Okay, so I’ve just finished watching the final episode of the Marvel’s Netflix exclusive TV series, Daredevil. Matthew Murdock plays lawyer by day, masked vigilante by night but with a twist; Matt is blind and has been since he was nine years old. He was taught impeccable fighting skills which accompany his heightened senses of hearing, smelling, touching and tasting. Murdock doesn’t take his skills for granted and uses them to crack down on crime relating to “his city” specifically, Hell’s Kitchen where he and his long lawyer friend Foggy grew up. Daredevil must fight his way up the crime hierarchy to reach the man on top, the Kingpin, aka Wilson Fisk. The task is deemed impossible for the crime lord is considered untouchable. Dirty cops, crooked lawyers, right down to the street dealers are all run by Fisk and his accomplices. The Kingpin practically runs the city without anybody knowing it. The man without fear must prove himself by taking down the twisted king of the castle, a man that rules the city from top to bottom, a man that justifies his work with the intention of making his city a better place.
What I thought of the story:
The whole series had an entertaining pace to it as it differed depending on the situation. There would be moments where the characters would be discussing important law business which would drive the plot forward heavily, then there’d be times where Matt would be kicking the hell out of everyone. Imagine a chart that stays consistent and then, boom, it rises rapidly for a while with a gradual decrease. I’d always be taking in all the important details but in the back of my mind I’d be craving to see some awesome action, simply because it’s that enjoyable. In terms of the amount of action, there’s certainly enough. Each action scene is different as the character is usually fighting someone different every time. There’s a variety of well choreographed fights that offer something new to the table almost every time. On average, there must be at least 3 to 4 action scenes per episode. In terms of the ratio between fast and slow pacing, there’s definitely a well done balance. Don’t misinterpret the words, “slow pacing” for these moments often provided most of the tension and story development. From start to finish, the series got better and more tense.
It was like a firework show; you start with smaller explosions that get bigger as the show goes on… then of course the finale offers the biggest bang of all. In other words, Daredevil never had a shortage of “ooh” and “ahh” moments which got better and better as things went on. Mid series traumas and revelations kept adding to the plot which constantly tilted the perspective of everything that was currently happening. The story also provides a few twists and offers insights to almost every character which often puts us on the fence when it comes to conclusions. We also see flashbacks of characters all the way through the series which does a good job of fleshing them out. We think we know everything there is to know but then we’re surprised when we see that there’s more to the story than what was first thought. It is interesting and fun to witness what happened in the past that made people how they are during present day.
As a whole, the story was extremely well done for me personally. There wasn’t an episode that felt weak or not as good as the others. It jumps straight into the action and slowly introduces us into this world as the story goes on. It definitely forces you to keep watching that’s for sure. The story was clever and featured a variety of fun, exciting and unexpected moments. The only thing is that I find it hard to believe this is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although we are reminded of this here and there, it’s insane to imagine that this gritty and twisted microcosm that is Hell’s Kitchen is genuinely a segment of the MCU. This is in no way a bad thing. It shows that this world and it’s characters can stand on their own. I just had to remind myself that technically a talking raccoon or the Hulk could just bust through a door at any moment! It just shows the range and scope of what stories can be told in this superhero universe and I say, keep them coming in all shapes and sizes please.
What I thought of the characters:
The show offers a wide range of main cast and supporters. Every character to me feels like a big role in their own way for one aspect or another. Starting with Daredevil himself, he is a man driven by the possessive idea of ridding his city of the cancerous crime that refuses to be eradicated. He can certainly take a beating. He never backs down and this is an honorable trait to have portrayed because it shows that he never stops fighting for what he wants. It clearly shows what he stands for. Morals and good intentions provoke him during the majority of his actions. He is like a hero we’ve never seen before to this extent. The technical term being an antihero. This form of character has been seen with the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Antman but Daredevil is maliciously a level above those. A bubbling mixture of vengeful hatred and the craving for justice stirs around the cauldron that is Murdock’s mindset. What is deemed good and bad on paper often don’t matter as there is simply a blur between the two when the character requires answers or justice. In a way, Daredevil seems as twisted as the villains. The only thing that makes him different from them is that he’s doing it for a good cause.
Even with that said, Wilson Fisk also thinks what he does is ultimately for a good cause. Kingpin is twisted in his own right. This character is as fleshed out as Daredevil which I like because we as an audience get to see both sides of the struggle. We see how merciless this man can be yet moments later we empathize with him? He represents the disturbing truth which is the fact that the world is a disgusting place. We all contribute but none of us want it to happen. He seems lost in his ideologies of making the city a better place as though there’s alternate personalities inside of himself. This is due to the fact that he sees himself as some sort of saint yet he’s a crime lord at the same time. It’s as though he shrouds the fact he is evil. He is delusional but we can relate to him and see where he’s coming from at the same time. I like this character just as much as Daredevil. This is a good thing because there’s no point having a good main character without a good villain. Both are on par with each other.
In terms of side characters like Kingpin’s accomplices and right-hand men, they too offer a great deal. Each bad character represents a different form of villainous entity which cooperatively shrouds the city in crime. This offers multiple aspects of evil that Daredevil must deal with. Each member of his organisation is interesting in their own right. As for Matt Murdock’s friends, they too help push the story and give it variety. As a whole, every character that we see on screen is never there for the sake of it. They always have significance that keeps the story going. Each character is intriguing and different. There isn’t too many names to remember but there’s enough to feel as though this world is a huge one that’s been established for a while.
What I thought of the visuals:
Daredevil spends all of his time doing vigilante work at night time. As for Matt Murdock, we mostly see what he’s up to during the day. If you were to calculate the balance between night and day, each episode usually consists of an equal amount of both. At night things seem bleak and cold. It’s as though the city is provided with an alter ego too when the sun goes down and Matt wears the mask. It’s more or less always gloomy weather and raining heavily. This emphasizes the doom and gloom Hell’s Kitchen is caged up in. This isn’t to say that daytime is alternately sunshine and rainbows. Daytime certainly offers a different perspective but it is still bleak. Everything is run down and grey most of the time.
The show is filmed more or less entirely on location which is why it feels so fresh and real. You feel as though you’ve been plopped into the heart of a concrete jungle, overwhelmed with chaos around every street corner. The movies don’t show the desolation close to home, but Daredevil gets right to the source. We’re on the mean streets with the rats and monsters. We see the horrible side of the city. This is accompanied with the amount of gore. You’ve probably heard about the amount of bloody violence. I was aware too but I was honestly not expecting the amount I saw! It is such a violent and gritty side of the MCU that we’ve never had the opportunity to see. Not everything in this universe requires big heroes and villains, the raw crime and terror of the real world works just as well. Expect to see a shocking amount of blood. I love how radically different the violence is in this compared to what we’ve seen.
The composition of camera angles always worked well. There’s never a time where I felt uncomfortable in an observing manner. There was barely any generic city-scape establishing shots which you would expect from anything filmed in a city. Like I said earlier, you’re plopped into this world… everything is claustrophobic in terms of composition. Things are rarely shown from a distance. It keeps you sucked into this world and it’s characters and this works very well.
Daredevil’s costume works well with the environment he’s in. It would be silly to put him in his spangly costume when the character requires a much more serious tone. He looks like nothing more than a thug and that’s a good thing. Okay, I said this was spoiler free but the thing I’m about to say could be a potential spoiler if you know literally nothing about this show. Ignore the few following sentences within the ‘*’ markers in italics. *Once we see the new suit near the end of the series, we see it isn’t too flashy. This is good because I couldn’t imagine a bright red skin tight costume. Yes, it’s red but it’s dark and it looks ‘plausible’. It doesn’t stand out too much but it stands out enough to show that Daredevil means business.* No more potential spoilers now! In conclusion, the visuals are good enough for me in all aspects. Visuals such as costume, camera angles, lighting etc always, always play the biggest role. It’s all good having an amazing story but if it isn’t brought to life in the right way then what’s the point? Daredevil doesn’t have to worry about this because it successfully drags you into this evil land. You feel as though you’re unwillingly a part of it but at the same time you don’t want to leave.
My Final Thoughts:
Overall, Daredevil was done very, very well. I honestly couldn’t fault it. It welcomed us into a wonderfully horrible world we haven’t had the opportunity to see within the MCU and this is why it works. My only worry is that I find it hard to top this series. The other upcoming Defenders shows have a lot to live up to. If you’re looking for a breath of gritty fresh air then this show will do just that. Everything felt real from start to end and each character was entertaining in their own way. Anyone who enjoys crime, thrillers and action will certainly benefit from giving this show a try. You must be warned, it’s like a good book; once you pick it up you can’t put it down. I just wanted more once it finished. This left me craving the future Netflix shows which is a good thing but also a bad thing when it comes to my lack of patience! Of course, if you’re a Marvel/MCU fan looking to expand the universe that little bit more then Daredevil is certainly no waste of time. It’s fantastic, fun and entertaining at every moment and that’s no exaggeration. I’d like to congratulate everyone that contributed into the production of the show because I loved it. Thankyou for reading.
If you’re interested in easter eggs then check out my Daredevil easter egg post. Be warned, it’s swimming with spoilers. You can CHECK THAT OUT HERE.