Marvel’s media domination stepped up a gear when they announced a deal with Netflix to produce four new shows with the streaming service. Kicking things off for us this month is Daredevil.
Matt Murdock is a blind defence attorney by day and the crime-stopping, ass-kicking Daredevil by night – a perfect culture clash that crosses paths more than he’d expect. Set in the grimy underworld of Hell’s Kitchen in New York, Daredevil faces the wrath of the Kingpin and his cohorts, who are making crime the chief pasttime for residents.
When I first heard Charlie Cox was cast as Murdock, I was apprehensive. I could only recall his performance in the maddening Stardust, but he has made up for it – he’s both convincing and riveting as the Man Without Fear.
The fight choreography in the series is as impressive as it is realistic. Instead of the typical unstoppable superhuman, Murdock’s a guy who gets the crap kicked out of him. I winced at some of the injuries he got. A particular scene in the second episode is as good a fight scene as you’d get in any martial arts epic.
A surprising highlight of the show is Vincent D’Onofrio’s turn as crime boss Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin. He lends a subtlety to this massive character that completely brings him to life and actually makes you feel sorry for him in places. He’s vicious and complex. His own spin-off would be an intriguing venture.
The release of all the season’s episodes at once really makes Daredevil feel like a 13-hour movie rather than an episodic serial. The episodes don’t stand well singularly, but as a complete volume, they’re fantastic, if slightly drawn out.
This series is a prime example of Marvel’s audaciousness and deep pockets. A lesser character, is given the platform to show a wider audience what they’re made of. It’s dark, brooding, intense, and it pays off.
Daredevil sets off the brigade of AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist all coming to Netflix. With Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter making waves in the States, and the possibility of Avengers: Age of Ultron grossing near $2 billion this summer, Marvel’s plans are paying off for the company and for the fans.
Daredevil is available to stream on Netflix now.
Kevin Kelly, Online Editor (@AlsoKevinKelly)