I’ve been looking forward to this ever since The Punisher was introduced in Season 2 of Daredevil. It didn’t disappoint.
Netflix’s The Punisher series picks up after Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) has hung it up as The Punisher in favor of a quieter life with most people thinking he is dead. However, people from his past force him to pick up his guns and iconic skull shirt once again to end a government conspiracy.
This show was not what I expected it to be at all. While I would have been fine with a straight up action series just watching The Punisher take out tons of baddies, the show goes much deeper than I would have ever thought a Marvel series would go. It tackles all kinds of current issues in a way that doesn’t necessarily take any sort of political stance, but is thought provoking. This is most evident in the way it tackles PTSD, a disorder that affects so many of our military members, as well as some of my brothers in blue. The Punisher features a side plot that is easily one of the best depictions of PTSD ever put on screen. This is something that is massively undertreated, and I hope this show brings more awareness to the seriousness of its effects.
Don’t get me wrong, The Punisher doesn’t lack the action you’d expect. It has tons of it, and most of it is very well done. Those that love the now famous “Hallway Scene” from Daredevil get something similar in this- Frank Castle style that is (think Daredevil meets John Wick). Speaking of Frank Castle, Jon Bernthal brings the character to life in a way we had yet to see. He is hands down the best Punisher we’ve had yet. I have no complaints with any of the supporting actors either, nor do I have any with the overall story. I found it interesting enough that I wasn’t just waiting for the next gunfight. It also weaves in The Punisher’s origin story very fluidly.
The Punisher does require you to suspend your disbelief in some areas. I lost count of how many times Frank Castle gets shot and beat up. He easily should have been dead, or at the very least unable to keep fighting like he does. The show is also not for the faint of heart or those with weak stomachs. It is extremely violent, even downright brutal, at times.
Those that keep that in mind will love this series. It went above and beyond what I ever thought it would. I think the show can be enjoyed by both those that have watched the previous Marvel Netflix series, as well as those just looking for a new binge-worthy show to watch over a weekend. I had a lot of fun watching it and can’t wait for the next season. While I actually enjoy Patrick Jane’s 2004 Punisher movie, this surpasses it in every way. The Punisher gets a 4.5/5.