I know that I’m a long way behind, but I’ve just finished the final episode of Daredevil, Netflix and Marvel’s fantastic series! How amazing was it? I’m such a huge Marvel fan, but for me, the name Daredevil runs sour after the 2003 film starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. A film that typifies early day Marvel rubbish, before the blockbusters that we are used to today. I think Marvel knew that it needed heavy revamping and thus this Netflix series was born.
Marvel are in the process of creating a few mini-series with lesser known Marvel characters, giving them a TV stage rather than a film. Daredevil is the first of The Defenders to have a series and we can expect to see Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist join forces in a TV equivalent of the Avengers. I guess if it all goes well, The Defenders could easily make the jump into a larger film, but that’s a long way down the line where it comes to Marvel films.
Marvel’s have dabbled in TV series with Agents of Shield and Peggy Carter but I have never been too tempted to try them out. The character of Daredevil is arguably the biggest hero to have claimed a series and after countless good reviews and recommendation, I had to watch it. As it series, it was done remarkably well, it’s not like anything I’ve seen from Marvel before. For those of you who don’t know the Daredevil story, lawyer Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox), partially blinded as a child, resides in Hell’s Kitchen. He strives to catch people either through the legal system with law partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) or through taking them down as the elusive man-in-the-mask. You may think a blind-guy fighting criminals a bit odd but of course, the lack of vision has allowed him to hone over his other senses. Sight is merely a distraction from what humans can truly achieve. Murdock must delve into Hell’s Kitchens criminal underworld to clean up the city he loves and to stop the elusive and enigmatic Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio).
So far, I’ve been generalising a lot, for those of you who haven’t watched it, get onto it! The rest of this review is guaranteed to contain a lot of spoilers!
Daredevil is for sure the darkest and grittiest Marvel venture seen before. Rather than glamourous fight scenes and brightly dressed heroes, we have the grimy and dirty street fighting in the dark suburbs of Hell’s Kitchen. There are no grand schemes for world domination to deal with, it is full of conspiracy and city politics. There is a lot of dialogue involved, but it is very well written and intriguing. It seems as though Marvel put a lot of thought into the content as it isn’t possible to have 13 episodes of street fighting scenes. And, get this, good guys actually die, we lose a few series regulars showing that we are in the real world and not some miraculous universe where everyone gets to live. It’s great!
The most enjoyable of the numerous plot lines has to be of the antagonist Wilson Fisk. For once, I commonly sided with the supposedly villain of the series. The series allowed us to see beneath the criminal mastermind, to show a compassionate man who just wants the same thing as Daredevil, to clear up the city he loves. We see Fisk’s need for love as well as, his problematic childhood, I really liked the guy. Vincent D’Onofrio played a fantastic part, as he portrayed a man struggling to get what he wants. It does become clear he is a kind of psycho when he decapitates a man with a car door but he does possess a lot of endearing qualities. It’s rare to see the bad guy get so much positive air time, and although I didn’t dislike Daredevil, I did vouch for Fisk on numerous occasions. It was an interesting twist that definitely broke the mould of what we are used to.
The general ensemble of cast was very good and believable. Notable mentions to Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), Toby Leonard Moore (James Wesley), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple) and Vondie Curtis-Hall (Ben Urich). All gave very convincing performances and brought various well-known Marvel comic characters to life.
I see that series two is already in development with additions of Elektra (Elodie Young) and Punisher (Jon Bernthal) to the cast is a very exciting prospect. I’ve only just finished the series and I’m already looking forward to more Daredevil action. I think this has to be Marvel’s greatest TV venture yet, and shows great promise for the rest of The Defenders mini-series.