A blind lawyer takes justice in his own hands as a vigilante to stop crime in the New York neighbourhood known as Hell’s Kitchen. A devout Catholic Matt Murdock soon get embroiled in a mission to stop the real power behind the city, a crime boss known as the Kingpin. Marvel regained the rights to Daredevil from Fox whose 2003 movie featuring Ben Affleck was a disaster. This new version is fully integrated within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the first series exclusive to video streaming service Netflix.
I wrote about my annoyance at the exclusive nature of Netflix earlier. I’ll add more to my list of annoyances. Netflix streaming often doesn’t properly sync the video and the sounds. But Daredevil, if you still have not watched the whole series on a binge, is very good. Well, except for the last three episodes which linger like a bad aftertaste instead of producing anticipation for the next sip. In these episodes, Mat Murdock, Karen Page and Fogey Nelson are no longer a team and must fend for themselves. But at a critical moment, they find a way to defeat the Kingpin and the villain’s careful enterprise comes crashing down in what passes for weeks. I don’t know how that could happen. Another fat man in my hometown of Toronto terrorized residents and the world for month and the only way we got rid of him was by him fighting off cancer.
Actor Vincent D’onofrio is no Mayor Rob Ford. He is a method actor. Every time I saw on the screen, I had nothing but hatred for him. I did not hate the actor. I hated the person he was playing. D’onofrio is that accomplished as an actor. His Kingpin suffers from internal conflicts that surface in fits of rages where nothing can protect you from his wrath. So far only Daredevil has survived an encounter with the Kingpin. The resolution of Daredevil was too fast and too convenient. It allowed the story to be left opened for another season while boring watchers for three episodes after having entertained them so often in previous episodes.
Of course, the best fight scene is the infamous second episode ‘ten’ minute fight shot in one take. Daredevil attempts to rescue a kidnapped boy from Russian mobsters but has to face the villains first. This is what make Daredevil an exciting and groundbreaking series for Marvel and Netflix. It allows the future other comic book adaptations that will invade the Netflix to push storytelling boundaries.
I do not like the super hero costume that Daredevil adopts at the end of episode 13. It was tacky and made him look like a red Batman. That nose is not Daredevil. The contraptions and padding are too thick. It reminded me of the ugly grey and red Daredevil costume from the 1990s. I seriously hope that Marvel updates this costume the next time we see Daredevil.
If you don’t mind binge watching, I strongly recommend Daredevil. My review is a bit late, so hardcore fan will have watched it already. If you still haven’t viewed Daredevil, please do. Although Marvel is now owned by Disney and only care about peddling intellectual property to consumers, the studios still produced an excellent super hero narrative where the underdog fights the system. But like all good hero narrative, the good guy triumphs in the end. I wish it was so in real life. In the comics, Daredevil was not always so fortunate.
Luckily, the creators of this series did not borrow too much from Frank Miller, as every single creator since 1983. There is actually an original story here that borrows classic Daredevil tropes, but departs from the mould. Charlie Cox as a Daredevil has a compact figure. He is not bulky like Chris Hemsworth’s Thor or Chris Evans’ Captain America. His Daredevil and Matt Murdock felt more introverted. This is good.
P.S. You can forget the 2003 movie with Ben Affleck.