Tuesday 5 December 2017

TV Series Review: MARVEL'S THE PUNISHER (Season 1)

Marvel's The Punisher (Season 1)

Marvel have really outdone themselves over the last few years with their string of hugely popular movies, and now TV series, all set in the same universe. I've been reading the comics since I was a kid, and love all of the movies too, even the one with Dolph Lundgren in! The Punisher is easily one of my favourite Marvel characters, so it was extremely important to me that they nailed it with this new series.

We first got to see this new interpretation of The Punisher in the second season of Daredevil, and actor Jon Bernthal did a fantastic job, so I was really looking forward to this! I'm actually enjoying Marvel's TV series' more than the blockbuster movies, as I prefer the darker tone, and I think the stories are better. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders have all been superb, but for me, that first season of Daredevil was something really special and stands out from the others. I'm so pleased to say that this first season of The Punisher matches it in quality.
The series starts with Frank Castle (AKA The Punisher) having wiped out everyone in the criminal underworld he believed were connected to the murder of his family. However, it isn't long before he uncovers a conspiracy involving government officials, and a number of new people for him to kill in his seemingly never-ending journey of revenge and judgement. 

The series is a massive success in terms of storyline, acting and blood thirsty action. I believe that The Punisher works best as a character when he's in a more grounded, believable world. Fortunately, there are no superpowers or heroes in capes here. Karen Page, who was introduced from Daredevil, is the only character to tie Frank to the other Marvel series'. Consequently, watching The Punisher is more like 24 mixed with Die Hard in tone, which works for me. It's gritty, violent, and doesn't shy away from delving into the tortured and damaged side of Frank Castle, enabling actor Jon Bernthal to give real depth to the character at a level that hasn't been done on-screen before. 

I absolutely loved The Punisher, and I think it's the best on screen adaptation of the character to date. I just hope they keep a distance between him and the other characters in the Marvel universe, as a supernatural element could ruin the grounded, more realistic world a character like this thrives in.

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