Marvel’s Daredevil: A Review In 6 Parts
I’m talking about the Netflix series, which is much, much better than that piece of crap movie with Ben Affleck. (I think that Affleck is a decent actor, but he was the wrong one for that movie, and that movie was also badly done, not getting to the heart of the character. Not getting anywhere near it.)
This review will be in a few parts: first will be an overview of the series as a whole. Then I’m going to talk about the characters and acting prowess of the actors: Daredevil/Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Ben Urich, and Wilson Fisk, and then I’m going to talk about the nods to the larger Marvel Universe. I’m going to leave out Karen Page. You’ll see why in a bit.
Right off the bat, this is a series that deserves a second season. And I mean just that: deserves. It was very moody, extremely well done, well acted, and explored the depths of those characters who needed exploring.
It also does what it can to stay true to the source material without devolving into stupidity. There was no obligatory Stan Lee scene, because that would have been out of place. Any and all levity was as an accent to the darkness that was surrounding the storyline. Stan’s appearance would have been tone-deaf.
Just like in the best storylines in the comics, the story is about two men who both consider Hell’s Kitchen their city: the Man in the Mask/Devil of Hell’s Kitchen/Daredevil, and Wilson Fisk. Fisk hides in the shadows until the second or third episode, but we always see Matt in some kind of action.
In the comics, Karen Page is the love interest of Daredevil, and had been for a long while. Under Frank Miller, she devolved into porn and drugs, going so far as to sell Daredevil’s identity, which eventually made its way to the Kingpin. Here, while she’s attracted to Matt, there’s no relationship (yet). She’s basically the one who drives the plot against Wilson Fisk, who tried to have her killed because she found something out. She’s almost annoying, and she doesn’t have much of a character arc. She’s framed for murder, almost killed herself, accepts a job at the just-formed Nelson & Murdock (and is actually their first client), and then does her best to drive the investigation into Fisk. This really seems to be her sole purpose. It isn’t bad, but sometimes you want bad things to happen to her because she’s more of a plot-prod than a person.
Unlike the movie, we also have a training sequence with Stick. It comes in late-ish in the series, but it comes, and it’s great. (I hated that about the movie. In the film, it was “I lost my sight, but now I’m an incredible acrobat and fighter without any training!” when it would have been extremely easy to add a very short sequence with Stick, or even mention him.)
Understand this about the series: it’s brutal. You feel the fights that Matt gets into. Each punch, kick, and cut—you feel them all. That brutality is planned. This is different than the fights that Captain America got into. Even though they’re both hand-to-hand combatants, Cap’s fights weren’t as brutal as the ones you’ll find here. These fights were fun! Impossible at times, but still very fun.
This series is also dark. Lots of scenes filmed at night, as it should have been. The Man in the Mask has to operate in the shadows, because not having any super-strength means he’s also very physically vulnerable. Darkness is his friend.
Finally, don’t expect to see much of the suit, or the name Daredevil in this first season. He has to earn those. Think of this as a Year One. He’ll get there, but has to go through the fire first, so to speak.
This is a very worthy series. If you haven’t already done so, go watch it now. Binge. It’s well worth your time.