If you think of “Daredevil” on the screen, you probably imagine Ben Affleck running around. Leave it to Netflix to come back with an antidote for that, a 13 episode first season to salvage the character.
Blinded as a boy, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is a lawyer who, by night, roams the streets of Hell’s Kitchen as a vigilante. Helping Matt’s legal pursuits are ‘Foggy’ Nelson (Elden Henson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) while coming to his aid in a medical sense is Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). The root of many of Hell’s Kitchen’s problems is a wealthy businessman Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) who is never labeled as The Kingpin, but we all know that’s who he is.
With this format, the creators could have taken one of two approaches: diving right into the action or starting from scratch. We mostly go with the latter as some time is spent with a young Murdock and almost the entire season is spent with a sort of proto-Daredevil. That was probably the right decision as we can explore not only the character’s evolution, but some of Murdock’s personal struggles. This also allows us to get a feel for what things are like in Hell’s Kitchen.
You may take note of the fight sequences which, while still well choreographed and carefully executed, are bit grittier and nastier than what you may be used to. People aren’t immediately rendered unconscious with one blow, they take a number of shots to go down and stay down. This is brutal and certainly not for the whole family.
Objective appreciation of how well crafted the series is aside, this Examiner isn’t a huge fan of the Daredevil character on the screen. This isn’t a long-held grudge against the Ben Affleck film from years ago. This is just one of those characters that belongs on the page and isn’t a seamless fit on film/television, kind of like the Punisher (which is one of this Examiner’s favorite characters). We will see how that is handled for the second season….
The cast is uniformly strong. D’Onofrio especially gets to have fun with Fisk as the antagonist’s love story is remarkably well-handled. This gives the villain a ton of depth.
Special features include: N/A.
“Daredevil: Season One” is very worthwhile for Marvel fans. It takes the time to delve into the character properly while also properly setting the scene for Hell’s Kitchen and the environment at-large. Whether you are truly captivated by this particular superhero is subjective but this is about as effectively done as one can imagine the character being handled.
Not Rated 585 minutes (approx) 2015