As we get closer and closer to the release of Marvel's Daredevil Netflix show (just a little over a week to go), we are starting to get some reviews, and, holy cow, they are very good. Let's get straight into them.
"Marvel’s Daredevil occupies the bizarre paradox of feeling completely unique, and uniquely familiar at the same time. We’ve seen superheroes brought to life in every medium a dozen times by now, and every variation on the “hero with tragic backstory takes to the streets to save his city,” even evolving to the point that mega-franchises colliding against an army of Ultron-bots can’t quite conjure the same wonder it did only a few years ago."
However, it's more than just another variation of the "hero saving his city." Screen Crush also says this:
It’s everything Nolan’s Batman never had time to explore, everything Arrow wants to be without network boundaries, and exactly the street-level drama Marvel needs to complete its superhero world.
Are they exaggerating, or are they being 100% serious? Because, if they are, that shows us that Marvel is definitely going in the right direction, and makes me all the more excited for AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. Screen Crush is basically saying that THIS show is completely different from anything Marvel has done, and that's what makes it special.
Charlie Cox and Co. are absolutely Phenomenal In Their Roles
Charlie Cox takes on the role of the man without fear and leads the cast with the perfect blend of wit, charm, humor, and grit that make Matt Murdock live on the pages of comics. There’s a dichotomy to Daredevil that makes him one of the best comic book characters ever created and Cox captures it in his performance in the ways that he speaks in court vs. with his friends, how he moves as a the blind lawyer vs. as a vigilante, and how he makes the seamless transition between the two. All the cast members of “Marvel’s Daredevil” bring their A game and there’s not a weak link in the bunch, from Elden Henson’s hilarious portrayal of Foggy Nelson to the damaged Karen Page as brought to life by Deborah Ann Woll. Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple and Vondie Curtis-Hall as Ben Urich provide an even deeper root into this “Real world” of the Marvel universe, and elevate the story around them.
This also tells us that Daredevil won't just be sad and brooding, but that it will have charm. There is no light without darkness. Foggy Nelson (who already seems to be magnificently portrayed by Elden Henson) may be the comic relief, but even the Man Without Fear HIMSELF has charm and wit, which shows us that even though this is probably the darkest superhero portrayal yet (Esquire has compared it to Spawn), it still has fun and light in it.
Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin Is Probably the Most Terrifying and enigmatic villain in the entire MCU
Onj the villain side of things, a whole cast of ne’er-do-wells can be found with Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk as the shining bright center. Fisk is the most terrifying villain to come out of the MCU, bar none. He’s ruthless, cunning, and deranged to a level that no villain within a two-hour movie can achieve. Like all good villains, his heart is in the right place but his motives are flawed, he’s not just evil for the sake of being evil. Plus an extra layer to his character is produced in Ayelet Zurer’s performance as Vanessa, who provides the eyes and ears for the audience in the most subtly but clever ways. Toby Leonard Moore turns Fisk’s assistant Wesley into a regimented and emotionless cog that actually makes the character interesting (a step above his weak portrayal in the comics). Another “bad guy” in the cast that I cannot gush about enough is Rob Morgan as the petty crime guy Turk, a dopey regular character in the comics that very often takes a beating, but in this series would fit right in with the likes of Avon Barksdale from “The Wire.”
This makes me very excited, as we can see Marvel is pushing for one theme: "There are no heroes. There are no villains. Only people with different agendas." That is what is going to make this show something special. Showrunner Steven DeKnight told Charlie Cox that "Daredevil is one bad day away from becoming the Punisher." The whole show is great because it is a question of morality.
Here's what Variety has to say:
"The luxury of a series allows the producers to add pathos to the plight of Murdock’s father, the pug of a boxer who wanted better for his son, while indulging in side trips like a romantic subplot for the Kingpin. At its core, though, this is a pretty faithful retelling of the comics, while embracing a tone similar to Frank Miller’s invigoration of the character in the 1980s."
"The pulpy style and brutality (torture is one of Daredevil’s tools) clearly seek a higher sense of realism, which must be balanced against the notion of a blind superhero who can shimmy up walls and whose spectacular hearing lets him function, among other things, as a human lie detector. Helpfully, Cox brings the necessary mix of grit and Marvel-esque self-doubts to the dual role"
"By that measure, Marvel has shrewdly expanded its portfolio, and Netflix has upped its must-have quotient with a fiercely loyal segment of consumers. Viewed that way, costume or no costume, “Daredevil” looks dressed for success.