CAPE TELEVISION CERTIFIED SPOILER FREE REVIEW™
For the longest time, the comic book version of Daredevil was a shadow of a bigger and better known comic book heroes. He crept around on rooftops like Batman and he made jokes like Spider-Man. Daredevil had a moral compass like Superman and a wild streak like Hawkeye. Frank Miller came along and made the Daredevil comic book series a spandex noir tale complete with an unbeatable crime boss that leaves broken people in his wake as he rebuilds the city to suit him better. Marvel's Daredevil takes all of these elements and melds them into something new and interesting, a dark little corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Daredevil series breaks ground in terms of style and substance. This hero bleeds. He fails, but he tries again. The hallway fight scene in the second episode, Cut Man, should be studied in film school. That single bruising fight is already a YouTube hit. The episode titled 'Speak of the Devil' covers a lot of real estate with a lot of style. In that episode, Daredevil endures a bruising fight against a superior opponent. Matt meets Fisk and Vanessa at the art gallery. Matt and his friend the priest debate the nature of evil. And Matt blows his secret identity which spins the show in a different direction for the remainder of the series. Ace comics writer Christos Gage brings his best and writes an episode for the ages.
The actors are excellent. Charlie Cox is great as the ethical and tortured Matt Murdock who has to wear a mask to get justice in a corrupt city. Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page is believable as an innocent person drawn into a very dangerous world. Elden Henson is charming as Foggy Nelson, the other half of the legal firm and the comic relief. Vincent D'Onofrio’s take on Kingpin is original and terrifying. He's calculating and stammering, but when Fisk crosses a line he is rage incarnate and a monster. The last of the major characters is New York City itself. It feels authentic. There are fights in alleyways and parking garages and abandoned factories. No one on the cast is way too pretty and everyone looks like they've taken a punch. The series is more grounded, more real than the movies which makes it a terrific counterpoint to the films.
Daredevil is now playing on Netflix. Season Two is coming in 2016.