The Punisher

Rated 3.0 An undercover FBI agent (Thomas Jane) sees his whole family—his wife, son, parents and cousins—murdered by a Florida gangster (John Travolta) and turns vengeful vigilante. Adapted by Michael France and director Jonathan Hensleigh from the Marvel Comics character, the film pads out its paper-thin plot by alternating spectacular scenes of mayhem with sardonic black humor—much of it at the expense of two of the anti-hero’s neighbors (John Pinette and Ben Foster, playing small-minded caricatures of slacker misfits). It’s slickly solemn and about 20 minutes too long, but the violence is staged with style and photographed (by Conrad W. Hall) in bright, vivid colors. Jane stalks through the action with an iron jaw (he barely moves his lips), while Travolta plays villain with his usual bad-guy relish.