The Punisher (2004)
Original Motion Picture Score
The Punisher from 2004 starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta! I love this film, both the theatrical and extended cuts of it. Here’s my review of the Carlo Siliotto score.
Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want Peace, prepare for WAR!
I’ll say this right now and up front, I’ve NEVER heard of Carlo Siliotto until The Punisher film. Nor have I really heard his name since. Even looking him up on IMDB and wikipedia… the man just doesn’t do soundtrack work that I pay attention to. That being said I do very much enjoy his score for The Punisher here. The strange part about listening to the score for the film, outside of the film is that I am so unsure of it. As most of my readers will know I dive into soundtrack scores immediately if I LOVE them. Scores like Iron Man 3, Gone in 60 Seconds, Furious 7, and so many more. However with The Punisher score, outside of the main “anti-hero” themes, I just can’t seem to get into this score.
I’ll also say up front, that Tracks 29 and 30 which are songs from the film. While I appreciate their inclusion at the end of the full score, they aren’t tracks I care to listen to in conjunction with this score. OK so as most of my readers know I go in depth track by track, giving you might thoughts on each one, as I know it appeared in the film. Like my Commando review, I’m not going to do that here. I’m going to pick out the tracks that I enjoy listening to the most and talk about them. I like listened to the 28 tracks that make up the film score about four different times now. So I know exactly which ones I enjoy more than the others. I’ll say this, I’m going to go in track number order as to the ones I really enjoy. So I won’t be skipping around like a shuffled playlist. I’ve said before in other soundtrack score reviews, it amazes me how composers can convey such awesome themes in a short amount of time. Track 1: “The Punisher” is only 0:59 in length, but it gives you the main crux of Frank’s character, and a really cool overall theme. This theme can be placed up there with many of the current superheroes themes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in my opinion. For a anti-hero like The Punisher, I love how Carlo Siliotto has made a main theme that is darkly heroic.
Track 6: “His Whole Family” This was from the scene at the funeral, when Saint’s wife tells Glass to kill Frank’s whole family. Here’s the thing, when I first saw this film in 2004… I was not expecting Mrs. Saint to be that dark. Sure I knew she wasn’t naive to what her husband was. However it just threw me for a loop that she’d be that dark. Then again Frank did kill her child, so I can kinda see it now. This track has gray tones in it at the beginning. However when we get to the point where she says kill his family. The tones go completely dark. I like the mysterious nature of the track, right before the DUN DUN moment. Tracks 8 and 9 are “Death And Resurrection Of Frank Castle” and “God’s Gonna Sit This One Out” The reason why I enjoy these two tracks is that we see Frank on the path to becoming The Punisher. We also hear in Track 8 the sadness he feels for the loss of his family. Siliotto’s composition and the tones he uses with the piano are haunting on that section of the song. With track 9, it almost gets brighter as it goes along. It starts out dark, and then builds itself up. There;s even a haunting vocal tone in the background. It feels like a choir of singers is behind the instruments. Which I’m sure that’s what they did here. At the end The Punisher main theme comes into play as Frank is ready to Punish Howard Saint for killing his entire family.
The pianos in Track 10: “Ice Lolly And Meat” are just great. This was the scene where Frank hand Miky Duka strung up. I just love that scene! Don’t ask me why. The low tones in the track are wonderfully put together. I really enjoy the track’s abrupt ending, because this is where Frank puts the popsicle in Duka’s mouth, and Duka says, “You’re not a nice person!” Track 25: “Both Of Them” Starts off with bombastic tones, and then goes so dark and low it’s like the track is trying to do the limbo. This is where The Punisher reveals to Howard that he’s killed both his sons. Say what you will about the explosions revealing the Skull gag, but I thought it was a nice A-HA! moment. Track 26: “The Skull” has overtones of the main theme, and the darkness of him killing Saint. Track 27: “Castle’s Loneliness” Carlo really makes Frank a sympathetic character here with this track. His wife and son are gone, and he looks to them for a memory that will save his life not end it. The pianos in this are sheer excellence. Out of the 30 tracks on this release, I do enjoy most of them. However the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that deal with the main overall theme of The Punisher. The finale track of the score, Track 28: “Call Me “The Punisher”” leaves you with a sensory overload of emotions, because you know Frank is on his way to Punish those that deserve it.
Total Disc Time: 65:37
The Punisher’s score is good, it’s not superb, but there are tracks I just love listening to. Sadly this is now an out of print release from La La Land Records!! If you want to see it listed on their site CLICK HERE, but you won’t be able to buy it. Maybe they’ll do a new pressing eventually, but I doubt it.
FRANK CASTLE IS DEAD CALL ME THE PUNISHER!
I'm glad La La Land Records released this, because until I sw it from them, I never knew a score was ever released. Sure I knew about the album. With the Seether and Nickelback tracks on it. But never knew this had been released until last year. The score as I said before is good, but it's not one I'd go back to in order to listen to the whole thing.