The Punisher is the newest show to join the Marvel Netflix Universe. It stars Jon Bernthal as our titular character, and he embodies the character like we’ve never seen before. This story picks up where we last saw Frank in the second season of Daredevil, and if you haven’t seen any of Daredevil; don’t worry. The show does a good job of roughly summing up the important bits of Franks story from Daredevil, and gives you the important parts to pick up on this shows story. While I do still recommend watching at least season two of Daredevil because of Frank Castle being such a big player in that season, it’s also just as great a show.
Comic book fans be warned, this isn’t the Frank you’re used to reading, but he is still Frank Castle. The writers along with Bernthal’s performance bring so many new layers to The Punisher I’ve never really seen/read before. Bernthal brings so much more to Castle than just a man tortured by his families murders. The cast surrounding him also helps him bring his A-game by also bringing theirs. Surrounding him as the cast are Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as David Lieberman, Jason R. Moore as Curtis Hoyle, and I could keep going because the whole cast is fantastic.
While this does suffer from the same problem as all the other Marvel Netflix shows of being a few episodes too long, it does have better pacing out of all the Marvel shows. Great character building also helps us stay engaged when the show slows down every now and again. The action is fantastic when we get it, but I do feel like this show is less action packed then Daredevil, simply because of how much more intensity there is to action scenes in The Punisher. I won’t lie, this is a hard show to talk about and not go into any spoilers, so after this paragraph is a spoiler filled zone until we reach a second opinion at the end.
The relationship built between Frank Castle and David Liberman is fantastic and really the driving force that allows this property to work as a show. How they meet and how they have to gain each others trust (well, mostly Liberman earning Castle’s) is really great and also keeps their characters believable. In the beginning, they don’t really like each other, but Liberman sees how they can help each other and how there goals are really the same.
There are great, yet small, nods to the comics that I really hope to see get developed in season 2. And yes, they have green lit the show for a second season, even with such a potent, powerful, and conclusive ending that season one has. It is definitely the best ending we’ve gotten out of all the Marvel Netflix shows, and really hits you on many emotional levels. This is a Frank Castle still in transition into The Punisher we know from the comics, and I do believe he’ll get there. I’m extremely eager to see where they bring his character next, and hope a lot of characters return. I’ll be happily waiting patiently for the next season that I hope can match this level of excellence.
By Eugene Butkovic
Jon Bernthal returning as The Punisher is a pretty great experience. The acting with some homeland security agents earlier in the show trying to uncover a government conspiracy is a little weak but gets better. This is a separate setting of the show and almost feels like it belongs on a soap opera. It does get better as the two settings collide.
There is an excellent balance between the solid story and great action. The action is absolutely great and at times brutal. The punisher doesn’t just kill people, he punishes some of them and you will love it. The only gripe is sometimes Frank feels superhuman as he will often receive horrible wounds and be fine within a short amount of time.
Frank teams up with an ex NSA agent who does a lot of computer hacking and acts as the brains between their partnership. Their chemistry is great throughout. They have some perfectly placed comic relief that just feels fitting to the characters as well.
The show also does a phenomenal job of making Frank a human being that you really feel for. You see the Punisher is not just some crazy killing machine but someone who has layers of issues, from dealing with the death of his family, dealing with reentering society from war, and only feeling at home while at war. Most shows get many things wrong and few things right when it comes to military, veterans returning home and PTSD but the Punisher gets it mostly right. This isn’t just a show about a one man killing machine, it’s just a great show and I found myself binge watching.
8.5 / 10 Stars