For awhile now I have been of the belief that DC has always presented a better television product than Marvel, while Marvel has shown a better handling of their film product. While I love Nolan’s Dark Knight series, Man of Steel, Green Lantern, etc haven’t come close to the quality of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. However, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, and the various Marvel cartoons have not been up to par with DC’s Arrow, Flash, Constantine, and their own cartoon line up. So when Daredevil premiered yesterday, I was generally excited, but I must admit my expectations weren’t as high as some other peoples. With that said, Marvel and Netflix have delivered an outstanding series that both fits into the overall MCU well, but also stands on it’s own two feet as a unique series portrayed by a great cast.
Thirteen episodes make up Daredevil’s freshmen season and unlike some shows, it was rare for the shows pace to come off as “filler.” Every episode was important to the development of there characters and the story, with very few throw away scenes. Charlie Cox does a pretty good job as Matt Murdoch/Daredevil, but just because I have to nit pick at something, there are times where I just didn’t “feel” the blindness of the character as he just moved around too well, even for a guy with super senses. Besides that, Charlie really delivers on the character and makes you believe in the choices he makes. Also, just to nit pick really quickly once more, some of the background and supporting character actors come off as cheesy/this is my first big gig/NYC actor types as well, but they don’t really take you out of the show.
Without any spoilers, I must above all else praise Vincent D’onofrio’s performance as Wilson Fisk, aKa the Kingpin. We’ve all heard the saying by now that in the mind of the villain, they are the hero of the story. It’s an interesting thought to keep in mind as you watch the evolution of Fisk through out season 1. D’onofrio plays Fisk with a quiet intensity that is ready to burst at any moment and stand back when he does. Much like his comics counterpart, Fisk is portrayed as big, portly you might say, but as strong as a bull when it comes to his strength. Luckily though, they managed to portray him as being a beast, without being completely over the top in portraying his strength. He’s not lifting cars or anything like that, think of him like a retired pro wrestler. He may have put on some weight and not look as intimidating as he used to, but chances are he can lift you in the air with ease still and beat the holy hell out of you without breaking a sweat. D’onofrio’s performance brings Kingpin to life like never before and he deserves all the praise he can get for it.
Overall, the acting, writing, and pacing of Daredevil are to be greatly commended as Marvel has learned from past mistakes it seems on how to really work a great television show. The show can be visually stunning in it’s cinematography and lighting as well, often catching you off guard with gorgeous night time shoots that help convey the darkness of the city.
To go with the good ol’ “Out of Ten” rating system I would give Daredevil a good solid 8.5
Pros: – Vincent D’onofrio’s performance as Wilson Fisk.
– Excellent story pacing through the season. Very few “throw away scenes.”
– Tremendous fight choreography.
Cons: – Less than stellar acting from some supporting cast.
– Sometimes Charlie Cox doesn’t seem believable as a blind guy.
– Not enough Rosario Dawson. (Ok, that may be me nit picking again.)
So if you haven’t already, log in to Netflix and get to binging on season 1 of Marvel’s Daredevil. Let’s hope this is a good sign for the other series to come as Netflix Original’s from Marvel. Don’t forget Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and aKa Jessica Jones are all on the way from Marvel and Netflix, so stay tuned true believers and…EXCELSIOR!!!