The Highland Echo

Review: “The Punisher” is a risky success

Frank Castle, The Punisher, looking tough.  Photo Courtesy: Netflix.com

Frank Castle, The Punisher, looking tough. Photo Courtesy: Netflix.com

Emerson Figueroa, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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Gory, intense, thrilling, but thought-out and emotional. These are all words that the sixth Marvel Netflix series, “The Punisher”, brought to the minds of fans this past November when its long awaited release finally took place. The release was reportedly pushed back due to the horrific events in Las Vegas, thus making Netflix hesitant to release the series. The Punisher’s extremely violent character and strong use of guns throughout the show clearly connected to the real-life events, which were still raw. This was obviously the right decision by Netflix as they handled it appropriately and still delivered to the fans who had been waiting for The Punisher’s own show since the character’s introduction in the second season of “Daredevil”.
Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle (The Punisher) was the perfect fit as he did an amazing job portraying the character’s emotion and mental state. The viewer could truly feel the emotionally troubled state of Castle as well as his mental hardships. From being scared with the horrific things he saw and did during his time as a Marine lieutenant to his traumatizing experience of seeing his wife and kids murdered right before his eyes during a gang shootout.
The show does a great job highlighting Frank Castle’s internal mental battles, specifically the battling with philosophies of killing. This is especially portrayed when a character named Lewis Walcott, played by Daniel Webber, has the same philosophy that The Punisher has, but to the extreme where it clearly steps boundaries that even The Punisher doesn’t agree with. This is great for the show as it makes Castle realize the flaws with his vigilante mentality, one that he was so certain he was justified in carrying out. Even though it doesn’t fully convince Castle to change his ways, doubt about the morality of his actions does creep in, which is excellent for character development down the road.
As captivating that the main character is, there are other great characters and performances within the show. Lewis Walcott, mentioned earlier, is a mentally and emotionally torn war veteran trying to figure out how to readjust and fit into society after becoming too used to the war environment.
This is a central focus throughout the show, war veterans having to come back home and trying to reinstate themselves into society and daily life. One can see the results of PTSD and war trauma.
Besides the incredibly eye catching action scenes, showing the characters wresting with mental and emotional issues was the most outstanding element of the series.
This new addition to Marvel’s Netflix shows is a must watch and a great bounce back from their solo shows, especially after many fans were upset with Iron Fist’s let down. The focus is on Frank Castle finding out the truth of his family’s murder and his punisher tirade avenging everyone who played a part in it. Warning ahead of time, the show is very violent and holds nothing back. This is part of what makes it so great; it is the bare bone of everything.

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Review: “The Punisher” is a risky success