[As usual, I will try to avoid spoilers…]
Marvel is on a hot streak and with the highly anticipated (but potentially disappointing) Avengers 2 on the horizon, they teamed up with Netflix and cast the convincing Charlie Cox as Matt Murdoch and the mountainous Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk. This is yet another superhero origins type story, but done with lots of subtlety and with gallons of blood. The action down in Hell’s Kitchen is brutal – the fight scenes border on epic. In particular, the Oldboy-esque single camera single shot hallway fight scene in the second episode was one of the best of its kind that I have ever seen. I thought that Elden Henson was a fun and layered Foggy and that Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page was able to avoid the blonde heroin stereotype by keeping it real and maintaining and intriguing ambiguity about her character. The central conflict between the soon-to-be Daredevil and Kingpin develops slowly (too slowly for some critics) but is engaging and fun to watch. The parallel journeys these two make as they must decide to be all-in and not half-and-half are equally fascinating. Both characters had violent childhoods, strong father figures that disappeared early in their lives. They both meditate – Matt in a lotus position staring with his blind eyes and similarly Wilson staring at blank walls. But the most essential similarity is their anger issues – both struggle to maintain their rage and protect the ones they love despite meting out punishment to those who get between them and their goals. I had really not expected such depth in Kingpin and the acting there was exceptional.
Now, it is not absolutely perfect either. I felt that the Leland Owlsley character was to- transparently a sleezeball and that the big surprise in E11 was a bit unfortunate because that character seemed to have more we could have learned more about him (and no spoilers but there is another regrettable character lost near the end). The Vanessa character was kind of annoying as well. But all of that does not take away from the good camera work, the dark atmosphere and brooding music and overall badass factor of this show. I think that it is a massive improvement over the juvenile shows like Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, and the abysmal Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I hope that they will continue. and I will be more inspired to read some more Daredevil comics – in particular the Frank Miller ones.
So what did you think? Sound off in the comments please 🙂