The World needs more Superheroes with handicaps. James Holcomb reviews the newest adaptation of Marvel’s ‘Daredevil.’
Every episode of Netflix’s new series “Daredevil” often ends and begins the same way, with some horrific act of violence. That this show comes under the Marvel imprint is often shocking, even the comic the show is based on was never so expletive filled, but is nevertheless impressive.
Lawyer-by-day, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), uses his heightened senses from being blinded as a young boy, while valiantly saving another man’s life, to fight crime at night on the streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as Daredevil. His partner, Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), and secretary, Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), tag along cracking cases and cracking heads when necessary.
A hero is only as good as his villain in these tales, and Vincent D’Onofrio rivals James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano as a tortured mob boss with as much heart as sociopathic tendencies. Wilson Fisk is a tortured soul, and D’Onofrio’s portrayal is surprisingly gentile and when he feels the need to commit an act of violence, the look on his face is filled with the blind rage of a mad man. He brings a pathos to the character not really seen anywhere outside of the comics and I really found that compelling.
The shows casting is pitch perfect. Cox portrays Matt as a very sad young man, who finds himself surrounded by sadness but gifted in a way he feels he must endure incredible punishment, physically and mentally, to protect his home and those he loves. He wants to use the law and his gifts to his advantage, but he feels compelled when the law fails him, his powers won’t. Cox gives off a street-wise gravitas that Ben Affleck was unable to pull off in the 2003 film. Elden’s Foggy is surprisingly empathetic in his way, finding that he is more than capable as not only a sidekick, but a confidant and partner to Matt. Woll leaves her “True Blood” character in the dust, and is a hard-drinking girl with a past who is attempting to find redemption with her new compatriots as much as she is hiding out with them in their Hell’s Kitchen offices.
I think audiences will be more than a little surprised at the massive amounts of violence within the confines of the show. While the show uses the currently established Marvel cinematic “universe”, there is no guardian of freedom like Captain America or mighty Norse Gods like Thor. The show is filled with street level violence, with real consequences and real cuts and broken bones to deal with.
Marvel’s “Daredevil” offers a lot, not only to fans of the character like myself, but adult fans of the Marvel Universe and just some exciting television; another winner from Marvel and Netflix. 3 ½ stars.