Twelve years. That’s how long it’s been since we’ve last seen a film adaptation of Daredevil. While I must be one of the two people on this planet that enjoyed the shitfest, with Ben Affleck and Colin Farrell, for what it was worth…I am glad that Marvel got back the rights for the franchise and, together with Netflix, filmed a thirteen episode series which was released in bulk last Friday, April 10th! After binge-watching the whole show on Saturday, I’m going to try and give you my impressions and thoughts on this new iteration! I will keep the spoilers to a bare minimum, so if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t be afraid to read on.
First off, minutes after watching you will notice that the entire show looks and feels like a movie, rather than a TV show: the way it’s shot, the acting, the pacing: all of it is akin to something you would expect on the big screen. As a matter of fact, after finishing all of the, more or less, fifty-minute, episodes, you will feel like you’ve watched one very long film…one that never gets boring for even a second. Regarding the pacing, I really appreciate the fact that they don’t devote one entire episode to how Matt Murdock got his abilities, but instead throw in several short segments all throughout the season. It simply makes the whole superhero formula that much more interesting and creates a deep sense of immersion in the story.
The second thing that will catch your attention quite early, is the change of tone in comparison to all the previous Marvel Studios adaptations: Daredevil is dark, gritty and plenty violent. Blood flows, curse words are uttered and the thematic is very mature, including human trafficking, drug-related activities and drinking. I do have to point out that I found it an interesting choice that they opted for the omission of nudity, because aside from half a side-boob, there are little to no PG-13 scenes when it comes to naked flesh. I think it is a wise choice, however, because this show doesn’t need sex, in order to sell. Especially the job they did with the fight choreography can’t even be put into words, it’s that good.
Since I promised that I’d keep the spoilers to a bare minimum, I’ll keep the summary of the plot as obvious as possible. The story takes place two years after the events of The Avengers in New York City, with Matt Murdock and his partner Foggy Nelson just starting their own lawyer practice. Their first case is the defense of the young and charming Karen Page, who is accused of a murder that she didn’t commit. In the course of the thirteen episodes the trio discovers the involvement of Wilson Fisk, who you might know better as the Kingpin; even though this is never stated on the show. The narrative really fleshes out his character and, coupled with the fantastic acting of Vincent D’Onofrio, makes this villain easily my favorite of the ones we’ve seen in the Marvel movies so far…Ultron might change that. Needless to say that it ends with Matt Murdock donning the iconic scarlet suit and becoming Daredevil. Come one, people…what did you expect? It’s still a superhero adaptation!
All in all, this first joint-venture of Marvel and Netflix has proven to be one hell of a ride and I, for one, can’t wait for the future collaborations. Especially, since the two have laid out a clear plan: A.K.A. Jessica Jones is next, supposedly at the end of the year, then we are treated to Luke Cage, followed by Iron Fist, before culminating in one big team-up in The Defenders! Along with Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and all the planned projects on the big screen, it’s safe to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to expand into something that has never been there in this form and…I CAN’T WAIT!