What did critics think of ‘The Punisher’?

The Punisher

The reviews of Marvel’s The Punisher have hit the web and they are… the same as every other Marvel Netflix show just with added guns. Many of the reviewers have picked up on a solid performance from lead Jon Bernthal whilst pointing to the middle of the season becoming a little dull.

Most of Marvel’s efforts in league with Netflix has come under heavy fire for not shortening their episode orders. Then there was The Defenders which did have a shorter season and still the critics complained.

Many reviewers have taken writing about The Punisher as an opportunity to discuss their feelings about gun law in America. Whilst true that the series has faced delays due to recent events it is not fair to criticise this show because of it. Or to presume that it will act as a catalyst to solve the nations issues.

Here’s a cross section of reviews from some of the major outlets.

The Punisher is riveting, politically adventurous entertainment, willing to get mired in the complexity of a nation that has come to define itself through the incalculable damage and untold amounts of killings done in the name of peace. When the need to set-up, reiterate, or preempt the plot becomes its more prominent concern, however, it’s emblematic of everything wrong with comic-book adaptations, on TV or elsewhere.

Collider

The Punisher is the show Marvel Television needed. It’s the show that proves there might just be hope yet for the studio’s small screen ambitions.

And yes, if we’re judging purely on the act of transforming into a character, Bernthal absolutely deserves an Emmy nomination for this one. His performance has been far elevated from the days of Daredevil.

Forbes

For a show which seemed, given the timing of its launch, to be so controversial, its most controversial element is its lack of controversy. Frank Castle does some bad things, but nothing as bad as what happens in America on a regular basis. As a narrative about veterans trying to find their place in the world, “The Punisher” has something to say. But it could have been so much shorter, and its placement in the Marvel universe feels tangential at best.

Indiewire

I almost want to declare the existence of this “Punisher” show a miracle. I don’t know, really, what I was expecting from it, because from the moment it was announced it didn’t really feel like it fit with the other Marvel shows on Netflix. And aside from a few appearances by Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) and a couple cameos by very minor characters from other shows, it really does just go its own way.

And thank the Lord for that, because I like watching legitimately good TV shows. And “The Punisher,” somehow, is legitimately good.

TheWrap

In all, “The Punisher” is not just satisfying but surprising — an interpretation of Netflix and Marvel’s tried-and-true partnership that offers more depth and challenges to the audience than even the gritty world of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones.” Free from superpowers and superheroes, the Marvel universe is more forgiving — and more interesting. Of course, the slightly cartoony Marvel Cinematic Universe is still a world where people named Carson Wolf show up and act as if they are not obviously villains. But “The Punisher’s” place in it is a welcome morass of thorny questions and unresolvable answers. At least in this part of the television landscape, there is room for another antihero.

Variety

The Punisher stars Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle/The Punisher, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page and Ben Barnes as Jigsaw. The series also stars Amber Rose Revah, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Daniel Webber, Jamie Ray Newman, Jason R. Moore, Michael Nathanson and Paul Schulze. The series is expected to hit Netflix in November 2017.

About Neil Vagg 848 Articles

Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember.

Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men

Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice

Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG