Title: The Punisher
Universe: Marvel’s Cinematic Univers
Genre: Action, Conspiracy thriller, Crime drama
Creator: Steve Lightfoot
Release Date: November 17th 2017
Stars: Jon Bernthal, Amber Rose Revah, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ben Barnes and plenty more!
Summary: After the murder of his family, Marine veteran Frank Castle became a vigilante known as “The Punisher” with only one goal in mind, to avenge them.
Following his phenomenal debut in season 2 of Daredevil, Frank Castle gets his own spin-off series in The Punisher. Mysterious yet brutal in his ways, the slightly troubled antihero elevates the violence within the Netflix superhero universe while demanding viewers to reflect on violence and its many forms.
The story takes place after the events that occur in season 2 of Daredevil and explores the origin story of Frank Castle. The murder of his family being the main trigger to his behaviour, season 1 of The Punisher offers us a look at Frank Castle’s pursuit of vengeance and tranquility. Although this lone wolf seeks isolation and routine, the past finds ways to catch up to him and drag him into a conspiracy that is bound to unveil secrets that some people are not ready to find out.
All the way captivating, these 13 episodes develops progressively and brings to the table as many twists and turns that one could expect. The direction of all the sub-plots of however often quite predictable and can easily be underwhelming for viewers who are looking to be shocked. That’s where the action scenes come kicking in and serve as cathartic releases to your own deepest rage. Even with a certain level of predictability, the show succeeds in being highly entertaining and well-paced.
Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle is by far the best portrayal of the Punisher we’ve ever known. The movies we’ve got with this character have been so far greatly disappointing, even with known actors playing the role of this vicious vigilante. With season 1, fans are given an in-depth look at a character who’s fiery rage can easily swallow him whole if no one’s there to stop him. His desire to rid the world of those who swim in vice pushes him to do the one thing that no one else wants to do: kill.
Alongside Frank Castle is the introduction of Dinah Madani, played by Amber Rose Revah, a Homeland Security secret agent who seeks to find the truth no matter the cost. Her story is intertwined with the Punisher and offers a glimpse of the other side of the conspiracy that takes place throughout the whole season.
A key character who is also introduced in this series is Micro. His background is crucial and extremely relevant to the story. Played by Ebon Moss Bachrach, the tragedy that strikes him and his core motivation help bring a lot of pieces together. His angle on the issue also propels us to examine his dilemma in perspective to what Frank Castle has been through. Nothing screams depth to a TV show when every character’s development aids in understanding a vigilante who approves the use of lethal methods against criminals.
There’s no point in hiding it, but one of my main reasons for being excited for this spin-off series is the violence. After Daredevil completely blew me away with its action sequences filled with astonishing martial arts and beautiful cinematography, I just couldn’t stop dreaming at all the possibilities that the show-runners had to showcase the pure brutality that the Punisher could unleash on his enemies.
With a Marine corps background, Frank Castle’s expert use of hand-to-hand combat, alongside his graceful and savage use of guns and blades only built an immense appetite in me for all the action scenes the show could offer. Let’s just say that I was greatly satisfied from start to finish. Even if there’s an underlying theme showing the irrelevancy of violence, you just can’t do The Punisher without honestly punishing people the old way. An eye for an eye.
The show-runners did fear criticism and hate for its untimely arrival on Netflix with its unrestrained representation of gun violence. Within the story there are countless underlying themes that are tackled and well-done. From war veterans and their post-war treatment in the United States to the mere use of violence (physical or with weapons), the show does a great job in laying out the table with everything we should consider when discussing these subjects. The show doesn’t only make us ponder on the use of violence, but also looks into the act of going to war against others and against ourselves.
It is important to remember that The Punisher is a fictional character who was created in 1974 and who’s very life is filled with violence. He is not a vessel to promote violent behaviours. He is simply an antihero for fans to learn about and enjoy. Through him, everyone should be able to understand that violence in real life is the last refuge of the incompetent; who would’ve thought I’d quote Asimov. Let’s all make good use of our rationality and morality, and not venture in his lifestyle.
The show was a highly entertaining and in-depth look at the Punisher and delivers exactly what fans need from this war machine.
While the show doesn’t exactly follow a particular comic book, you could definitely check out Essential Punisher Vol. 1 by Gerry Conway or The Punisher MAX Vol. 1 by Garth Ennis !
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Have you read the comics? Have you started the show yet? What do you think about The Punisher (TV Series 2017—)?
Share your thoughts with me!
Till next time,