Written By: Mike Agostinelli
Every once in awhile, a show comes along that stops you dead in your tracks and transcends genre classifications. Something that makes you dislike all the other TV shows you’re currently watching, due solely to the fact that they don’t even come close in quality to what you just witnessed. Daredevil is one of those shows.
Marvels Daredevil centers on Matt Murdock, a blind attorney living in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who simply wants to make his city a better place. Half the town just got trashed in the big fight at the end of The Avengers, and things are a bit rough as he starts up his law practice with his best friend Foggy Nelson. With villains like The Kingpin rising up and causing issues, playing things by-the-book and strictly upholding the law simply wont cut it, so he dons a black ninja suit and prowls the streets at night, handing out massive ass kickings while also getting his ass royally kicked himself. Their first case ends up landing them a sexy secretary named Karen, which then leads to the involvement of a grizzled and aging reporter. A makeshift team is formed, all designed for one purpose: bringing down The Kingpin. And then, things get nasty. Real nasty. But deliciously entertaining.
Daredevil is unlike anything Marvel has done before. Being on Netflix, they now have free reign to let loose with any content restrictions they’ve held themselves to for the movies. People get decapitated here, heads are impaled on spikes, gunshot wounds result in massive sprays of blood, and curse words are thrown out like candy on Halloween. I never thought I’d hear the words “suck my dick” in any Marvel movie or show, and yet its said here about four times. The most shocking thing in all of this is that this show takes place in the same universe as the zippy, happy Avengers series of films. After watching this, I can’t even begin to picture Iron Man or Thor involving themselves in anything that goes on here. But that’s one of the coolest things about this show: it opens up the Marvel universe to any number of future stories or genres. This jacks everything up to the next level.
The cast simply fires on every possible cylinder and knocks it out of the park. Charlie Cox nails Murdock/Daredevil like he was born to do so. He’s charming, magnetic, and believably badass once the suit is on. His chemistry with best friend and business partner Foggy (Elden Hensen) feels like its ripped straight from the comic series. Deborah Ann Woll is jaw droppingly sexy as Karen Page, the secretary with a mysterious past that’s only vaguely hinted at here. And Vincent D’Onofrio turns in a show stopping performance as The Kingpin, one which will likely win him an award next year.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a comic book adaptation that so accurately portrays its source material, while also improving it with shocking twists and turns along the way, ones that would shock even the most experienced Daredevil fan. I’ve always had a soft spot for Daredevil, since he’s essentially Marvels red ninja Batman. I watched this with a grin on my face half the time, nodding like a nerd alone in my room at how perfectly they nailed this damn thing. Even when the action slows down, and episodes come along that are mostly all dialogue scenes, the tension and intensity just seems to escalate. Episode 10 features zero action scenes, yet it’s one of my favorites due to the fleshing out of the Nelson/ Murdock friendship. Even seemingly one-note eye candy characters like Karen Page shine brightly. She occupies the “hot secretary snooping where she shouldn’t” spot in the plot until her inevitable kidnapping, but it’s how that situation plays out in a sudden and brutal way that flips conventions and makes you fall in love with her. Scott Glen also shines in Episode 7, as the man who trained Daredevil. He ends up breaking the show wide open to future storylines, which will likely carry over into Season 2 and the eventual Defenders miniseries.
My only real complaint I can level at this show is that it takes way too long for Daredevil to wear his actual Daredevil costume. All the way up until the last episode, he is stuck in simple black ninja gear. This is cool for about five appearances, but eventually just gets annoying.. Especially when every character keeps mocking him about how dumb and simple he looks. But the way the real costume comes into play, and the reasoning behind it, actually ends up being quite profound and answers my biggest question in regards to Daredevil: why would a devout Catholic parade around at night, beating peoples asses while dressed like a devil? The contradiction there is the beautiful thing though, and actually sums up this show. Its two different genres at once. A thrillingly epic crime drama, that eventually ends up becoming a superhero show. And despite the differences there, the contradictions, it nails the hell out of both.
Watch this show if you haven’t already. Don’t be an idiot. And I look forward to the next Marvel/ Netflix series: AKA Jessica Jones. That character is not my thing, but Luke Cage is also in it so that alone makes it watchable. Plus Daredevil might pop up. So get in on the ground floor here and bask in the glorious epicness.
I give Daredevil a 9.5 out of 10.