TV Show Review: The Punisher

Details: Released on Netflix in 2017. There are thirteen episodes with each episode about an hour long.

The Punisher is one of the better Netflix-Marvel shows and most of that is because of Jon Bernthal. Bernthal takes what could have been a mediocre narrative and elevates it into something a little bit better.

The Punisher follows the events of season two of Daredevil. It’s unclear if this takes place after Defenders, but I think it probably does. Frank Castle, a former special forces soldier, has killed all the criminals and gang members related to the killing of his family and returns to New York City to live in anonymity. Through various events, Frank learns that not everyone associated with his family’s death is dead yet so he comes out of hiding and goes back to killing. Along the way he meets up with other people and some familiar faces that are also affected by the conspiracy involving Frank and his deceased family.

The structure of the story is familiar for a Netflix superhero show. It feels like the plot beats are all there. At the same point in all Netflix superhero shows, Frank meets a new character who helps. There turns out to be a traitor at some point. The climax builds until we get an action scene. Then we get the final showdown with the big bad guy. It’s predictable and repetitive.

What separates this show from the predictable slew of Netflix-Marvel shows is Jon Bernthal. Bernthal brings a believability that makes the most strange dialogue and hard to believe plot points believable. All the other actors aren’t bad, it’s just that Bernthal is clearly better and his performance is what makes this world believable.

Overall, I enjoyed this show. I think it’s better than The Defenders, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and maybe as good if not better than Jessica Jones. If you like superhero shows and adult themes, The Punisher is an easy recommendation.

Score: 7.5/10

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