If you fallow me on Twitter then you know that last night i watched an loved the first three episodes of Netflix/Marvels “Daredevil”. After watching episode 4 today, i thought i’d give you guys a brief run down on what i think so far. i’ll do a “proper” review once i finish the season. First things first: the cast kicks ass. There has yet to be an actor (even in minor roles) that has bothered me in any way. Personally, i would say the stand outs are Charile Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson and, surprisingly Skylar Gaertner as young Matt. Normally i hate children actors (9 times out of ten if i know a child actor is one of the main cast i wont see the film), But Gaertner sells the hell out of the recently blinded Murdock, and the chemistry he shares with John Patrick Hayden (as Jack Murdock, the boys father) makes each of the “origin story”-esk flashbacks just as enjoyable as the fight scenes. Cox is also amazing at playing both Murdock and Daredevil, and who ever will be casting the next casting the next “Batman” in it’s inevitable reboot should look to Cox’s performance as the standard to be held. However, i’d say my favorite character so far is Foggy. Henson really makes the character likeable, and i found myself enjoying the him more than i thought i would like any secondary character in the show.
But in the end, this is Daredevil’s show, and like most comic book characters, the character is only as strong as their villains and the action. So how do those elements hold up? Pretty well actually. As it is with all the Marvel properties the focus is on the hero, so none of the villains are up to par with, say, The Joker, but i would say these are the best Marvel has put on screen so far. This is, in part due to how it’s a TV show and not a movie, thus we are give more time with each character. But when it’s time for the Villains to shine, they shine. The end of Episode 4 has one of the most brutal moments either Marvel or DC has shown, and i’m looking forward to when Daredevil has to face off against the man who delivers the beat down. But as anyone who has ever seen a bad action movie can tell you, great action means nothing if it’s poorly shot. Luckily for everyone the choreography and cinematography here are pretty spot on. There’s even one fight in episode 2 or 3 that reminded me of the hallway fight from “Old Boy”. While the show may not be as fun as “Guardians of the Galaxy” or as exciting as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, over all i do hve to say that this is a nice addition of the MCU.
The Last thing that i can’t praise enough is how much diversity there is in the show. So far one of the main trio is a woman (not uncommon), another returning character is a Latina Nurse, and another reoccurring character is and African American Reporter. Both these characters are intelligent and have agency over their own actions. Even when Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temle becomes a damsel in distress, its due to her inability to let a good man suffer. She made a choose and it had consequences. While i can;t say this is a huge win for diversity in media, it’s still nice to see a version of 21st century New York that doesn’t look like a “rabbit in a snowstorm”.
Now, on to the…i don’t want to say “negatives”, but criticisms. The first is that this does feel somewhat out of place with the rest of the MCU. It’s not so much the darker tone, but the overall look of the show. Up-till now each of the Marvel films have been distinct, yet felt tied together through a somewhat uniformed look. Here, that look isn’t present, making the show feel more like it’s own thing, yes, but also making it feel less apart of the same universe. That may have been the intention, i don’t know, but how instantly i noticed it has made each wink to the rest of the continuity feel…odd.
My only other criticism is that the show, as a whole, feels like it’s trying just a tad to hard to be liked by critics. So far i think the show works, but every episode seems to be trying to say “please don’t judge me as just a superhero show”. because of this you can see some ideas of other critically acclaimed shows Frankensteining their way in this. Again, everything is working, but the need to be liked as more than just a comic book show irritates me as a comic fan.
In the end though, i really like this show and cant wait to finish the season. What aout you? Have to started watching Daredevil yet? what did you think? leave a comment below and let me know!