When I reviewed season 1 of Netflix’s Daredevil TV show I came to the following conclusion: ‘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‘. Now that Season 2 has been released, the question is, did they listen to me? I’ll get straight to the point – yes it now fulfills loads of that potential and yes The Hand makes an appearance. This is a show that knows what it is yet doesn’t rest on it’s laurels. It’s really quite excellent.
The first aspect of season 2 I’d like to highlight is the sheer amount of violence portrayed in the show. There’s a viciousness to the fights, with blood spraying, limbs snapping, and faces being kicked in. If you’re squeamish it might be too much but personally I loved it. It’s what separates Daredevil from the other Marvel properties and creates an overwhelming sense of danger over the characters.
Speaking of the characters, the big new addition to the story is Frank Castle otherwise know as The Punisher. If you just emitted an embarrassing scream of excitement we’re not going to judge you here. If you’ve only seen The Punisher in movies you might let a groan slip from your mouth. The good news is that this is the greatest depiction of Castle ever on the screen and this is mostly due to the talents of Jon Bernthal. Bernthal is perfect as Frank Castle and totally inhabits this brutal revenge monster, hunting down the people who murdered his family and inevitably running into Daredevil.
This sets up a moral debate over whether murder is justified in any circumstance or if it makes you as bad as the villains. Thankfully The Punisher falls on the side of kill ’em all making the show more crazy and action packed than any TV series has the right to be. But what about the eponymous hero? I haven’t mentioned him yet. Well, Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock is fantastic. His character has now completely committed himself to the life of a viligante meaning he doesn’t have to listen to the whiny duo of Foggy “my best friend is a superhero but I’m going to bitch about it” Nelson and Karen “Watch how many times I cover my mouth with my hand when I’m shocked. No seriously, count them” Page. This leaves a space for a new friend who fits in beautifully in every sense of the world. It’s Elektra!
All of this raving isn’t to say that Daredevil season 2 is perfect. It still has flaws that are actually more noticeable because of the quality of the show. Firstly there isn’t a truly intimidating villain mainly because most screen time is focused on the good guys but when they attack in force, The Hand is very formidable. Also it sometimes feels like there might be one too many characters and plot strands resulting in a sense that the season ending is slightly premature. These are small quibbles though as throughout the entire run you’ll be too enthralled, shocked, excited, and most of all, immersed in the antics of the heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen. The combat and huge set pieces in Daredevil are more bombastic and visceral than most big budget action flick so take it from someone who found the first season underwhelming this new one is better in every way. Now all I want in life is a Punisher TV show. Make it happen Marvel.
Daredevil Season 2 is now available on Netflix and you should go watch it now. You should also watch Jessica Jones while you’re at it. Today’s question: Who would you like to punish? Let me know in the comments below!
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