The new Marvel show now streaming online on Netflix can be summed up in one word–Perfection! This show is everything Arrow, the Flash, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter and Gotham are not–gritty, grounded in reality, cinematic, filled with great performances from its two leads and completely enthralling.
This review is about the episodes I have watched so far, so these are 1-8 in the series and beginning with episode 1 it plunges you into the world of Daredevil and particularly Hell’s Kitchen in NY. Throughout the episodes you learn about the protagonist, Matt Murdock (Daredevil), through a series of flashbacks that are triggered by events taking place in the present. This works beautifully because they are seamless and not just put in there as exposition. The action is beautiful, the cinematography is great because it captures the grittiness and urban setting of Hell’s Kitchen. There is a great balance of drama, action and moments of comic relief delivered primarily by the support cast.
The lead, played by Charlie Cox, is great as both Matt Murdock and Daredevil. He really sells the fact that he is blind, but has unique gifts that enable him to use a form of ecolocation to “see” his surroundings and also sells the physicality of the action-scenes in which Daredevil fights his foes.
The antagonist, played by the legend Vincent D’Onofrio (of Law & Order: CI fame), is absolutely a joy to watch as the Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin from the comics. He immersed himself in this character and in so created, what is up to this point, the most well rounded villain in the Marvel Universe. He is grounded in reality, has demons of his own, one can relate to him and in a sense understand his motivations behind what he does and is the perfect Yang to Daredevil’s Yin.
They operate in the shadows of the city and this is a theme that plays out in episodes 1-8 and it works. In short the creators of Daredevil have managed to make a comic-book show that is primarily a mix of Crime Drama, Gritty Action and character study of Daredevil and Kingpin. This show is everything that horrible attempt at Daredevil back in the early 2000’s, was not and in the best way possible. I highly recommend you jump on Netflix and start marathoning this show. It is only the beginning of the Marvel Universe’s Defenders set up. If the other shows are as good as this one, Marvel has a huge hit on their hands!