The Punisher, 2017
Signed up the 28/03/2017
The Punisher feels dense and slow at first, and it proves to be exactly that and then sum. But it picks up some momentum around the 3rd episode when they introduce to serious butt-kicking action and some mystery.
When mysterious events begin occuring, we're introduced to a Frank Castle who is well-bred in complexity and violence enough to at least carry us through the season. Castle is angry and seemingly unfeeling; granted his family was murdered by some deviants who seeked revenge. He's isolated and vengeful, and pretty much too gritty and indistinct to emotionally attach to.
The show survives on ambiguity, which is supported by the convincing suspense and intentional cliffhangers. It survives on adrenaline and pure violence, too. You know how you go on a Youtube hunt for those idiotic videos where people do stupid things and hurt themselves? Or when you have a folder filled with plane crash videos because that's your very specific kink? Or even when you watch "A Thousand Ways to Die" religiously? Yep, the show has the same effect. It picks at the same spot where the human need to see horrible things happen to others is stimulated.
The Punisher tries to establish and cover too many territories; instead of just picking one arc and sticking to it, and telling it well. We're left hanging in the wind too long to care enough when the narrative finally arrives at its climax.
The emotional aspects don't stick. We're not given enough development or even time to process that Frank is here right now making all these sometimes bad and rebellious choices because his family was brutality murdered. Sure we see the sadness on his face, the supposed depression through manic episodes and the distrust of anything that moves, as well as the isolation. But the actual arc doesn't stick.
The characters we're introduced to don't possess enough dynamism or even spark to compell us to at least root for whatever purpose they're put on our screens for. Trust me it's not clear at all. All the subplots are as loose as fountain water, too. It becomes quite agitating, in fact. Especially because these characters lack chemistry among each other as well. What horror it is to watch a show where the cast doesn't quite gel.
I feel maybe, just maybe, the show made a mistake by making the "punishings" of the people who messed with Frank's family a mere cold open in episode. This leaves the show vulnerable for a little too long as it shuffled to find and convince us of the actual bad guy which Frank will have to go up against, of course.
It just feels like a brawling arcade game- say Tekken or Street Fighter. Here's Frank, he's good with his fists- combat champion, a human weapon- and now we're going to find him a deviant opponent and enjoy the show. Sigh.
This isn't a bad Marvel show if you measure it against the other shows within that universe; in fact it might even outrank the rest. It sure does have a long way to go in terms of establishing a clean, coherent storyline that can help rank it higher against actual amazing, well-structured shows outside of its home turf.
The Punisher is a good enough watch nonetheless. I don't know if you'd have the urge to tear through it all in one day like you normally would most Netflix originals, but it's highly possible that you will want to stick around till the end.
Post a reply