Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Daredevil TV Show Review

I don't usually review TV shows here, but after binge watching Daredevil this week, I thought I would make an exception. From the first trailer I knew Daredevil would be good, but I didn't know it would be this good! Here are my SPOILER FREE thoughts.

For those who haven't read the comics or were fortunate enough not to see the 2003 adaptation (it had its moments, but not many although Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin was one of them.), Daredevil is about Matt Murdock, a lawyer who was involved in car accident when he was younger, where toxic waste blinded him but also heightened his other senses. He uses these heightened senses to fight crime as a masked vigilante. All of this takes place within the same Universe as The Avengers films, but apart from the odd remark here and there, this show has very different in tone. This ain't for kids, this is a violent and brutal story, like nothing we have seen in the Avengers Universe before.

The show gives you the basics of the origin within the first scene, but then skips ahead to an already semi-established crime fighting blind man. You get to see bits and pieces of the origin throughout, but for the most part it skips over the boring stuff and starts where the fun begins.

Charlie Cox, from Stardust and Boardwalk Empire fame, plays Matt Murdock. He is absolutely brilliant and is very likeable as the blind lawyer and masked vigilante. He brings a new level to the over used 'tortured hero' trope. He plays Daredevil in such a way that makes you feel like he enjoys what he's doing, as well as being very passionate about his reasons for beating up the scum of Hell's Kitchen. Sign him up for Captain America: Civil War ASAP Marvel! The character of Daredevil is awesome and Cox really does him justice and looks awesome in the early black costume, flipping around and kicking ass!

Equally as great (if not slightly better) is Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin. He is hands down the best villain Marvel has made in this Universe. Not only is he incredibly violent, scary and intimidating but sympathetic as well. D'Onofrio plays him with a slight child like quality and you really do feel for him and empathise with him at times. Apart from the fact he isn't the size of a sumo wrestler, D'Onofrio looks almost identical to the comic book version, just watching him made me nerd out. I'm so happy to see him in this Universe and done so well at the same time.

There is not one bad casting in this show and other highlights include Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Ben Urich, Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa Marianna, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple and Toby Leonard Moore as Fisk's right hand man Wesley. In fact, Karen, Vanessa and Claire may be some of the best female characters the Marvel Universe has come up with so far!

The writing in the show is something to be applauded, there is some really great lines and brilliantly interwoven storylines played out over the thirteen episodes. Being able to tell this story over many episodes means it isn't rushed and you get some smaller, quieter more personal moments which you won't always necessarily get on film. It begs you to keep on watching and you can, because it's all on Netflix right now! It took me less than a week to finish...

You can go a whole episode without having to see Daredevil and you will not care because the character of Matt Murdock, and those around him, are so engrossing and engaging by themselves. However one of the coolest things about show is the fight choreography. Not only are they some of the best fights we've seen in the superhero genre, but they're also so well written into the script as well. You know the motives behind every punch thrown by hero or villain and the fights can be emotionally powerful. And for once there are real stakes involved, Daredevil isn't invincible, he's just a man and a lot of the sequences are very tense and thrilling. And yes, the fight sequence done in seemingly one take is as cool as everyone is raving about!

It does dark and gritty better than most films who have attempted to do so with the superhero genre but also has the right amount of comedy to counteract this. It may take influence from Nolan's Batman triliogy with its tone ,but I would argue that it pulls it off even better. It sticks very close to the comics in term of what the characters are like, especially Frank Millar's run in the 90's on the series. The minimal lighting in the show enforces this tone, although it does go a bit overboard on the reds and yellows during the first few episodes!

I hope this show gets a second season because it truly has blown me away. I'm worried because Marvel has got Jessica Jone, Luke Cage and Iron Fist shows in the works for release over the next couple years, that we won't get a second season in 2016, but I really hope they decide to do it! I want more Daredevil in my life now! If this is the kind of quality we will be looking at for the rest of their shows, then colour me extremely excited, especially for when they all come together as a team for The Defenders. 

If this was a film I would rate it 5/5. If you haven't seen it, go watch it now. It may be too fresh in my mind still, but this may be the best thing Marvel has produced, it's easily the best show of the year so far. Avengers: Age of Ultron has a lot to live up to. This isn't like any other superhero TV show, you don't need to be a fan of the genre or read comic books to enjoy how good this is, though there are loads of easter eggs planted throughout for those who do. I don't know how I'm going to watch ArrowThe Flash or even the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV shows after this...

What did you think of the show? Do you agree with my rave review? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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