Marvel have decided to make use of digital streaming service Netflix in their MCU, already having numerous successful films, and some less successful tv shows (we’re looking at you Agents of Shield first season), with the first of four full series (and a Defenders miniseries which will basically be a smaller scale Avengers), Daredevil.
There was both a lot of hype and apprehension leading up to the release of Daredevil, mainly due to the awful 2003 Ben Affleck film, but Marvel have delivered what is one of the best MCU properties yet, yes up there with Guardians of the Galaxy.
The use of Netflix as a platform probably had a lot to do with this, allowing us to binge watch all 13 episodes right away (I finished watching within about an hour of when it was possible to), without this we would still be watching up until July. Furthermore we got to spend more time with Daredevil than any other of the Marvel superheroes, allowing for some of the best character development, especially in episodes where it slows down, not needing huge action, something a weekly show wouldn’t be able to do.
As a departure from most of the MCU Daredevil had a much darker tone, and whilst we’ve seen a lot of complaints about Superhero films/tv shows with a darker tone, it really suits Daredevil’s character. Again this is something that Netflix’s allows it to do.
There are a lot of real high points with Daredevil, but first and for mostly it’s with Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio’s performances as Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk (Daredevil and Kingpin respectively). It’s these two characters and actors that really carry the show. In fact as I said in my avengers post (see it here https://shuggiesays.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/avengers-age-of-ultron/) I think Fisk is by far the best, most interesting villain we’ve had in any of the Marvel projects. The rest of the cast do a good job supporting this as well, especially Deborah Ann Woll and Rosario Dawson, who I wish was in more of the series, but thankfully will be coming back for season 2.
The other real highlight in Daredevil was the action. It’s brutal, it’s realistic and it’s often wonderfully filmed. I love the way that you can see the energy he’s expending in each fight, rather than just have him being completely super human. The corridor fight scene at the end of the second episode has rightly been heralded by many people as the single best moment of the show, and it is. The single camera shot that follows the fight, owes a lot to films like Oldboy or the Raid, and works superbly.
It’s not completely perfect, some of the Foggy and Karen stuff does feel like filler between the Daredevil and Kingpin moments, but it’s easily forgivable when you are binge watching (It’s the only way to watch Daredevil, I can’t stress that enough). And the final Daredevil suit kind of feels a bit out of place with the rest of the show, I actually prefer the Zorro/Princess Bride esq one he wears for the majority of the series.
But overall Marvel and Netflix have finally absolutely nailed one of the most popular and iconic comic book characters, and got rid of all the negative feelings left by the mess of the Affleck film. Daredevil is easily one of the best and grittiest tv series of the year, and will appease the fan boys, and appeal to those less interested in comic book film or tv.