||Marvel Comics presents a second big-screen version of THE PUNISHER, with this action-packed adaptation from screenwriter-turned-director Jonathan Hensleigh. Frank Castle (Tom Jane) is a retired F.B.I. agent spurred into action after the merciless slaying of his wife, father, and son. Adopting the superhero guise of the Punisher, Castle aims to wreak vengeance by tracking down the killers. All clues point to Howard Saint (John Travolta), a ruthless businessman and nightclub owner whose son was mistakenly killed by Castle in a botched undercover operation back in his F.B.I. days. Unique among Marvel superheroes, the Punisher possesses no special powers, just remarkable strength paired with a blind determination to avenge his family. As he hunts down Saint, Castle surrounds himself with three fellow societal outcasts to get the job done, namely Joan (Rebecca Romijn), Bumpo (John Pinette), and Dave (Ben Foster). Director Hensleigh eschews flashy CGI effects for the bulk of the movie, and instead reverts to old action-movie staples such as thrilling stunt work, gunfights, and huge explosions. The old-fashioned feel suits THE PUNISHER well, providing an apt mirror of the hero's own lack of super-powers. Hensleigh winds the film through a thrilling white-knuckle ride to its spectacular conclusion, ultimately providing a highly appropriate movie for one of Marvel's lesser-known comic-book heroes.^FIRST BLOOD: After being arrested for a crime which he did not commit, a Green Beret survivor of the Vietnam War begins having terrible nightmares. This gripping, action-packed tale demonstrates the tragic psychological consequences of armed struggle.