Netflix Daredevil: A Short & Belated Review

     I wanted to wait to really review this show after binge watching it the first weekend it was released.  To start, I was genuinely impressed by how much better it was than the way Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was.  I really thought S.H.I.E.L.D. started very, VERY poorly, but after going back and watching from episode 8 on, it did get much better, and I'll be doing a write up on that as well.
     I even believe Agent Carter was a vast improvement over Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and likewise have a draft almost done for a review for it, but back to Daredevil.  What Netflix has done with this show is give Marvel a true standing on television.  Taking the grit and realism of heroes on the streets and making it happen. 

     Daredevil doesn't have huge powers like Hulk, no godlike hammer of Thor, or a steady stream of technological suits like Iron Man- he has minor powers and uses them as best he can on the streets of Hell's Kitchen.  Daredevil takes the little guy and has him helping clean up the mess of things the Avengers has helped make.  A city on the way to ruin.  Dealing with the fallout of an alien invasion and those that would profit from the negative aspects of it.  And he suffers both physically and mentally from overexertion.

     What the show has done goes one step further, and gives the villain the same motivation as the hero, he just has a different method of accomplishing that goal.  This has, at least to me, given the bad guy a far more interesting story than the hero.  Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk was a perfect casting choice.  He almost holds the entire season up by his scenes alone.  I mean don't get me wrong, everyone is cast so damn well- Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple- each and every one of them is great in their roles.  Each one of them feels like an individual with their own real life.  That's something that feels lacking in some other shows in general.  But really, Wilson Fisk was the star of this show.  He was a man that may have been a hero under other circumstances, and he even believes himself to actually be a hero.

     Fisk is such an amazing character here that the show could almost be his own.  I look forward to a future episode that might be solely his- something like the comic book issue of Spider-Man: Tangled Web #4: Severance Package.  It shows Fisk to be truly ruthless, but he also is very fair and a man of his word.  That single story alone could do wonders on television with D'Onofrio's nuanced portrayal.

This was my favorite Fisk scene: "I'd like to have a conversation..."
     The fight scenes were brilliantly handled, particularly the long hallway battle, with my only issues really being during the final battle between Daredevil and Kingpin.  It seemed to be filmed in a cheesier way, and was more akin to something from the WWF than the other fights throughout the season.  Fisk is a downright brawler, but I think it should've been handled a little more subtlety.  It lacked the dark aspects of combat and were replaced with flair and spectacle- with the flips and wall-jumps.  It felt like too large a change from the entire rest of the series' build up of fighting.

     My only other real complaint is with Daredevil's mask/helmet on the final suit.  It looks clunky and too low set so he has to constantly tip his head back "to see."  I get that the helmet is necessary, just adjust it a bit so he doesn't look like a child wearing their parents' headgear.  Other than that, they did an awesome job of making the suit useful.

     Overall, this is a tremendous start to the Netflix and Marvel shows, and I fully look forward to the rest of them.  In fact, I really enjoyed the way Daredevil's early suit in this show were essentially a black version of Iron Fist's costume from the comics- a very nice touch.  The combined effort of the two companies on this show have given Marvel's characters a great base to move forward from.

No comments:

Post a Comment