'The Punisher' failed at the box office, but Netflix finally gets it right

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 08:26:39 AM. What makes Netflix's 'The Punisher' series stand out is that lead actor Jon Bernthal doesn't need to wear a white skull or even have a gun in his hand for you to know that he is the Punisher.
Few Marvel characters have existed in the same live-action developmental purgatory that the Punisher has. The character has not one but three movies that never managed to satisfy a dedicated fan base. Dolph Lundgren gave it a go as Frank Castle in 1989 in a movie you perhaps forgot existed. Thomas Jane had the charisma but none of the grit and was placed in an inexplicably sunny Tampa Bay, Florida, setting in 2004's "The Punisher." "Punisher War Zone" starring Ray Stevenson flopped at the box office in 2008, with no franchise potential. The one thing all those films had in common - besides being bad - were that they were Punisher flicks in name only. There were lots of guns and the iconic white skull logo over the chest, but that was it. There was no soul. What makes Netflix's "The Punisher" series stand out is that lead actor Jon Bernthal doesn't need to wear a white skull or even have a gun in his hand for you to know that he is the Punisher. Though he debuted the character in Season 2 of "Daredevil," Bernthal's performance in Season 1 of his own series cements his status as one of Marvel's great casting gets, on par with Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man/Tony Stark, Chris Evans' Captain America/Steve Rogers and Chris Hemsworth's Thor. After taking down what he believes to be the final evil element of the conspiracy that took away his family in cold murder, Bernthal's Frank Castle burns his Punisher duds - white skull and all - and assumes that part of him is finally over. But...Read more
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