Oh goody, Thomas Jane made another movie about The Punisher


16th July 2012

When three terrible Punisher movies and a TV series just doesn't scratch the itch, what's a man to do? Why, make his own unofficial short film and publish it on YouTube, of course!

I really like Thomas Jane. Not just because of Arrested Development and the Vegan Police and The Mist and his sincere love of comic-books, but because of all these things. This is the guy that, together with the help of a few friends, shot a professional make-up test for Jonah Hex, complete with melted face prosthetics, because he wanted the role so damn much. That's right: someone actually wanted to work on Jonah Hex.

Where Thomas Jane and I disagree is that I'm not much of a fan of The Punisher: he clearly thinks it's the greatest role he's ever played, whereas I - and I'm assuming a lot of other people too - just think it's a fairly flimsy excuse to watch a guy beat the shit out of a lot of cardboard cut-out bad guys. And before you say "Actually, in the comics, he's a much better-" Let me just stop you there. I don't read comics, I watch movies - and if three movies can't capture the essence of the character on film, then there's probably a reason.

Thomas Jane, on the other hand, can't let the role of Frank Castle go. Even though Marvel secretly obtained the rights to The Punisher a few years back, Jane has again recruited the help of his filmmaker friends to shoot an unofficial Punisher short film called 'Dirty Laundry', with absolutely no permission from Marvel whatsoever. You can watch it below on YouTube; maybe the Marvel lawyers are having a bad case of the Mondays.

It's not bad, really. It's a bit simplistic for my tastes (the black guy gangsters with the one token white guy gangster are doing bad things to seemingly nice people! Better kill them!) but if you like watching people's limbs getting snapped, I guess it's a bit more authentic than whatever crap Steven Seagal last pinched off. But that's not exactly a badge of honour to wear proudly.

I'm all for guerrilla filmmaking of this fashion - Lord knows someone out there with a decent high-end graphics card and a GCSE in English could make a better Green Lantern movie - but I really wish Thom Jane would quit barricading himself inside Frank Castle and let The Punisher go. He's a genuinely great character actor - funny and intense in equal measure, whose passionate and driven and talented.

Can someone finally cast him in something good, please?

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