New on DVD: The Punisher – Extended Cut

For Frank Castle, there’s right and there’s wrong – there is no in between.

However, the theatrical release of The Punisher (2004) did not really convey this inflexible aspect of his personality. Castle was simply a man out for revenge. But the addition of previously unreleased scenes attaches a new aspect to the story arc that speaks to Castle’s attitude.

Castle (Thomas Jane) was a decorated marine-turned-undercover FBI agent. When crime lord Howard Saint’s (John Travolta) son is killed in a sting, he seeks incomparable retribution. Castle’s entire family is slaughtered and he is left for dead. When the justice system fails, Castle takes matters into his own hands ensuring the severity of his punishment matches the ruthlessness of their crime. In the meantime, Castle’s base of operations is in an apartment building that houses society’s unwanted – a trio of misfits (Rebecca Romijn, Ben Foster and John Pinette) that remind Castle there are still things worth fighting for.

The 17-minutes of additional footage sets up Quentin Glass (Will Patton) as Castle’s friend and the man who saved his life in Iraq; thirteen years later, he wishes Castle the best for his retirement then serves him up to the Saints. Castle’s handling of this intimate betrayal is very revealing of his character and moral servitude.

The DVD also includes a four-minute animated intro that was never shot but establishes the relationship between Glass and Castle and Castle’s dedication to the law. The Marvel comics are showcased in a covers gallery that begins with Punisher’s introduction in the 1970s and goes straight through to the 2000s, each with a summary of the issue’s contents.

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