Marvel fans REJOICE, your Daredevil series has finally been released by Netflix and all is right with the world, but is it?
Okay, besides the snafu between Netflix and their blind viewers for not offering descriptive audio tracks, or the fact that Netflix stock jumped 2.5% on day of release, or the Hell’s Kitchen locals fiercely tweeting the questionable crime rate of the show (kinda with them there, since I walk through that neighborhood at least once a week without a scratch), Marvel fans are happy, right?
Outside of the ambiguous “Oh, it’s great” comments, and the short 4 episode review done by the New York Times, not much has been said about the show…. until now.
After binge watching all 13 episodes of season 1, we have a few things we want to point out.
- First, the show is nothing like the Ben Affleck movie, so you can breath easy.
- Second, the show isn’t a point by point adaptation to Frank Miller cannon, but it’s close.
- Third, the stylized filming with the yellow filter may annoy most novices, but it’s to pay homage to the comic, since the original Daredevil costume was yellow and red, and yellow seems to be a favorite of the comic aesthetic.
Here’s the other point, for the most part, you can tell who is good and who is evil by their methods, but their means will make you see all shades of grey, and we’re not talking about the S&M mommy porn. Unlike Marvel comic cannon, Kingpin’s intent in this is to rehabilitate the city, and “in the city” they’re referring to the New York neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen (a few blocks west of the theater district, by Times Square, further west from Grand Central Station/MetLife building aka Stark Tower). We make reference to location because, as timelines go, this show takes place not too long after the Battle for New York in the first Avenger’s movie, ergo, the rebuilding.
Kingpin, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, is large and imposing, however the accent does take away from the character. Perhaps it’s based off of the 1994 Spiderman cartoon, where Kingpin was eloquently voiced by baritone Roscoe Lee Brown, better known by children of the 70’s as Saunders from the television show Soap. Also, another interesting thing is they kept Kingpin’s back story, including the murder he committed at age 12 and the fact that prior to that, he was the bullied, rather than the bully. Vincent plays Kingpin the way most street hero fans would appreciate, as a cerebral crime lord with personal motive and reflection, rather than a huge thug, that one would expect from a character of that proportion (a la Juggernaut).
As for Daredevil, Charlie Cox, plays the character on script, debating the actions of good vs. evil, suffering from the Bruce Wayne complex of committing murder. A Catholic, by faith, occasional visits to the local church discussing evil and the actions against it, plague the character, however in the midst of the action (which happens EVERY . SINGLE . EPISODE), it becomes less believable if there’s an inner conflict at all. Is murder the ultimate sin that cannot be forgiven? How about lies? How about permanent maiming? How about leading those to their death?
Characters on the side of evil, such as Wesley, Sergei and Vlad, although questionable in their actions, display such love and loyalty, that if working for the other side, without the elicit activity, wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow, and the same goes in reverse for the character of Karen. After repeated warnings, her blind determination and reckless digging led two men to their deaths and subjected herself and her friends to be the next in line for a dirt nap (not once, but twice).
Of course there are characters that were either very left or very right on the moral compass, but they were the minority.
Although the episodic formula was rather predictable (episode premise, some back story, a reveal, then battle scenes in the last 10 minutes), the show is still entertaining to watch, although if I were to do so again, I’d fast forward past a lot of the fight sequences (as I said, EVERY . SINGLE . EPISODE!).
You can catch all 13 episodes of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix right now.
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