If I had to use one word to describe, The Punisher, it would "intense." I fully expected this series to have more gravitas than the other Marvel series on Netflix due to the main character, Frank Castle's, backstory. However, it exceeded and surprised even my highest expectations. (OMG-the opening credit music and artwork!)
Netflix fully redeems itself after the disappointment that we call The Iron Fist. The music sets the tone for a gripping and emotional journey. The dialogue, including many of Frank's many grunts, is timely, believable, and rich. It is a show filled with violence. However, they do not stick their head in the sand and ignore current events that have happened recently. The dialogue delves deep into gun rights/second amendment rights, vigilantes, and Frank's own personal need for violence.
What I was most pleasantly surprised by was how accurately they portrayed combat PTSD and the difficulty military personnel can have when they return home and have to return to normal civilian life. I know many young vets, and the show reflects many of the conversations I have had with them. On the same token, I also know vets that would find this show to be a trigger for their PTSD and would not be able to watch it.
Which saddens me some, as the show as gone through such pains to make it accurate. It is so accurate that the people they are trying to show respect and appreciation for would not be able to enjoy it.
It gave me a whole new respect for Netflix and their production team.
The storyline itself is interesting and keeps you engaged. We follow Frank (played by Jon Bernthal, who was exceptional!) as he goes down the rabbit hole of who killed his family and why. Who can he trust? Who are his friends? Who are his enemies? It is fantastic to watch the mystery and conspiracy around his family's death and what happened in Kandahar unfold.
We see familiar characters Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) and Curtis Hoyle (Jason R. Moore). We also meet new characters, Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) of Homeland Serurity, Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) a military buddy, and David Lieberman (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) an NSA anaylst. Each of the characters develop in ways that are surprising and deeply satisfying to watch.
Hands down, this is one of the most well done shows in every aspect that I have seen in a long time.
(This is my new favorite of Netflix's Marvel series.) Do yourself a service and spend a weekend binging The Punisher (because you will find it hard to walk away from each new episode). However, if you have an aversion to blood or combat PTSD, perhaps check out some other offerings Netflix has instead.
If you know a veteran struggling with PTSD, please encourage them to call