Daredevil (Season 1)

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I was admittedly hesitant to watch Netflix’s Daredevil for the same reason I’m a bit hesitant with the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film: I still remember the 2003 Daredevil film with Ben Affleck as the titular blind hero. Though there was hope given that the Netflix show is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The first season of Daredevil is the origin story of the hero that blind New York lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) ultimately becomes. To become the hero New York needs, Murdock must first defeat the mysterious Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio).

What I saw from the get-go was a much darker tone than the 2003 film. Unlike most Marvel properties, Daredevil got a TV-MA rating, the televised equivalent of an R. The first episode involved Murdock rescuing kidnapped women the Russian Mafia was going to force into sexual slavery while clearing the name of Karen Page (the drop-dead gorgeous Deborah Ann Woll). In the show’s many well-choreographed fights, you will see both Murdock and those he fights get visibly bloodied up.

The series does have roadbumps in its tone admittedly. In one episode, Murdock fights a ninja in bright red robes. The fight ends with said ninja accidentally setting himself on fire. It felt weird because the show was usually going for a gritty, realistic tone, but this was one time Daredevil suddenly remembered it was based on a Marvel comic. Not only that, but D’Onofrio, who re-adopted his look from Full Metal Jacket, really overacted his role. The show also demonstrates it is in fact in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Fisk’s assistant Wesley acknowledged the existence of Iron Man and Thor at one point. To be fair, I’m unsure how the Dark Knight trilogy would have worked if Superman was known to exist in the same world.

Overall, I would say the show is a step in the right direction in helping us forget the 2003 Daredevil movie ever happened. There were a few bumps here and there, and I’ll admit I liked the look of Murdock when he was running around with his homemade black outfit more than that when he officially becomes Daredevil, but I’m excited to see Season 2 expand upon Daredevil’s rogues gallery.

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