TV Review: The Punisher
Updated: May 27, 2019
‘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. With his revenge now complete, Frank's war-time past comes back to haunt him. ‘
IMDb rating 9.1/10 Metacritic 54% Rotten Tomatoes 61%
So it is finally here! Even though Todd and I thought this was being released a week earlier than it actually was. The time for The Punisher has come to us all courtesy of Netflix, the next series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is one I was really looking forward to ever since his appearance in Daredevil’s second season. The next ones on the docket for 2018 are the second seasons of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (both preparing for release) and a third season of Daredevil (now filming)
Now of course we have Douchebag Shane running lead as Frank Castle (If you are reading this you should understand the Douchebag Shane reference at this point from the podcast). There are a couple of small appearances by Deborah Ann Wolf as Karen Page from Daredevil. I also liked the brief showing by C. Thomas Howell as Carson Wolf before his brutal and timely demise. I actually didn’t mind Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro either I rather enjoyed him from The Last Ship and Rubicon (a show I really wish was more than a single season) There were only one or two others that I recognized from other shows/movie to be honest like Dinah’s mother I remember from The Expanse and Grimm. Oh and how can anyone forget Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio she just didn’t have a tonne of screen time until later in the series. Solid cast with the names they had and the supporting crew wasn't a disappointment either.
Now I wasn’t expecting the extent of an origin story that they dumped on us. I had figured they would certainly touch base with it to give enough of the right motivation. I didn’t expect them to throw the same flashback at us what felt like 300 times. ‘Wake up it’s 10:30’ Are we watching the Punisher or Groundhog Day? We get it he’s got PTSD from his previous tours and about his family’s murder already! But of course not everyone is a geek and they need to explain everything in ridiculous detail so any Joe Schmo can pick it up. I just felt they could have eased up on the flashbacks a smidge.
We get the beginnings of Castle and Micro(chip) and their relationship. Of course it isn’t as originally stated through the comics. Which at this point I guess we can all expect with all of the series and movies how much of the original canon from the comics is thrown out the window. I know there were mixed reviews of Micro and frankly I didn’t mind him. The disappointment I had was that we never really got to see the van in full action they make a couple of hints at it towards the end of the series. I figured we would get something towards an early version of the battle van but are left to wanting more in the end.
Now of course with this being ‘The Punisher’ what is everyone expecting? TOP NOTCH KILLING! And we certainly get that in the series. He's got a certain set of skills and he makes it well known what that is and it's killing and retribution. I am surprised they didn't license Bodies by Drowning Pool for the show to be honest because they hit the floor alright. The combat albeit hand-to-hand or gunfights was intense to say the least. Solid across the board I can't think of anything negative from this standpoint.
The only other negative I really had was how superhuman they made the Punisher appear to be after all the beatings and torture at times he goes through in the series how quickly he appears to recover from each situation. Whether he is cut, stabbed, shot or in general beat the fuck out of he bounces back from it in record time to lay the beatdown on Wolf, ANVIL, Russo or a variety of henchmen. Punisher is a complete badass and we know that but he is human after all.
There is nothing confirmed 100% on a second season but most of the reviews are positive and people are enjoying it. If there is another when can we expect something? Based on previous track records most of the other shows have been about a year apart from one season to the next so perhaps maybe a December 2018 or early 2019 release for the second installment of Punisher. If there is do we see Daredevil make an appearance like Punisher did in season two of Daredevil? Perhaps we see Russo take on the Jigsaw persona after the events of season one but take a backseat in it to allow for another nemesis to pop up. There is a long list of them that it could be I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess at it. But I would definitely give a second season a shot. Haven't been completely let down by a Netflix MCU series yet.
4 Beards out of 5