Daredevil is a web tv adaptation, available on Netflix, of yet another of Marvel’s many, many comics properties. This one is about a blind lawyer who spends his nights as a vigilante. Though part of the MCU, Daredevil’s storyline is self-contained. So you won’t have to do a ton of “homework” watching other movies and shows to be able to enjoy it. I approve of this.
1—A More Realistic Approach
Notice I said “more” and not “totally”. I’m fine with some fantastic elements, mainly the extent of Matt Murdoch’s “sight” via his other senses—he wouldn’t be Daredevil without it. I also think there must be some healing factor there, no matter what they say about meditation helping with that. I’m willing to buy a combo of meditation and genetics though. Matt’s father was renowned for being able to take a beating.
2—Dark and Gritty
This take seems to go hand in hand with that “realistic” approach. Wacky fun times vigilantism doesn’t exactly go together with realism. Matt struggles with himself, with how far he’s willing to go. He also seems to struggle with how much he enjoys beating the shit out of people. And there’s how badly he gets beaten himself a few times. The fact he can move at all, much less go out again to kick more ass, is why I think he’s got to have a healing factor.
But the darkness also comes from a truly ruthless adversary. Wilson Fisk can and does kill people because they embarrass him, to send a message, and simply because it’s convenient. Major characters die. The cops seem to be around mostly as cannon fodder for other corrupt cops.
I should also mention there’s enough gore that if you’re squeamish, this may not be for you. Someone gets decapitated via repeatedly having their head slammed into by a car door. This takes place mostly in shadow, but yeah, there’s still enough detail to get the imagination nice and revved.
Daredevil delivers on tension. It’s well paced and all sides encounter reversals of fortune throughout the season. Despite the darkness of the show, it does end on a positive, relatively hopeful note. I knew this going in but it didn’t lessen the tension any. The tension, the anticipation is in the details, in not knowing who will and won’t make it to the end goal—titular character aside—and what price they’ll pay, how broken they’ll get in the process. And no one comes out of the conflict unscathed. I don’t think there’s a single major or secondary character who doesn’t loose something precious and dear, whether another person or a piece of their soul.
I am overjoyed that Daredevil season one completes a full story arc instead of the cliffhanger ending that’s become so prevalent. There were moments I was tempted to stop watching Daredevil—tension can be a double-edged sword—but I just kept thinking about the show. I’m glad I stuck it out. Now excuse me while I go watch season two.