Frank Castle, who has been the Punisher for five years, assaults a party for mob boss Gaitano Cesare, and kills him and the guests. Billy “The Beaut” Russotti escapes to his recycling plant hideout, and Detectives Martin Soap and Saffiotti, who were staking out the party, inform Castle. Castle infiltrates Russoti’s hideout, and after a brief firefight, Russoti is thrown into a glass-crushing machine that leaves him hideously disfigured. Russoti later refers to himself as “Jigsaw” because the stitches in his face resemble puzzle pieces. Castle, who takes cover behind the body of Nicky Donatelli, discovers that Donatelli was actually an undercover agent.
Agent Paul Budiansky, the deceased agent’s partner, joins the NYPD’s “Punisher Task Force”, partnering with Soap to help bring Castle to justice. Meanwhile, Jigsaw frees his deranged and cannibalistic brother, “Loony Bin Jim”.
Distraught over killing the agent, Castle attempts to make reparations to Donatelli’s wife, Angela, and daughter, Grace, to no avail. Castle threatens to retire from the vigilante business, but his armorer, Microchip, forces him to reconsider, telling him Jigsaw will go after Donatelli’s family for revenge.
Jigsaw, Loony Bin Jim, and two goons, Ink and Pittsy, break into Donatelli’s house and hold the family hostage. The Punisher tracks down Maginty, a known associate of Jigsaw, executing him after extracting the information before being apprehended by Budiansky and Soap. Castle tells him Jigsaw went after Donatelli’s family, and Budiansky sends a police car to check on the Donatelli house, intending to turn the Punisher in. When the patrol car fails to respond, Budiansky checks on the house, where he is captured by Ink and Pittsy. Soap frees the Punisher, who kills Ink and Pittsy before leading Donatelli’s wife and daughter away. Budiansky then arrests Jigsaw and Loony Bin Jim after a short gunfight.
Jigsaw and his brother bargain with the FBI for their release by giving up Cristu Bulat, who was smuggling in a biological weapon destined for Arab terrorists in Queens, New York. The brothers are granted immunity, plus the US$12 million Bulat was paying to use Jigsaw’s port, and a file on Micro. They take Micro hostage, killing his mother in the process. They once again take the Donatellis hostage, after critically injuring Micro’s associate Carlos, whom Castle had left to protect them. Castle later arrives at the hideout, and euthanizes Carlos. Jigsaw sets himself up in the Bradstreet Hotel, putting together a small army of gangsters who want to see the Punisher dead. Castle enlists the help of Budiansky, who informs Cristu’s father, Tiberiu Bulat, where Jigsaw is located. Tiberiu’s goons start a shootout in the hotel lobby, affording Castle a distraction.
Castle enters through a second-floor window, leading to a firefight with Jigsaw’s hired guns. Afterward, Castle engages Loony Bin Jim in hand-to-hand combat; realizing he will probably not survive the brawl, Jim runs away. Castle chases him and confronts both him and Jigsaw, who are holding Micro and Grace Donatelli at gunpoint. Jigsaw gives Castle a choice: If Frank shoots Micro, Jigsaw will let the others go free. Micro bravely offers his life to save the girl, but Castle chooses to shoot Loony Bin Jim instead. As a result, Jigsaw kills Micro. Enraged by the loss of his partner, Castle attacks Jigsaw, eventually impaling him with a metal rod and throwing him onto a fire. As Jigsaw burns to death, Castle calmly tells him, “This is just the beginning.” Outside, Angela forgives Castle, who bids farewell to Budiansky and the Donatelli family. As Castle and Soap leave together, Soap tries to convince Castle to give up his vigilante status after having “killed every criminal in town.” Soap changes his mind when he is held up by a murderous mugger who quickly becomes another victim of the Punisher.
This wasn’t good, in fact I dare say it made the 80s Punisher movie look good. First and foremost, I will say Ray Stevenson was really great in the role of the Punisher, and if Thor hadn’t taken off, I actually would’ve loved to have seen him continued to play The Punisher. The direction and multiple close-up shots are repetitive and soon decline into a state of boredom. Acting wise it’s absolutely poor. From it’s fast talking foul-mouthed opening to it’s generic conclusion, the acting is awful, and the villain, Jigsaw (while very cool looking), was a complete clichéd character. Overall, it’s pretty much the same as the last two Punisher movies, just an action snore fest, with no heart what so ever.
RANK: 1 out of 5
Next up Flaming Boogaloo: The Reaping Sensation of Tomorrow!