeared in Foster's voice that maybe made him undercast in this part.

Saint launches a number of campaigns to kill Castle. One of them was The Russian (Kevin Nash). A mountain of a man who seemed impervious to every counter attack Castle could launch. Except one. Another attempt on Castle's life was from a Johnny Cash wannabe Harry Heck (Mark Collie) who sings a ballad to Castle while Castle eats a meal at a diner. Heck leaves with a comment to Castle that he will be singing that song at Castle's funeral. Heck later caught up with Castle after Castle wrecked his souped-up GTO and pointed a closed switchblade knife at Heck. Heck told Castle he should not have brought only a knife to an assassination as he leveled a sawed-off shotgun at Castle. In moments, Heck laid dead on the street.

Like South Park: BLU with its cartoon format, that The Punisher is based on a comic book places it, too, in a special appeal. To kids. But there are few R-rated films that are more "R" than The Punisher. Violence saturates the film in several places and ways. It is astounding how many ways to kill can be generated by the human mind. There are 31.0 examples per hour of violence and/or crime (nearly all were violence) in The Punisher.

Foul language, though quite offensive, was not as thick as in many R-rated films. [Prov. 8:13] Sexual immorality was limited to excessive cleavage, a couple flashes of upper female nudity and a couple instances of the presence of homosexuality [1Cor. 6:9-10]. Jane demonstrated on several occasions abuse of alcohol [Eph. 5:18]. Vengeance and the use of God's name in vain (though without the four letter expletive) [Deut. 5:11] were the main reasons Offense to God lost 29 points. But murder was as thick as flies at a cattle auction, 17.1 examples per hour.

There are more than 48 examples of violence or murder per hour in this two hour film.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports and the number of reports generated in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way.

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If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Hab. 2:9 Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin!
  • Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  • Gal. 5:21 [unforgiven] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Prov. 3:31-32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
  • Mark 7:21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
  • Prov. 6:34 - 35 for jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is. [Though this verse is speaking to a husband's reaction to an adulterous wife, the perspective and magnitude may be applied to murder of his wife/family as well; his willingness to sin to execute his own brand of justice through vengeance no matter the cost.]
  • Is. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; [adopt worldly values and ethics] and that cover [try to hide] with a covering [with counterfeitings of or completely ignoring God's Word], but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin [that they may sin and think they don't by their counterfeitings]: [That this starts with "Woe to the rebellious children, what would make you think it does not apply to ALL.]
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the [unforgiven] wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["Wine" can be any intoxicating substance. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk. A recent study has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2]
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    The Punisher (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • imagery of gunfire gore
  • arms deal
  • gunfire killing with gore, repeatedly, by both police and criminals
  • abduction, repeatedly
  • beatings, repeatedly, some very graphic, sadistic and brutal
  • gunfire to injure, repeatedly
  • dead bodies, repeatedly
  • order to kill entire family
  • action violence sequences
  • pursuit to kill
  • attempted gunfire murder, repeatedly
  • reckless driving, repeatedly
  • threat to kill, repeatedly
  • assault, repeatedly
  • defensive killing by gunfire, repeatedly
  • defensive killing by knife blade in throat
  • theft
  • attempted murder by explosion
  • knife impalement, repeatedly, some very graphic
  • extensive fight for life with gore
  • firearm threat to face
  • hood intimidation
  • ripping facial piercings out, repeatedly
  • order to kill
  • head impalement with a large paper cutter arm used as an axe
  • multiple firearms, repeatedly
  • multiple explosions
  • gun to head for suicide

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 19 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 9 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • tattoos
  • lying, repeatedly
  • "In certain situations, the law is inadequate" to excuse vengeance
  • hate sounds in ending background music

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • excessive cleavage
  • adult in underwear
  • upper female nudity, repeatedly
  • rear female nudity
  • homosexual kiss
  • adult in towel only
  • still photo of homosexual kiss
  • homosexual presence

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • celebration with alcoholic beverages
  • guzzling

    Offense to God (O)
  • three uses of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive
  • "God's gonna sit this one out"
  • vengeance for most of film

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • gunfire murder, many, most graphic
  • double vehicular homicide
  • episodes of multiple murders
  • knife murder, repeatedly
  • murder by train by throwing off bridge onto train tracks
  • arrow murder, twice
  • multiple murder by explosion, repeatedly
  • murder by shooting, dragging behind a car then incineration

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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