TV Corner: Daredevil (2015) – A Poor Man’s Batman?

I feel like these days almost every other movie or TV show is made by Marvel Studios. First came a million superhero films like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Bananaman, Method Man, and Aimee Mann (some of these may not be real). Now these colourful bastards are infecting television with Joss Whedon’s smugfest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and Agent Carter. The latest hero to make the leap to TV is blind vigilante Daredevil with his own series on Netflix. So what’s it like?

Is there no level priests won't stoop to? Watch out Matt!!!
Is there no level priests won’t stoop to? Watch out Matt!!!

What’s it about?

If you don’t already know the story behind Daredevil i’ll give you the short explanation. Matt Murdock is a blind New York lawyer who for some reason has superhuman senses that allow him to kick the shit out of criminals. He runs around rooftops beating up bad guys at night. Basically he’s Batman without the money. Which is apt as the creators of the show have obviously been taking cues from the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy.

Don't worry, the costume gets better later on.
Don’t worry, the costume gets better later on.

Who’s in it?

The cast is a mixed bunch. Charlie Cox is likeable enough as the hero of the piece but never fully endears himself to the viewer. Elden Henson as Murdock’s best friend Foggy Nelson gives good comic relief until he turns into a whiny little shit (see below) and Vondie Curtis-Hall is nice and craggy as reporter Ben Urich. Bad guy duties fall to the usually excellent Vincent D’Onofrio who manages to turn The Kingpin into a pussy. I always kloves the character of Wilson Fisk when I read Spiderman. He was a criminal genius who was always ten steps ahead of the heroes but in the TV show he’s a giant paranoid baby. I’m not sure what the writers were thinking here.

Definitely looks like The Kingpin, just doesn't act like him.
Definitely looks like The Kingpin, just doesn’t act like him.

Is it any good?

Daredevil feels like a show that a lot of effort has gone into. Each part is directed superbly for a TV show with the second episode being a particular highlight as it contains a scene extremely reminiscent of the corridor fight in Korean masterpiece Oldboy. Unfortunately the quality dips considerably in the second half of the season. Instead of skull-cracking action we get a lot of moping around after Matt falls out with his best friend Foggy Nelson an event that seems to last forever. There’s also more of the incredibly dull Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), Murdock’s secretary, a woman who appears to always be on the verge of tears for no discernible reason.

Is it morally wrong to spy on a blind guy in bed?
Is it morally wrong to spy on a blind guy in bed?

Should you watch it?

If you’re already a fan of the comics you’ll probably get a kick out of seeing Daredevil on TV. The show has a lot of potential if it can sort out some of its main problems. Better bad guys (The Hand?) would be a start and some humour wouldn’t go amiss either. If Daredevil builds on the excellent fight scenes and moody atmosphere it could be great. At the moment its like a less fun Arrow but with blood and people saying ‘shit’. Enjoyable but flawed.

6/10

Have you seen Daredevil? How annoying did you find Karen? Have you ever been accosted by a priest on a park bench? Let me know in the comments below.

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23 comments

  1. I’ve watched three episodes so far. Certainly enjoyed them, not quite as much as Arrow or The Flash though. Agreed, Cox is fine if not spectacular in the role (thus far). I do quite like the violent edge, its something a bit different TV-wise. Loved that corridor fight-scene too – great shout re Oldboy!

    Adam.

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  2. I loooved Daredevil. I love your review too. I’m very glad to learn I’m not the only one that wasn’t enamoured with Deborah Ann Woll though, because everyone is raving about her and I just don’t get it.

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  3. I just watched the pilot last night. My partner thought it was ‘okay’ but this is one I’d otherwise forget. Didn’t really draw me in. Seemed to leave out a lot of important details if you don’t already know the back story.
    And yes, when I saw Karen (who I know from True Blood), I felt: ugh.

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  4. Oh man. Could not disagree more, dude! I freaking love this show. About to watch the season finale, actually. I will give you the whole “Foggy is a whiny bitch” thing. That was an unfortunate change. As for Fisk, I actually love that he’s sort of a different type of villain–not one-note evil, but something more complicated. I have a feeling he’s going to get more interesting as the seasons roll along, too. We’ll see. Anyway, good review, my friend!

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  5. Awwwwwwwww, sorry to see you didn’t like this, but I am in the super pro-Daredevil boat. I loved this, every second of it 🙂 I thought Charlie Cox to be a great pick to play Matt. Excellent review though!

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  6. Great review. Glad to see I’m not the only one who isn’t completely in love with this show. It was ok, but I only got a couple of episodes before I got bored and gave up. The fight scenes were good but a bit more humour would have helped.

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