Howdy ladies and gents, today I come to you with my review of Marvel's Daredevil. You know the show's only been out since Friday, but I just had to binge it as best I could while having to go to work on Friday and Saturday night haha. Since I already did an impressions blog post on the show, I don't want to repeat myself for those who have read it, so I'll try to focus on points that I didn't mention before and abbreviate previous topics. So how has the first season of Daredevil fared? Well read on and find out!
So what this show about? Well, the show involved Matt Murdock, a man who at a young age was blinded by chemicals and because of that incident his other senses were raised to superhuman levels. So by day he is a lawyer but at night he fights crime and tries to improve the state of Hell's Kitchen as costumed vigilante, Daredevil.
This show's structure has been described by the actors and producers as a 13-hour movie and rightly so, this show has a sequence of episodes that all connect to each other, whether it is from episode to episode or if there are elements in earlier episodes that come to pass in the latter half of the season. Everything is connected and it gives off a great sense of continuity and cohesion. I also like how some episodes bleed into each other, like say how certain events that take place at the end of one episode will be picked up immediately in the next, it again makes things feel connected.
The show feels like a crime drama but also mixes it together with a lot of the cool superhero codes and conventions and references we've come to expect, there is an origin story but it is handled in a brief and smart way through flashbacks that relate to the action at hand (like Arrow). What this show does well with the stories is that there is a lot of mystery, intrigue, humour and drama, it is all mixed together in a very natural and fulfilling manner. The consistency for the most part is great, from the first episode you a given a very gripping near hour of TV and that quality continues as the season advances, and that in turn makes the show very addictive. I also like the pacing of the show, this show moves fairly quick, a lot of story and character elements are set up and established, but it never feels like things are moving too fast as there is enough time delegated for all of the events in the episodes.
Episode highlights include:
- Into the Ring (personal favourite)
- Cut Man (personal favourite)
- In the Blood (personal favourite)
- World on Fire
- Condemned (personal favourite)
- Stick (personal favourite)
- Shadow in the Glass
- Speak of the Devil (personal favourite)
- Nelson v. Murdock
- Daredevil (personal favourite)
When it comes to the cast, the cast do a really good job at establishing these characters and give such wonderful performances. Firstly there's Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, he is great, he rides the line between good and evil very well, Murdock is as a person who wants to do the best for his city and protect the people he cares for, but goes to very extreme measures to get what he wants. Cox is very charming and convincing in this role and I love what he's done with this character. Equally or more impressive is Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, wow, what a beast! This version of Fisk is a little socially awkward and is a little more vulnerable than what we've seen before, that being said, when he's angry, he's like a bloody force of nature and the stuff he does in this series is nothing short of insanely brutal. D'Onofrio was perfect for this role, he has the right level of subtly, mystery and anger and I loved his scenes when he was delivering the pain, but also when he learnt more about his backstory.
Elden Henson as Franklin "Foggy" Nelson is another strong character. He could have been a one-note character because of his comic relief nature, however he gets into the thick of the action, is a very charismatic and resourceful person who has an importance to the story. Together Henson and Cox have great chemistry and you really by the friendship that Foggy and Murdock have. Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page is great too, she is a valuable person in this show as she brings a lot of fun and emotion to this show, she's surprisingly tenacious and stronger than she appears. She has some great chemistry with both Murdock and Nelson too. Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple is lovely, I appreciated that she approached her situations with a calm, yet firm and realistic manner, and Dawson acts with such care and beauty, whenever she was gone I wanted to see more of her. Toby Leonard Moore is awesome as James Wesley, he was Fisk's right hand man and I liked how confident, suave and efficient he was. Moore was so good as being such a reserved man, but on occasions showed just how smart and dangerous he could be. Then there's Vondie Curtis-Hall who did a great job as Ben Urich, Bob Gunton as Leland Owlsley offered a lot of interesting and tactical flair and Ayelet Zurer was very beautiful and impressive as Vanessa Marianna. And finally Scott Glenn as Stick, what a legend. The played the gruff, emotionless teacher that trained Matt in his early days and has a mysterious connection to other mysterious parties beyond America. Glenn was so slick, cool and funny in this role and his contribution to this show was one of my favourite parts.
As for the presentation, it is gorgeous! This show looks incredible, so much attention has gone into the visual style of the show with the great cinematography, use of colour and lighting and the crisp detail of the picture quality. Oh and the action, OH MY GOD! I love fight scenes in film and TV and this is some of the best work that's been produced in the MCU, fights are ferocious, aggressive, rough and wonderfully choreographed. Beyond the cutscenes the stunt work is incredible, all of the running, jumping and flipping for Daredevil and some of the enemies he fights is SO good, the stunt work is lovely. Also the soundtrack by John Paesano is pretty good, at times it feels like he is tapping into The Dark Knight Trilogy style of music, but for the most part this music is dramatic, energetic and badass.
So are there any problems with the show, yes, unfortunately there is. I would say that there are moments where some of the characters and story elements aren't quite as compelling as others and certain decisions made towards the end of the series I would not have agreed with. In addition to that, as I stated before the level of consistency for the quality of this show for the most part is excellent, however, the two episodes prior to the season finale were not nearly as compelling as the episodes that had come before.
In the end the first season of Marvel's Daredevil is awesome, I had so much hope for this show and luckily it delivered the goods. This show is violent, action-packed, dramatic and just a lot of fun to watch especially if you are binge watching it. While it is not perfect, when it comes to TV-based superhero adaptations, it doesn't get better than this and I cannot recommend it enough. This has given me much hope for Marvel's other upcoming Netflix shows, and I can't wait for season 2, I'm ready for more! Woo! :D
So have you seen Marvel's Daredevil and is so what do you think of it? As a fan of the source material are you impressed with it or think that more could be done? Please leave your comments below and I'll see ya on the next review, laters. :)