The Punisher (No spoilers)

Posted: November 27, 2017 in Comics, TV
Tags: , ,

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The last time viewers saw Frank Castle AKA The Punisher he was on the run and presumed dead. Introduced into the MCU during the second season of Daredevil, Frank’s tale was one of tragedy and brutality. An ex-soldier who found himself caught up in a government conspiracy, Frank would see his family brutally murdered, himself narrowly escaping assassination by those he trusted. Now, starring in his own show, Frank sets out to make those responsible for the murder of his family and the deadly conspiracy pay with their lives. Along the way making certain those responsible don’t simply die but die hard.

Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Wolf of Wall Street) is outstanding as Frank Castle/The Punisher. Soon as he came on screen in Daredevil fans knew it was only a matter of time before he would get a solo series. It pleases me to say The Punisher is not just good, no, it’s one of the best MCU titles to date. Up there, for me, with Daredevil season one.

The action in The Punisher is brutal. Frank (and those who he fights against) are stone cold killers and this is reflected in the violence shown on screen. The show is not for the faint of heart. The overall plot is good, it’s to the point – The Punisher wants revenge – but the sub plots that fill in the rest of the show are not just interesting they are (sadly) very topical in todays climate in relation to gun control and home grown terror. These aspects are handled with care and don’t paint a simple black and white picture. The writing is excellent and therefore the show feels like it has somthing to say.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Girls) as David Lieberman ties in directly with Frank as a man whose family could go the way of Frank’s. He and Frank have great chemistry. The two working together to bring about justice and not always agreeing. Each wanting the same outcome but by, at times, different means. Ben Barnes is an acting revelation as Frank’s old army pal Billy Russo. Russo came out of the army, like Frank, but followed a different path. Barnes does wonderful work in the role and creates a complex character that serves the plot in a important way. There’s strong support too from Amber Rose Revah as Homeland Agent Madani and Jaime Ray Newman as Lieberman’s estranged wife.

Drawbacks? Little stuff really. The look of the show is not removed from the other Netflix MCU titles. I get it. A consistant visual theme makes sense and The Punisher does go a ways to get more down and gritty but beyond the violence it feels like the other shows for better or worse, I guess depending on your opinion of Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. The subplot involving Lieberman’s family felt like it got more attention than was warranted. As the show goes on that reasoning becomes clear though, yet I was getting a bit bored with that stuff. Stick with it though if you feel the same.

The Punisher is a fantastically brutal show and tone wise it’s easily the most mature show Marvel has put out. If you didn’t see Daredevil season two then don’t worry because The Punisher provides all of the info you need within it’s first few episodes. You will not feel like you have missed any major plot points and can enjoy the series. I really enjoyed it and I hope we get a second (and third!) season.

The Punisher is now available on Netflix.

 

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