When Bobby Saint (James Carpinello) and Mickey Duka (Eddie Jemison) meet with European arms dealer Otto Krieg at the Tampa, Florida seaport, the FBI intervenes and Saint is killed while Duka is jailed. "Krieg", supposedly killed in the shootout, is actually undercover FBI agent and former U.S. Army Delta Force operator Frank Castle (Thomas Jane). Shortly thereafter, he retires from the FBI and attends a family reunion at his father's (Roy Scheider) oceanside home in Aguadilla Bay, Puerto Rico. Tampa crime boss Howard Saint (John Travolta) is enraged by the death of his son, and with right-hand man Quentin Glass (Will Patton) bribes the FBI for confidential information about "Krieg". Saint orders Castle murdered, and Saint's wife, Livia (Laura Harring), demands Castle's entire family be killed as well to "settle the score.
Frank Castle est de retour. Il s'attaque désormais au terrible mafieux Billy Russoti. Défiguré par Castle, Russoti est à présent surnommé Jigsaw et a mis sur pied une équipe de malfrats redoutables. Le Punisher devra faire face à ce terrible adversaire tout en échappant à la justice.
In a run-down neighborhood, Frank Castle wakes up and exits his van to get his laundry done. On his way to the coin-op laundromat, he witnesses a street gang stop and confront three prostitutes before Goldtooth, the gang leader, takes one of them to a back alley and rapes her. Despite hearing her screams from a distance, Frank minds his business and places his laundry in a washing machine.
Frank Castle is the city's most wanted, and most mysterious, vigilante, known as "The Punisher". He has killed 125 criminals in the past five years. An ex-police officer, Castle's family was murdered in a mob hit, in which Castle was also thought to have perished. This combined with Castle's furtive methods of attack have made the Punisher's identity a mystery to the general public. Living in the sewers and waging a one-man war against organized crime, his only friend is an old alcoholic named Shake, a former stage actor who speaks in rhyme for reasons unexplained. Now legally declared dead, Castle strikes back from beyond the grave, killing mobsters wherever he can find them. Due to his war against them, the Mafia families have weakened, forcing one of the family leaders, Gianni Franco, to come out of retirement. Franco has a plan to unify the families. This, however, has attracted the attention of the Yakuza, Asia's most powerful crime syndicate. Led by Lady Tanaka, the Yakuza decide to take over the Mafia families and all of their interests. In order to sway the mobsters to their cause, they kidnap their children and hold them for ransom.