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April 8, 2015 at 11:24 am #345830
Lawyer-by-day Matt Murdock uses his heightened senses from being blinded as a young boy to fight crime at night on the streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as Daredevil.
Charlie Cox, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Scott Glenn, Bob Gunton, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis Hall, and Ayelet Zurer star.
The binge starts this Friday, April 10.April 8, 2015 at 11:26 am #345832
TV Review: ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’
April 1, 2015 | 06:01AM PT
Marvel Television’s plan to bring second-tier heroes to the screen has found a logical and hospitable home in Netflix, a subscription service that should benefit from capitalizing on the ardor of the fanboy base via a multi-series relationship. First up is “Daredevil,” a character with a spotty track record, from the 2003 Ben Affleck movie to a backdoor pilot a quarter-century ago in an Incredible Hulk TV movie. Dark, brooding and violent, the slickly produced series casts the blind hero as Marvel’s version of Batman, a masked vigilante as apt to get roughed up himself as pummel the bad guys.
That blindness – the byproduct of an accident that gave the young Matt Murdock (“Boardwalk Empire” alum Charlie Cox) superhuman senses as compensation – actually serves a more practical purpose in TV terms, since the advantage Daredevil gains while battling in darkness also tends to obscure the limits of a made-for-TV budget. And since purists often gripe about such things, it’s worth noting the costume isn’t the traditional red design but a black ninja-style get-up that resembles the one sported in the aforementioned “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk,” from the bad old days of comic books on TV. (In a later episode Murdock wryly describes the outfit as “a work in progress.”)
Otherwise, the series – from “Spartacus” veteran Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goddard – does reflect the desire to inhabit a “darker, edgier, more mature corner of the Marvel universe,” as content chief Joe Quesada has put it, while capitalizing on the serialized format to gradually spoon out the character’s origin story, trusting that plenty of fans already know it.
As a consequence, the first episode hits the ground running, introducing Murdock and partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) as they’re launching their law firm, while quickly jumping into a case of corporate corruption involving a woman (“True Blood’s” Deborah Ann Woll) whose path has crossed the holdings of the mysterious Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), a.k.a. the Kingpin, who’s name is treated with more hushed reverence by underlings than that of Lord Voldemort. Indeed, a bald bad guy hasn’t spent this much time speaking from the shadows since Brando in “Apocalypse Now.”
A subsequent episode also brings a wounded Daredevil (actually referred to in the five previewed episodes only as “the man in black,” not to be confused with Johnny Cash) into contact with a helpful medical worker (Rosario Dawson), which certainly comes in handy given the amount of punishment he endures.
The luxury of a series allows the producers to add pathos to the plight of Murdock’s father, the pug of a boxer who wanted better for his son, while indulging in side trips like a romantic subplot for the Kingpin. At its core, though, this is a pretty faithful retelling of the comics, while embracing a tone similar to Frank Miller’s invigoration of the character in the 1980s.
The pulpy style and brutality (torture is one of Daredevil’s tools) clearly seek a higher sense of realism, which must be balanced against the notion of a blind superhero who can shimmy up walls and whose spectacular hearing lets him function, among other things, as a human lie detector. Helpfully, Cox brings the necessary mix of grit and Marvel-esque self-doubts to the dual role.
Compared to Marvel’s experience with “Agents of SHIELD” for ABC, operating in Netflix’s pay-to-view world is clearly liberating, in much the way animated direct-to-DVD titles enable the comics companies to cater to knowledgeable fans without needing to worry too much about luring the uninitiated into the tent. And the binge prospect should be helpful in getting people hooked on the overarching adventure, complete with Russian mobsters and feuding crime factions building toward the inevitable Daredevil-Kingpin showdown.
By that measure, Marvel has shrewdly expanded its portfolio, and Netflix has upped its must-have quotient with a fiercely loyal segment of consumers. Viewed that way, costume or no costume, “Daredevil” looks dressed for success.
TV Review: ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’
(Series; Netflix, Fri. April 10)
Filmed in New York by DeKnight Prods. and Goddard Textiles in association with ABC Studios and Marvel Television.
Executive producers, Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard, Jeph Loeb, Jim Chory, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Stan Lee, Alan Fine, Cindy Holland, Kris Henigman, Allie Goss, Peter Friedlander; co-executive producers, Joe Pokaski, Douglas Petrie; supervising producer, Marco Ramirez; producer, Kati Johnston; director, Phil Abraham; writer, Goddard; based on the comic created by Lee, Bill Everett; camera, Matthew J. Lloyd; production designer, Loren Weeks; editor, Jonathan Chibnall; music, John Paesano; casting, Laray Mayfield, Julie Schubert. 60 MIN.
Charlie Cox, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Scott Glenn, Bob Gunton, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis Hall, Ayelet ZurerApril 8, 2015 at 3:56 pm #345833
I’m interested in this. I didn’t realize until just recently who was actually playing Daredevil and I liked Charlie Cox in Theory so I will give it a tryApril 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm #345834
I’m so pumped for this. Reviews have been excellent.April 8, 2015 at 9:38 pm #345835
I’ve been highly anticipating this since its announcement. The reviews are great, all of the trailers have been great, and there’s a lot of wonderfully talented people involved. I’ll be tuning in at midnight…April 10, 2015 at 9:11 am #345836
I’ve watched the first 2 episodes, and it’s excellent so far. The slow reveal to Kingpin is a nice change of pace.April 10, 2015 at 2:36 pm #345837
Three episodes in, this would be on my list for Best Drama.April 10, 2015 at 6:25 pm #345838
Really good, so much better than Bloodline or House of Cards and how good is Charley Cox in this role.April 10, 2015 at 9:39 pm #345839
I’m loving the series so far. I’m five episodes in, and it’s terrific. That hallway fight in episode two that was done in one continuous shot was awesome and reminiscent of ‘Oldboy’. Charlie Cox is fantastic as Matt Murdock/Daredevil (not to mention he’s hot as hell), and the supporting cast is aces. Deborah Ann Woll, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Rosario Dawson are particularly great. Elden Henson is fine as Foggy Nelson, he’s not bad by any means, but sometimes he just isn’t on the same level as the others. This series is also pretty brutal, much more than anything Marvel has released this far. The mature tone and brutal fights make this feel like an HBO series much more than anything that could ever possibly air on ABC. And those fights! The choreography is awesome and messy, it feels so much more real than any of the fights you’ll find on ‘Agents of SHIELD’, or the DC series ‘Gotham’, ‘Arrow’, and ‘The Flash’.April 11, 2015 at 9:08 pm #345840
5, 6, and 7 are a terrific run of episodes, and 7 ends with a tease that’s as a good as any post-credits Marvel movie scene. I am loving this series! And I love that the supporting characters have real arcs and get their own stories too, and by the end of 7 you can see some of those threads starting to connect. I’m trying to pace myself and only watch a few at a time, but this show is so addictive.April 14, 2015 at 12:20 pm #345841
Finished the season, this is easily the best show of the season so far. While it started dragging towards the end, the story was focused and there was little to no filler. Vincent D’Onofrio is amazing as Wilson Fisk and is easily the best villain in the MCU to date. I’d go as far as saying he’s up there with Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. The rest of the cast is great as well, and everyone gets their moment to shine. Being on Netflix gave it no boundaries. It matched the tone of the comics perfectly. I can’t wait for the next Marvel Netflix shows and Season 2.April 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm #345842
I also finished it and loved it. Fantastic first season and first part of The Defenders. Charlie Cox is so great as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and Vincent D’Onofrio is amazing as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin. I also loved seeing the relationships of the characters grow and evolve, and they implemented flashbacks very well (I especially liked the use of flashbacks in Episode 8 involving Wilson Fisk’s childhood, and in Episode 10 when we see Foggy and Matt first meeting in college, and how they bonded and became such close friends). D’Onofrio is Emmy worthy, and Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll should also get consideration in Drama Actor and Supporting Actress. The action sequences are some of the best television (and even film) have to offer this year, and the cinematography, writing, and directing is strong all the way through. Great series, and definitely one of Netflix’s very best.April 15, 2015 at 1:37 am #345843
I think this was well done. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.April 21, 2015 at 6:39 pm #345844
Good news: Season 2 will air next year!
Bad news: Steven S DeKnight is no longer showrunner.April 21, 2015 at 10:20 pm #345845
I’m really glad that they’re doing another season, not that it’s such a huge surprise. It is disappointing that Steven DeKnight had to leave, but he seems to be pretty enthusiastic about his replacements, and they’ve both been involved from the very beginning, so I think season 2 will be in good hands.