OK. Let’s start by checking in with our superhero cliché checklist. Childhood accident involving nuclear/ radioactive material? Check. Scene where grown hero pays a visit to a priest to confess the sins he is about to commit? Check – sorry Father. Portly friend/ sidekick with a goofy name? I’m looking at you Foggy Nelson. Check.
The Daredevil Netflix series has all the makes of an obvious, corny and campy comic book expedition, but somehow, throughout the first two episodes it manages to engage the viewer as it moves the story along. We get to learn about the characters without a ton of dialogue. Daredevil shows us. It doesn’t tell us. It’s an interesting choice for a superero that happens to be blind.
I, for one, need a lot of information about Daredevil. My only exposure was the often-maligned Ben Affleck movie. Sometimes its better to forget.
What Netflix gives us is an introduction to Murdock played by Charlie Cox. My research assist/ wife alerted me to the fact that we last enjoyed Cox during his Boardwalk Empire stint as Owen Sleater. It was a great run on a great show. Unfortunately, Mr. Slater ended up in a box. So far, through the first two episodes, the worst place Daredevil ends up is a dumpster.
By the end of episode one, we see the cast fill out with Murdock, Nelson and law-client-turned-law-secretary Karen Page. We hear about an off-camera bad guy whose name cannot be spoken. Maybe something that rhymes with wisk or brisk? Episode one was decent, but at points I was ready to tune out, turn off and never go back. Something kept me into, and I’m glad I did.
Episode two finds Daredevil in the previously mentioned dumpster being helped out my Rosario Dawson’s Claire character. A quick Google search shows you that she is playing an amalgamation of several incarnations of Marvel characters known Night Nurse. By the way, be careful doing an image search for ‘Night Nurse.’ You’ll get some interesting results.
The dialogue and chemistry between Claire and ‘Mike,’ as she calls an unmasked Daredevil, is intimate and intense. The scenes show some of the sensory perceptions that Daredevil has, and though they are extreme, they are somehow believable. Meanwhile, the scenes with Foggy and Karen help to advance their characters and real-life trauma experience of nearly being killed about seven times in episode one.
What really sets Daredevil apart was the final scene in episode two. Both episodes had a fair amount of action that was really well done by TV standards if not a little long. I didn’t time the final scene, but it was presented as a single take (I’m sure there were some cuts in there) that showed Daredevil busting into the Russians’ hideout. These are the same Russians that kidnapped a boy for the sole purpose of luring Daredevil into a trap. He proceeds to destroy two rooms worth of baddies while the camera stayed in the hallway before rescuing the surprisingly-unharmed boy from the end of the hall. The scene was perfectly juxtaposed with the death of Murdock’s dad at the hands of the Irish mob. The production, camera work, emotional tone and ambition of these scenes got me so excited to see what else Daredevil can be.
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives Marvel’s Daredevil’s first two episodes 9 Braille bumps out of 10.