Tuesday, 5 September 2017

DareDevil (TV Show) ★★★★★

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe making ‘Disney’ ridiculous amounts of money, it was only a matter of time before they'd attempt to dominate the TV market. Agents of Shield was pretty bad though, with its low budget and D-list superheroes cameos. It had no chance of living up to its big screen brethren. Luckily, Marvel realised this and teamed up with Netflix (and chill) to make adaptations of some B-list Heroes that Marvel (and Disney) still held the rights to.

Matt Murdock was blinded, as a kid, by a toxic waste barrel that freakishly fell from a passing truck. The waste seeped into the sewer system, dripping onto four oblivious Turtles. Mutating them into humanoid Turtles with 80’s catchphrases. Meanwhile, Matt's future sensei, Stick, has a brutal and destructive fight with an enemy. His pet rat, Splinter, escapes among the carnage into the same sewers. Splinter raises the Turtles and passes on all that he has learnt from his observation of Stick's years of training. The Turtles training will prove more than useful when fighting against The Foot.

Season one opens with Matt (played by Charlie Cox) and Foggy starting up their own law firm and struggling to take on work. When a kid from a recent case gets kidnapped by the russian mafia, Matt soon realises that the only way to deal with some cases it to deal with them yourself. Conveniently for Matt, and the kid, being blind has heightened all his other senses to a point where being blind is sort of irrelevant and mostly just used as a chat up line.

Daredevil is so well executed that you could recut the whole thing and it would still work as a story about the villain of the show The Kingpin (played by Vincent D'Onofrio, Full Metal Jacket). Giving a generous and interesting view on his background and motives. Vincent’s portrayal of Wilson Fisk adds depth to his character and an almost understanding of where he's coming from with his abundantly broken logic. Frank Miller's (Sin City, Dark Knight Returns) work on the Daredevil comics also plays a huge inspiration on the Netflix adaptation. Like his Batman stories before it, his darker take on the characters and the world they live in make it all seem more grounded. The cinematography and lighting, of the show, are often comparable to panels and colour schemes of his phenomenal comic art.

The stunt team headed by Phil Silvera and Chris Brewster (Charlie’s stunt double) are the secret stars of the series. Using a lot of the same team who'd worked on Captain America: Winter Soldier to help choreograph the fight scenes and paying huge homage to movies such as The Raid and Oldboy. Utilising long narrow corridors to build claustrophobic situations and using the illusion of long continuous single takes to make it feel that bit more exhausting.

Season two has, Matt's ex and evil psychotic ninja, Elektra (Élodie Yung, District 13 Ultimatum) show up to get in his way and cause him some grief. As well as everyone's favorite, right winged, antihero Frank Castle. Better known as The Punisher. I was sceptical at first but Jon Bernthal, known for playing Shane in The Walking Dead, could be my favorite portrayal of Frank. (Closely followed by Thomas Jane in the short and unofficial Dirty Laundry, by Phil Joanou). His character arch is mostly based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s run on Punisher Max. Tying his story in with the Kingpin while Matt attempts to discourage Frank from using unnecessary brutality when dealing with criminals... without much luck.

Matt's aforementioned and also blind sensei, Stick, hears about the Devil of Hell's Kitchen and figures it must be Matt, so pays a visit to offer some advice, training and a warning about a secret society of mythical ninjas known as The Hand. Now we can all forget about BatFleck's 2003 attempt.


Bry Wyatt

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