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article imageReview: 'Marvel's Daredevil' is truly great television

By Can Tran     Apr 13, 2015 in Entertainment
The Marvel Cinematic Universe effectively extends to true grit and crime noir with the release of "Marvel's Daredevil," which is currently available on Netflix.
Marvel's Daredevil was officially released on Netflix last Friday and you can binge watch all 13 episodes. I will say this, Marvel's Daredevil is the total shiznit... Before I decided to watch Marvel's Daredevil, I didn't know what to initially expect because this is experimental on the parts of Netflix and Marvel.
I think that ABC Studios Production's participation also played a role in helping make Marvel's Daredevil an enjoyable series to watch. I will say that Marvel's Daredevil is a success and it does more than make up for the Daredevil movie, starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, which came out in 2002.
There were implications that Marvel's Daredevil was going to be gritty, but I could only go “holy f—king s—t” and “Jesus holy f—king Christ” when I was watching each episode. Pardon the expletives, but Marvel's Daredevil was so f—king awesome to watch. It shows that the Marvel Cinematic Universe can go into a gritty direction and shows that streaming video services like Netflix is perhaps the way to go when adapting certain characters for the screen.
I'm still surprised, but in a good way, that this and the upcoming four other series is part of the MCU.
I seriously hope that the people from Marvel's Daredevil crosses paths with the characters from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I'm confident that the Marvel Entertainment and ABC Studios Production will effectively find a way to make that happen.
If there is a crossover between the two, I'd imagine the grit would be removed if took place on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If a hypothetical crossover took place in the Netflix series, then it would be a good way to expose the S.H.I.E.L.D members to what Hell's Kitchen can offer in terms of what is incredibly f—ked up.
Marvel's Daredevil and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are two sides of the same coin as they are connected to the aftermath of Avengers. S.H.I.E.L.D is handling things in a global level and Daredevil is one of the new heroes emerging to protect New York City as it slowly rebuilds from the alien invasion. He will be joined soon enough by Jessica Jones in Marvel's AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage aka Power Man in Marvel's Luke Cage, and Danny Rand aka Iron Fist in Marvel's Iron Fist.
The four will join together in Marvel's The Defenders.
After I watched Marvel's Daredevil, I think Marvel Entertainment should also focus on content for streaming video. It has Netflix locked down and I think Marvel Entertainment could also do some deal with Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Marvel Entertainment obviously dominates over DC Entertainment on the silver screen because the former has a detailed plan. The fact that Spider-Man is joining the MCU soon because of the new partnership between Marvel Entertainment and Sony Pictures, the latter still holding on to the film rights for the franchise.
What did I think of the story?
I would be an understatement if I said that Marvel's Daredevil was bad@$$.
Marvel's Daredevil is a semi-origin story because Matt Murdoch, played by Charlie Cox, is already out fighting crime. He's still a rookie, but most of the Avengers also started out that way. Tony Stark aka Iron-Man didn't completely know what he was doing when he was testing out his battle armors.
Steve Rogers aka Captain America wasn't taken seriously at first in Captain America: The First Avenger. He had to prove himself by doing a bold and dangerous move by freeing Allied prisoners, where a small select group became the Howling Commandos.
I'm still a bit pissed that Trip from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D got killed off. I mean he could have helped bring the Howling Commandos into a new generation.
I could go as far to compare the story to CW's Arrow. I could think of Matthew Murdock as being a combination of Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance, respectively, the titular Arrow and the second Black Canary.
Murdock doesn't want to get close to people because they could get pulled into the crossfire when the baddies retaliate. I can draw a parallel with Queen's dilemma of dealing with the League of Assassins in the current season. An appearance by Stick, Murdock's mentor, gives the implication that season two of Marvel's Daredevil could focus on the inevitable war between Chaste and the Hand.
In that case, it could be a good tie-in with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I think an antagonistic ninja clan like the Hand would pop up on S.H.I.E.L.D's index.
Murdock's similar to Lance because of how they're still starting out.
Lance is slowly learning how to effectively fight, which is why she constantly ends up in cuts and bruises.
Murdock has the fighting skills, but he comes off as being less disciplined and he comes out with many injuries.
In the first two seasons of Arrow, Oliver Queen was known as the “Green Hood.” In season three, he is building his reputation as “Arrow.” In the first season of Marvel's Daredevil, Murdock is known as the “Man In Black.” I could easily mistake Murdock as Iron Fist because of the black mask.
I liked the combination of action and drama in Marvel's Daredevil because it felt different from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and the movies. It is still a superhero action drama, but Marvel's Daredevil effectively became a compelling series that combined crime noir, investigative drama, detective drama, and legal drama.
Murdock represents the legal, investigative, and action side.
Wilson Fisk, played by D'Onofrio, represents the criminal element.
Foggy Nelson, played by Elden Henson, represents purely the legal side.
Karen Page, played by Deborah Ann Woll, represents a bit of different sides.
Ben Urich, played by Vondie Curtis-Hall, represents the investigative and journalistic side of things.
Daredevil is the titular star, but Page is the catalyst that brings the entire story together. I liked how a “simple defense” case involving Page as the defendant leads to a high-scale battle for the fate of Hell's Kitchen. I felt that the story could have fallen apart without Page and I felt that Woll did an excellent job playing her.
I'm still surprised at the amount of grit and violence in Daredevil.
Yes, there is plenty of violence in the movies and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The violence in Marvel's Daredevil, however, has the dark and grim realistic feel. If you think HYDRA is filled with monsters, then Hell's Kitchen is filled with “animals.” Marvel's Daredevil shows that you can be terrifying and still be a normal human being.
Fisk is living proof.
I would expect to see this in The Punisher. I think Punisher needs to have his own series after watching Marvel's Daredevil.
All the pieces come together and ultimately ramp up for one climatic showdown between Daredevil and Kingpin. I also love the references in the series like to Iron-Man and Thor. The story also has a subtle reference to Elektra and I think she'll likely be in season two of Marvel's Daredevil.
Madame Gao, the Chinese Triad's leader, gives an implication that she could be in Marvel's Iron Fist.
If you're a fan of Iron-Fist, then you need to watch the entire series and you'll know the subtle and hidden reference that Madame Gao makes.
What did I think of the characters?
Loved them, really loved them.
Cox does a good job in playing the titular Daredevil. I loved how Murdock is portrayed as a conflicted individual because he doesn't want to kill and feels that things should be handled by the legal system. He ultimately understands that the legal system may not work if there are criminal elements in control, which leads him to dig up evidence on corruption.
I also liked how Murdock is portrayed as religious, which leads him to confide in the local priest.
Page is the lynchpin to everything.
She is framed for murder in the first episode and is ultimately let go because of the evidence. Page isn't satisfied because of the injustice done to her and her murdered coworker. That leads her to work for Nelson & Murdock: Attorneys At Law, with no clue that Murdock was her “secret protector.”
I liked that Page refused to be a victim and assists the lawyers in investigating, but she finds an ally in New York Bulletin reporter Ben Urich.
Urich does a great job in representing the investigating side of things. He ultimately gets dragged into the war because of Page. His journalistic investigation ultimately connects with the legal investigation through Page.
Dawson does an effectively job as playing Claire Temple, who serves as a platonic love interesting to Murdock. She serves as Murdock's emergency nurse and confidant.
It would be an understatement to say that D'Onofrio nailed the part of Wilson Fisk. I feel that D'Onofrio has played the best Wilson Fisk and I hope to see more of him in the future. I can see why he is called the “actor's actor.”
Watching his interpretation of Fisk made me go “holy f—king s—t.”
I feel that Fisk is scarier than Grant Ward from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I personally think that Fisk would make Ward into his b-tch if the two of them got into a fist fight. I have nothing against Ward, but this version of Fisk cannot be underestimated.
I'd personally like to see a fight between Melinda May and Wilson Fisk in the future.
Not giving any major spoilers, I doubt unarmed S.H.I.E.L.D agents would last fighting Fisk. I mean, the guy killed a member of the Russian mafia like it was nothing.
Overall?
I give Marvel's Daredevil a grade of S++.
Marvel's Daredevil is proof that exclusive content is going to be viable and profitable. I think about House of Cards and Orange is the New Black because Netflix streaming has opened doors for creativity and more flexibility.
I think Marvel's Daredevil would have been watered down if it was on television. I will go farther and say that it would have been really watered down if it was adapted as a TV series on ABC. You have to realize that ABC is family-friendly compared to other major networks.
ABC is part of the Walt Disney Company.
It makes me look forward to the other upcoming Netflix series. I also look forward to the future seasons of those same series.
Again, this also makes me feel that it would be plausible if Marvel Entertainment reached a similar partnership with Amazon.
With the exception of X-Men and Fantastic Four, whose film rights belong to 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment has a plethora of characters to use. I can imagine original series on characters like Molten Man, Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor version), Santerians, Moon Knight, Echo, Silk (even though she's just getting started), Spider-Woman, Jackpot, Monica Rambeau, Prowler, Cardiac, and more.
The partnership to bring Spider-Man into the MCU gives more flexibility.
Spider-Man could appear in a few episodes of the different series and he is known for his friendships with Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.
Anyway, Marvel's Daredevil is a bad@$$ series.
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