Man, talk about a movie that's absolutely entertaining in all the worst ways. This certainly falls under the "so bad it's good" category with a rather hilarious combination of bad dialogue, impossible action sequences, and some of the funniest kills you might ever see. It's a lot more fun if you watch this as a straight up action cliche movie. Just think of Frank Castle (Dolph Lundgren) as McBain from 'The Simpsons'.
Of course, Punisher is one of those Marvel heroes along with Spidey, Fantastic Four or Hulk, where we really don't need one of those origin story movies. To be perfectly fair, this actually does manage to pull that off. We get that his family has been killed, that turned him into The Punisher, and he runs around New York, "punishing" the guilty. Here, he's mostly seen as a vigilante with a high body count, and the whole moral aspect of his life's mission ends up being brought into question. In an amazing twist, even though the film's execution is extremely weak and clumsy, they kinda had the right idea about things here.
For the most part, here, Frank's just out for revenge, and his main target is the mob family who murdered his family. Again, we all know how it goes. The big difference is, in the '04 version, Frank worked cleverly and behind the scenes, manipulating his enemies into harming each other, keeping his hands clean. In this, it's just balls to the wall guns blazing, and he might as well be a Terminator with how senseless he is with it. Of course, that's about where it gets hilarious. The overkill in this is actually kinda lovable in a weird way.
Back to the main plot, head mob boss, Gianni Franco (Jeroen Krabbé) plans to unite several mob families, which attracts the attention of Asian crime syndicate, the Yakuza, lead by Lady Tanaka (Kim Miyori), who kidnaps the mobsters' children in an effort to make them see reason to the Yakuza taking over the crime scene.
The whole mess makes Frank's friend, Shake (Barry Otto) plead Frank to rescue these kids, trying to show Frank that family exists on either side of good and bad. Shake is perhaps the most interesting character in here, speaking in rhyme all the time for no good reason that comes to mind. I guess he's here to play the moral compass, making sure Frank doesn't get too out of hand (which is hard to say with a straight face).
I mentioned that a lot of the dialogue was funny, but none of it seems to be intentional (save a few scenes that are just straight up cheesy). Although Dolph delivers a lot of these lines, no one made me laugh more than the boss man, himself, Gianni Franco. This is a Dutch dude with a Dutch accent, playing an Italian mob boss, just for the record. It's mostly in his delivery of his lines. It's just impossible to take seriously.
Anyway, if you're on the lookout for one of the best bad superhero movies, I'd say look no further than here. So far, on this list, this is the one that has entertained me the most, and I'd happily watch again and again as I introduce people to its terrible-ness. Just a bit of senseless fun that I might recommend to anyone having a particularly bad day.