The Man Without Fear Returns!
Having created two series of a creative variety that their films lack, Marvel's deal with Netflix has thus far proved very, very fruitful. What was supposed to introduce characters individually, and ultimately build up to a Defenders finale series, was delayed to develop more seasons because us fans reacted so well to Daredevil. Now that the expectations have risen, and stakes supposedly high, this anticipating fanboy reviews the second season of Marvel's Daredevil.
Fight Choreography has improved, but isn't as entertaining:
The first season had fights of an unchoreographed and raw feel; Daredevil often too tired and beaten himself to perform impractical and seamless ninja flips. Even beating the average thug required clear effort, so when the spandexed-Satanman knocks his alleged ninja-equals in physicality out as often as he does as quickly, the realism established in the first season is somewhat squandered. His lack of exhaustion can be explained by the body armor, but what shields him from pain at the expense of my sadistic desire to watch him beaten doesn't explain why it's suddenly so easy to kick ass.
Although, and similar to how the show is written to be more stand alone than 'sequel' and often expects you to abandon your expectations, there are two very, very noteworthy sequences namely the hallway slaughter and the stairwell fight.
There are two central story lines; only one of which you'll care about:
Although the first season focuses primarily on DD vs. Fisk, one episode leaves questions regarding Matt's ninja clan history, similar bad guy ninjaisms, and a 'Black Sky' all for the second season to answer. And it does. Only one problem though, I didn't care. The inclusion of the more mythical aspects of DD's story focused on in the latter half of the show (including Elektra) felt unnecessary and inconsequential, occupying Matt so that the supporting cast can shine.
But the introduction and exploration of Frank Castle is executed to perfection, on par with the excellence that can be expected after having seen season 1, and is unaffected by the Black Sky ninja nonsense that doesn't in any way contribute to the season's brilliance. The implications of this, although do, which if this is the narrative focus of the character's future, audiences like myself will be bored.
Ergo, ninja bad, law drama/crime good.
There is no one to replace Wilson Fisk, and that's okay:
The writers probably never set out to replace Wilson Fisk anyway. The figure/figures that are written to serve as the plot-necessary antagonists are so forgettable that I don't even remember (and face it, neither do you). What made it so easy to empathize with Vincent D'onofrio's Wilson Fisk was the complete insight to his insecurity, his motive and his drive. Similarly will you sympathize for Frank Castle, who casts a shadow over the scum of the city not by means of power, but desperation, anger, and necessity.
Seriously, though. Jon Bernthal steals this season. Might as well just call it The Punisher and his bitches.
Marvel's Daredevil season 2 isn't what you expected; it reinvents itself, refusing to imitate and clone its success, but is just as good. Almost held back by its unimportant ninjaisms, but ultimately redeemed by everything Frank Castle related.
Now go watch the hallway slaughter and stairwell fight scenes again. I know I will.