I’ll admit this review took longer than I wanted, but I wanted to take my time with this series. The Punisher is one of my favorite Marvel characters. So going into this I had high expectations. Given the recent track record of the Netflix Marvel shows I remain skeptical. This review will be as light on spoilers as I can be, but they’re will be spoilers.
There are only two actors that deeply connected to their roles. Robert Downey Junior as Tony Stark and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. After finishing this series, it pleases me to say that Jon Bernthal performance as Frank Castle is the definitive screen version of The Punisher. You can see the pain and guilt that Frank carries every day through Bernthal. This isn’t a muted (for the most part) Frank Castle, this version shows signs of his boom personality it’s sadly overshadowed by the plot. Jon Bernthal does the impossible by making Frank seem human yet also a monster. Great performance by Bernthal.
Amazing Supporting Cast
Even though Frank isn’t known for his supporting cast, this series established a great one. I want to focus on Dinah Madani played by Amber Rose Revah. Whenever The Punisher isn’t on screen it’s Madani’s character that pushes the narrative forward. She isn’t a trope or a token character, she’s just a strong character period. I loved how she shared similar goals to Frank but she always stood her ground on how she wanted an operation run. Certain characters felt like filler for sure, but for the post part each supporting character was good in their own way. Finally unlike the other Netflix shows the “villains” were captivating and twisted you didn’t want to take your eyes of them.
Not Afraid To Challenge Mature Themes
If you were expecting this show to center around Frank killing the mob or other gangs, you do get that. However that’s only within the first twenty minutes. This show’s overall theme centers around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Specifically PTSD for our veterans who come home to a country that they don’t recognize. It’s not heavy handed, it’s handled in raw realistic way. So if you’re uncomfortable with watching someone go through PTSD this show isn’t one for the faint of heart.
Season one of The Punisher was a grand slam as far as I’m concerned. Jonthan Bernthal cemented his status as the definitive Punisher, you combine that with a great supporting cast and deep themes and you have a outstanding show on your hands.
The Punisher earns a 5/5