Netflix Original Series: Marvel’s Daredevil
A review of the Netflix Original Series Marvel’s Daredevil
Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, a lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night. The series chronicles the character’s early days fighting crime, juxtaposed with the rise of crime lord Wilson Fisk, played by Vincent D’Onofrio.
Sullywood Rating: 8/10
Marvel’s Daredevil pits your not so ordinary superhero against your not so ordinary super-villain. You learn almost everything about both of them. Where they grew up, who their parents are, and most importantly that each had a traumatizing event in their childhood that set them on the course of who they are today. In black and white terms, both were responsible for their father’s death. You could go on and on regarding the parallels between our hero Matt Murdock/Daredevil and our villain Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, but ultimately it comes to the black and white, one is good and one is evil.
Granted, superhero shows like this are sort of brand new to the television world. Sure you have shows like The Flash and Arrow, but Marvel’s Daredevil is more a placeholder for a movie, then the previous shows I just mentioned. By having a 13, 1-hour-ish episode season, the writes for Daredevil were given the rare opportunity of not only fully introducing to our hero, but also a fantastic look at our villain.
My expectations were that the Kingpin would be your routine rich, over-the-top business man villain. But what we got was so much more. One of the strongest points of Daredevil from the beginning is that Fisk is hidden away from us. I believe we don’t even meet Wilson Fisk until the 4th or 5th episode. While you don’t hear his name or see his face, you know his presence is known and the pay off is great once you meet him. He’s soft spoken, sort of shy, and very intelligent. In fact, half of what we see with Fisk is his relationship with his new love Vanessa and how she brings out the worst in him, but in his case the best in him. But don’t let his demeanor fool you, inside of that soft and somewhat cuddly shell, lies a snake that’s slowly moving across the ground, almost art like, it’s coiling body hypnotizing you with it’s beautiful and robotic like movement. Then once he’s found the perfect moment, he strikes and becomes a new person entirely.
I could really go on and on about Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance as Fisk, but you don’t have all day. In a nutshell, he’s brilliant and a brings to us a one of a kind of villain. A villain who does bad things, in hopes of bringing good things to his city, a city he cares about. But he’s not the only person wanting good things for his city, so lets touch on the person who’s name is on the marquee, and that’s Matt Murdock aka Daredevil.
Charlie Cox does a respectable job playing the blind hero, and his performance brings out Murdock’s intelligence, which he displays a majority of the time, and his passion, which he tries to subdue in order to maintain calm and order. Along with his long time friend Foggy Nelson and his new friend, Karen Page, they work together to try and bring law and order to Hell’s Kitchen, New York. I actually really enjoyed their scenes together, even though a majority of the time they really don’t have a chance to work together with Matt doing his Daredevil stuff and other distractions.
While we get a glimpse of the backgrounds of both Daredevil and the Kingpin, in my opinion I still don’t know why each of their characters is doing what they are doing. This would be my biggest gripe with this first season. With Matt, you get a small explanation and background of a tutor that helped train him, yet I don’t believe that the motivation to become a superhero was there. I mean that’s kind of a big step….no? With Fisk, you see his background, you see what his childhood is like, but in all honestly the show fails to show us what drives Fisk. Why does he want all this money and power? The easy answer is why not? But like becoming a superhero, it’s also a big deal to turn yourself into a crime boss of New York City.
I don’t doubt that we will see more motive-type back stories in the second season, but for how much they showed us how our hero and villain aren’t typical, the show did not do enough justice as to their motivation. So please Daredevil writers, let us know more about why our characters are doing what they are doing. But besides that detail, I thought the show was very entertaining and thought provoking. It challenges the viewer to not see black and white with our superhero and super-villain, who actually want the same thing. I would definitely recommend binge watching Marvel’s Daredevil.