Frank Castle is finally back, in the Netflix original “Marvel’s The Punisher.” Jon Bernthal returns as the titular anti-hero bringing lots of mayhem to television screens. Taking place a year after the events of the first season, we find Castle living a more laid back life, after smashing his best friend turned enemy Billy Russo’s face into oblivion. Unfortunately for Frank, life as the Punisher is never peaceful for long, as he is forced to intervene in a conflict between a young runaway and her righteous pursuers.
One thing that this season has improved on is the action and cinematography. Season one was very monotone and grey, while this season is full of color and creative lighting. The wrath Frank reigns down upon his enemies is also increased dramatically, as a certain sequence taking place inside of gym full of angry Russians will leave viewers both rejoicing and repulsed (in a good way). The action scenes this season are both creative and unpredictable, something that really helped the season go by smoother. Season two also contains numerous cinematic references to classics such as, “Kill Bill,” “No Country for Old Men” and “Reservoir Dogs.”
Another great element of this season is the emphasis on how damaged people always deserve a second chance, but everyone should always be held accountable for their actions. Mental health plays an important role in this series, as does moving forward. This show does an excellent job of illustrating just how dire the consequences to our choices can end up being, and how these choices and consequences affect those around us.
Although Frank Castle will always be an unstoppable force of nature, he is not without his flaws. Brash and quick to anger, Frank learns this season that not everything can be solved with a bullet to the head. These flaws are balanced by a young girl (Giorgia Whigham) he is forced to protect throughout the season. She has some secrets of her own, but her presence and arc end up giving Frank the chance to be a father again.
Despite these improvements, season two of “The Punisher” suffers greatly from an overly drawn out narrative, uneven pacing, and one too many plot threads occurring at once. Castle is faced with adversaries coming in from almost all sides this season, and this can be somewhat frustrating to viewers who are waiting on the next carnage fest. Some plot threads end up great, while others simply fall flat and are forgotten in the shuffle.
Overall, “The Punisher” is a good show that can satisfy both fans of casual action and hardcore comic books. There are elements of this season that will really please cinephiles, while other aspects may disappoint some viewers. Through it all, Frank Castle never disappoints and will always satisfy the tastes of fans of the genre. Season two of “The Punisher” is streaming now on Netflix.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment