Marvel's Daredevil Season 1 Review (Spoiler Free)
Matt Murdoch returns and he is better than ever in this explosive Netflix take, of the Man Without Fear! Bloody, brutal and without remorse!
Created By: Drew Goddard
Cast: Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Rosario Dawson, Toby Leonard Moore, Peter Shinkoda, Scott Glenn & Vondie Curtis Hall.
Average Runtime: 60 min.
No. of Episodes: 13
Release Period: 10 April 2015
I admit I had my doubts at the beginning! I wasn’t sure about the casting; Charlie Cox isn’t exactly known for his action-rich roles, last time I saw Elden Henson on screen was in Butterfly Effect (Not a bad movie, but it was over a decade ago), and Deborah Ann Woll still had her slutty vampire teen persona, from True Blood, written all over her.
Then there was the fact that the last time Daredevil was adapted to the big screen, it was turned into a gooey love drama with horrible music and wooden performances.
The only one who gave me a glimpse of hope was Vincent D’Onofrio, cast as Wilson Fisk a.k.a. The Kingpin. D’Onofrio is an amazing actor, able to squeeze out every different layer from his characters. He was amazing in Criminal Intent, and I will never forget his performance as Pvt. Leonard Lawrence in Full Metal Jacket.
The complete first season of Marvel’s Daredevil was released on Netflix on April 10th. Drew Goddard created the TV show and by god, apart from being one of the most amazing Marvel comic adaptations, it is also one of the best TV series I have seen. Each episode had a build-up to the next until it all culminated in an epic finale. Granted, I found the final fight between Murdoch and Fisk a little bit disappointing, nevertheless the episode, as a whole was a perfect season finale.
There were also several episodes that teased upcoming events for possible future seasons and linked TV shows such as Iron Fist. I also liked the hints towards the Avengers without name-dropping any of the other heroes. This series although integrated into the MCU stands pretty much on its own feet and I really appreciated that.
Character-wise, this series really surprised me. It took a very Nolan-ésque approach to portray all these different personas from the comics and humanised them. Each character was fleshed with complete backstories and moralities. Charlie Cox made such a good job displaying Matt Murdoch. He gave the character depth and a soul. You could sympathise with him, understand what he was fighting for, but at the same time worry that his path might take him down a slippery road.
Vincent D’onofrio is the man! He took the character of Wilson Fisk and elevated it to a completely different level. I remember watching the first two episodes, which just teased his persona, and when I finally got to see him at the end of the third episode, it sent shivers down my back. D’Onofrio approached Fisk in a unique way. He is shy and almost vulnerable, especially around a woman, yet at the same time, he has this brutal strength he puts into action if he feels someone wronged him. What impressed me most though was the fact that he made you understand why Fisk is going through with his plans. He is such a misleading character, and D’Onofrio displays that in each scene.
I read a few complaints online where people felt like Ann Woll and Elden Hensen, who play Karen Page and Foggy Nelson respectively, had too much screen time. I completely disagree, as these two are important side characters of the comics (Foggy is Matt’s best friend!) and needed to be explored. I liked both actors; they gave great performances and the series some realism.
I was not only surprised by how realistic this comic book was depicted, but especially at how incredibly violent the episodes were. This is not a complaint it is a mere fact that I applaud because if you read the comics you would know that Daredevil is one of Marvel's darkest and most violent characters. So the fact that they went through with the violence is something this show benefited from immensely.
The fight choreography was astounding, especially during the first two episodes. The fight against Nobu was so beautifully captured and at the same time incredibly bloody and violent. For a television series the action sequences are incredibly well processed, I mean there are movies out there that are by far worse!
One of the biggest worries I had about Daredevil was Murdoch’s costume. I know it was taken from Miller’s “The Man Without Fear”, but I wasn’t sure if you would be able to make a Daredevil series without his iconic red suit. But once again I was proven wrong. Since season one is the origin story of Daredevil, the black suit and bandana were simply perfect. It also grounded the whole series making it more realistic.
Now, about the red suit. It has been getting a lot of hate, and I get why. It is not exactly the most sleek-looking superhero costume, but to be fair, as bad as it looked it had a function: To protect Murdoch’s body from further harm. Throughout the series, he was beaten, stabbed, cut and shot at. The suit you saw at the end, was padded and the cowl was helmet-like, making sense, because, after all, after everything he went through, he would want to be protected, and you can’t do that in a leather suit, like in the 2003 movie.
Verdict: So, overall Daredevil was a well-shot and amazing directed series. It took the story of a blind hero and made it as realistic as possible, with solid fleshed-out characters and a great cast who portrayed these. The action sequences were amazing, and the dialogue was very real. In my opinion, this is the first TV series based on a comic book superhero that can stand up to amazing shows like; Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Vikings etc. and is one of the best adaptations Marvel has brought to the public. I am therefore giving it a 9.5 out of 10.
Did any of you see this series? What were your thoughts about it?