Daredevil is the show that jumpstarted Marvel’s and Netflix’s join Defenders venture and it is a hell of a good start.
The show is not without its flaws, but I’ll get to those later, because character wise, Daredevil is great. Matt Murdoch is great, Foggy Nelson is great, Karen Page is great. Wilson Fisk is insanely good, a brilliant turn from Vincent D’Onoffrio. Vanessa is great, Wesley is great. You get the picture, the characters are fantastic.
It’s these great characters, coupled with great performances by their respective actors that makes it so Daredevil could probably survive with a flimsy, poor plot. Luckily however, the plot is also really good. The narrative has some minor pacing and structural issues, wherein some characters are introduced in flashback in the same episode they make their ‘return’, but that’s only a minor aspect of the story arc; other than that the only issue for me is lighting, as a lot of the time the show is moored in deep, dark, grimy shadow. I understand that it reflects the darkness of the characters, the situation and the environment, it’s also a subtle visual cue for the fact the protgaonists blind. But unfortunately however for me a lot of the time it feels over the top and unnecessary. Do keep in mind though these gripes are purely subjective and are only extremely minor things.
So after thirteen episodes, I could only find two things that didn’t gel with me in the show, which is a feat in itself, but the fact that the two things were extremely small, subjective problems, this shows that Daredevil is not using half measures.
Furthermore, the choreography for the fighting and Matt Murdoch’s ‘pretending to struggle because everyone has to think I can’t see’ movement is fantastic. The fight scenes are electrifying and brutal. Daredevil gets beaten bloody nearly every episode, but a Murdoch never stays down and it is a riot seeing him get back up. The character is a deeply flawed human being but he is tenacious and he has spirit. Also, Charlie Cox acting like he’s acting like he’s blind is one of the most subtly genius and nuanced performances I’ve seen in a long time and a performance that is extremely underrated, which is saying something for such an extremely high praised show.
On top of that, Wilson Fisk set the bar for brilliant Marvel silver screen villains, he himself is broken like Murdoch and is desperate to make the city better than it was in his youth even if that means utterly decimating it to build it back up again. His journey is riveting and he steals every single scene he’s in, brilliantly complemented by his sinister yet oddly likable assistant Wesley. Not to mention Vanessa, his new flame who shows sparks of equally if not more darkness than Fisk, which makes her too a sinister presence.
You’ve probably noticed that in this review I’ve thrown around words like ‘great’ and ‘brilliant’ a fair many times, Daredevil deserves all this praise and more, I implore you to watch it and it’s equally ‘great’ and ‘brilliant’ successor: Jessica Jones. Marvel and Netflix get on like a world on fire.
Ps. I don’t get the hate for his red and black costume, I think it looks awesome and the body armour aesthetic adds a certain grit to it.