I’ve seen some Punisher movies and have always felt that there was something missing… Something to distract from the fact that the Punisher has essentially no personality what so ever, and it made the films a bit boring for me… I was worried that the same would happen with the tv series, although had slightly higher hopes as Jon Bernthal of course did such a good job in the Walking Dead – Shane certainly had the most personality between him and Rick! To be fair – he does deliver and he really adds a little extra depth to the character – they’ve actually let a bit of emotion creep in for him, which has had a HUGE impact.
In this show he isn’t quite the lone wolf he’s known for and that makes him a little more vulnerable – a lot more human.
I for one love the direction which they took the show in, and they didn’t even need to tone down the violence in order to achieve that. In fact for the first and last thirds of the show they do the absolute opposite and crank it up to full! It does calm down a little in the middle to allow for them to build the story and progress the characters a little. Even the story is something which they’ve done a really good job with.
In terms of the story we do see Frank Castle progress as a person but also as a pincushion as he is shot, stabbed, beaten and thrown around in a never ending onslaught of violence (to be fair he starts most of it) and that’s probably the only thing about the show which makes it feel a bit funny and really reminds you that this is a Marvel show rather than an actual everyday action series. You do see his layers of black and blue and those wounds layer up over time and some even open back up etc but it does lack a bit of the realism of John Wick when it comes to recovery time, and let’s face it John Wick also REALLY plays with the line between badass and super hero… Villain… What ever – both of them seem to be more than human, whilst being portrayed as just human.
But then again who wants to watch Frank Castle chilling out on the sofa right?
You know what, now that I’ve mentioned John Wick, there are actually a hell of a lot of parallels between the two when it comes to their badassedness (I’m claiming that one) and that might well be why I like this series so much. It’s like cruising through a shoot em up game on the easiest setting and just sitting back and letting the chaos take over.
Of course it also breaks out some nice costumes featuring possibly the best skull design ever shown in entertainment!
if I had one actual criticism (because let’s face it… he heals too quick doesn’t qualify), I don’t know why Bernthal decided that he had to grumble quite as much as he does. I know he wants to sound tough, mysterious, brooding and cool, but the other thing which is cool, is when you can understand what an actor is saying.
Easily one of the best shows I’ve seen in recent years and I can’t believe that I’m actually sitting here in 2021 writing about having just seen the first season. As I said, those older movies really put me off the character as a whole, but it has been salvaged and I’ll be starting to dig my teeth in to that second season any day now. Also to be honest we’ve only really had our Netflix subscription for about a month now… yeah we were really later comers to this party! Worth the subscription just for this series.