Joint Review: The Punisher Season 1

Marvel Netflix The Punisher is a MUST WATCH!

Here is another Marvel/ Netflix Joint Review by Skulldouggary and GothamGeekGirl!

 

~GothamGeekGirl~

*Keeping as spoiler free as possible*

Jon Bernthal, perfectly cast as the gun wielding vigilante Frank Castle transcends as the Punisher. We got our first glimpse of Jon as Castle in the second season of Daredevil and we immediately knew that this series was going to be epic. Already brutal AF and only the first season the R rated series captivates audiences. Featuring 13 episodes of binge-worthy non-stop vengeance, the action-packed series never disappoints.

Looking for justice after the vicious murder of his family, Marine vet Frank Castle is on a manhunt to take down every single person involved. With a mind set on revenge Frank won’t let anything or anyone get in his way. Is Castle a dangerous criminal or a brave hero that takes down the actual bad guys? Whether you believe him to be a villain or not, he still has a code he follows.

I absolutely loved this kick ass adrenaline pumping blood fest. Marvel Netflix wins again!

The Punisher is the perfect combination of blood, gore and badassery. It had me hooked and excited from beginning to end. The series featured fantastic fight choreography (unlike Iron Fist) a smooth story and a compelling plotline with some unexpected twists. It also touched upon controversial topics such as gun control and the various struggles of coping with PTSD. I think the show did a fine job of keeping the gun issues to a minimum, being that this is the Punisher and his weapon of choice is guns and we want to see him F shit up. Please keep it separate and just enjoy the show sheesh.

 

However, The show did a fantastic job of highlighting the struggles of dealing with PTSD. Throughout the series we experience many of Franks flashbacks and nightmares due to his circumstances. As the show progresses we also see the different ways that other vets deal with their own traumatic experiences, adding on to each character’s development. The series featured very strong and extremely well developed characters.

Bernthal displayed an excellent performance as the bloodthirsty Castle. He was brutal, resilient, stubborn, strong willed, and unstoppable. Not only was he a ruthless killing machine, but he also presented another side of Castle, one that is caring. Jon displayed a range of emotions especially when it came to the people that he cared for. He also stayed true to his code and wasn’t just on a random killing spree.

The show also presented a talented supporting cast. Sharing a common enemy, former NSA Analyst Micro partners up with Castle. I loved the dynamic between Castle and Micro/David Lieberman played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach. They worked so well together, and the constant bickering added to their chemistry. I really liked how they developed Micros character and you really understood his story and predicament.

 

Micro’s grimy man-cave.

Curtis Hoyle (Jason R. Moore); ally and long time friend of Castle was Franks right-hand man and one of the few Frank ever really trusted. Curtis was the ying to Franks yang, he definitely balanced him. When anyone needed a hand Curtis would be there, no matter what. I would like to see more of this duo in upcoming seasons.

Pretty boy Billy Russo (Ben Barnes), who runs the private military corporation Anvil also lends a hand to help Castle on his mission. Russo, who builds a name for himself, was a long-time friend and served alongside Castle and Curtis. Billy eventually develops into a pretty major character.

Looks don’t last forever Russo.

Agent Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) determined to find out what really happened to her partner is just as stubborn as Castle. I think Amber did a pretty great job as Agent Dinah and played a crucial role in the hunt for Castle.

Also a great performance by Daniel Webber as Lewis Walcott. He portrayed the traumatizing effects of returning from war and completely losing your mind. Although the story went a little off track and had a big focus on Lewis it eventually all ties into the story and build up, making Lewis a pretty significant character.

The look you get when someone forgets the Dunkin’ Donuts for the meeting.

Deborah Ann Woll returns as Karen Page and is a major connection to the other Marvel Netflix series. As we previously saw in DD season 2 Karen and Frank do have some chemistry. I actually didn’t mind her appearance tying her in with Castle. I feel like she had more of a purpose in the Punisher as a journalist and that she didn’t feel forced like say Claire Temple did in the Iron Fist and Defenders series.

Overall I think the Punisher does an impressive job in setting itself up outside the Defenders world. Jon Bernthal proves that he can headline his own series.

Verdict:

9/10

The Punisher is savage and ruthless just as it should be. Extremely mature content and full of violence galore, this series does not hold back. Top 2 comparable to DareDevil season 1 as best marvel Netflix series slight edge over Jessica Jones. With a super surprise ending featuring a top villain you can only expect craziness and complete chaos for the second season.  Let’s hope that with Disney’s creation of their own streaming service these excellent series don’t get left hanging.

 

~SkullDouggary~

There will be MINOR SPOILERS in my review 

I recently finished the Netflix Punisher series and I’m amazed at how savage it was.  Anyone having doubt about Disney letting Marvel go where they felt they needed to for their darker characters need not worry.

Punisher is set up to stand on it’s own even if you haven’t watched any of the other Marvel series on Netflix.  Because of that it felt a bit isolated.  There was purposely just the most tenuous connection to the others shows.  Thanks to Turk and Karen Page for keeping us aware this IS part of the Netflix/Marvel Universe.  At first that bothered me, but as the series went on it made sense to tell this story without too many exterior distractions.

There were plenty of nods to the Punisher comics, Micro, Curtis Hoyle, Jigsaw, William Rowlins (Agent Orange), Senator Ori, and others were all plucked from the depths of the comics.  While some of these might seem a bit obscure, they were able to mold these characters for the reshaped Punisher origin that places him as a returning Afghan vet that got involved in a dirty CIA covert operation.  I especially liked the reworked story arches for Agent Orange and Jigsaw.

It is interesting that Frank chose to live under the name “Pete Castiglione” earlier in the show. That name is not an accident. It is mentioned in the the comics that Frank Castle’s family came over here from Italy, and that “Castle” is an Americanization of the real family name of Castiglione.  You can tell the writers took their time researching the character and were well read up on the Punisher back issues.

 

Frank ❤ the 2nd Amendment

There is plenty of tech and gun show for those who enjoy that side of the Punisher, even the Battle Van makes an appearance!  Punisher uses H&K, Sigs, FN SAW…even a pink Ruger Mini-14 lol.  He still favors his Marine issued Kabar knife and uses the old standby for any military hero, a pre-war Colt 45 1911 (reissue).  There was some concern about the gun violence in this series, so much so the initial release was delayed due to the Vegas shooting.  I don’t think there was anything irresponsible about how Punisher was depicted or how they showed the gun play.  This was very gritty and real world, they addressed issues like PTSD, the problems returning veterans face after deployment, and the impact even a single gun can have on civilian life.  Punisher is about the damage war and violence can inflict on a person.  Sometimes that damage runs so deep the person spends the rest of their life sorting it out.

In all The Punisher was a relentless ride of revenge and redemption.  The series pulled no punches on the violence or subject matter.  Punisher HAS to be this way otherwise it cheapens the price everyone pays in this very real world of predatory crime.  You FELT the impact that the lives lost in the series had on the people they left behind…and I think that is what the Punisher has always really been about, not so much a revenge saga, but a story of loss and what it takes to drive person to continue on in life once they have lost everything.  It takes more than a need for revenge, it takes courage.

 

*Photos courtesy of Marvel / Netflix

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