Sunday, April 12, 2015
Review: Daredevil Season 1, Episodes 1 - 6
All 13 episodes dropped this past Friday, and yours truly has already battled his way through six. What does this hardcore fan of The Man Without Fear think thus far? Stick with me!
In a nutshell, Daredevil is about a blind lawyer, with his other senses superhumanly enhanced, who fights crime as a costumed vigilante. While that sounds like average superhero fodder, Daredevil is more of a crime drama about a guy who wears a costume.
That's not to say the show isn't true to its roots. Actually, this is as perfect an adaptation that I've ever seen. Creators/executive directors Drew Goddard and Steven S DeKnight have captured the gritty, violent tone of the comic and brought all the elements -- including the religious undertones, street thug Turk, and, although he has yet to appear, Daredevil's mentor, Stick -- that made the comic so special to life.
Doesn't DD wear a red suit with horns? Yes. But he started out in a black outfit with a bandana wrapped around his head to hide his face. Surprise! That's what he starts out with here too, and I love that. We've already had hints that he's cooking something up, and that'll be the red suit. Dig? Good!
While this does tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- the Battle of New York from The Avengers is mentioned several times -- I love how the series is focused on and in Hell's Kitchen, Daredevil's comic stomping grounds. The character has always been about protecting his city, not saving the world. And the show has made that this incarnation's focus as well.
About the action? It's awesome. Simple hand-to-hand combat that's beautifully shot to capture every brutal moment. And the fighting is brutal and played real. Daredevil dishes out as much as he receives, which makes him even more believable. A perfect example is the fight at the end of the second episode. It's done in one continuous shot, and is hands down one of the best -- and toughest -- fights I've ever seen.
Respect too to the writers for having the balls not to dive right into the origin story. We're getting it in pieces, and it's wonderfully told, capturing the heartbreaking emotion that comes with a tragic father/son story.
The cast? Perfect! Charlie Cox is a great Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Ditto Elden Henson as Murdock's lawyer pal, Foggy Nelson, and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page. Hell, everyone is good, especially Vincent D'Onofrio, who plays Daredevil's nemesis, Wilson Fisk. D'Onofrio actually makes Fisk sympathetic, which is something I didn't expect. But I applaud the move.
Since Iron Man in 2008, Marvel hasn't made a miscalculation in bringing its characters to cinematic life. I've loved the first six episodes of Daredevil, and am ready to jump into the next seven tonight. If you haven't binged yet, you need to get on it.