Eric Millikin and Casey Sorrow's Fetus-X

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Monday, March 29, 2004


Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) is a man who has seen too much death in his life, first as a Delta Force Op and later as an FBI special agent. He has managed to beat considerable odds, and is finally moving out of the field and into a normal life with his wife, Maria (Samantha Mathis), and young son, Will (Marcus Johns).

On his final assignment, Castle plays his undercover role perfectly, but the operation spins out of control and a young man, Bobby Saint (James Carpinello), is inadvertently killed. This places the FBI on the wrong side of Tampa businessman Howard Saint (John Travolta) and his glamorous wife, Livia (Laura Harring).

Notwithstanding their glossy social profile, the Saints are no genteel Florida couple; behind their copious wealth are violent beginnings, underworld ties -- and a chilling capacity for brutality. Inflamed by the death of their son, the Saints are willing to risk their newfound legitimacy on a wholesale mission of blood-vengeance. Castle's worst nightmare is about to come true, as Howard Saint and his lieutenants unleash hell at the Castle family reunion.

But Castle, to his everlasting torment, survives. Until this moment, he has spent his entire life adhering strictly to the law. However, experience has taught him that the law cannot adequately penalize the people who murdered his family.

Drawing upon all he has learned in 20 years, Castle sets in motion a plan to punish the murderers. He takes up residence in a dilapidated tenement building in Tampa's industrial district, where his fellow tenants include Joan (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), a waitress at a nearby diner who is trying to put her life back on track; Dave (Ben Foster), a gangly twenty-something with a face full of piercings; and Mr. Bumpo (John Pinette), a rotund gourmand who rarely leaves his home.

In preparing his revenge, Castle thoroughly familiarizes himself with the habits and routines of the Saint family. He traces the movements not only of Howard and Livia, but also their surviving son, John (James Carpinello), and Howard's second-in-command, lawyer Quentin Glass (Will Patton).

Armed with this essential knowledge, Castle launches his first salvo against Saint's business interests.

Stunned that Castle is not only alive but causing him harm, Howard Saint marshals his forces in an attempt to shut Castle down. He soon turns to the underworld's network of hired assassins, recruiting the laconic Memphis legend Harry Heck (Mark Collie) as well as the blonde behemoth known only as the Russian (Kevin Nash).

Castlešs plan is proceeding apace, but his mission has the unintended effect of placing his fellow tenement dwellers in danger. Yet Joan, Dave and Mr. Bumpo rally for their neighbor, even at great personal risk. This makeshift family -- forgotten men and women with no one to protect them -- brings Castle the one thing he least expects: redemption. His personal goal achieved, Castle realizes that his life's work has just begun.

As The Punisher, he will provide justice for ordinary people and exact retribution from society's villains.

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