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Daredevil (TV show)

Daredevil (or Marvel’s Daredevil) is an original Netflix series about the Marvel Comics superhero. If you don’t know who Daredevil is, I’ll give you a brief little introduction. Daredevil is the alias of Matt Murdock, lawyer by day and vigilante at night. He’s also blind because every superhero needs a schtick. I know the concept of a blind guy fighting crime in a costume sounds stupid, but he’s one of the coolest Marvel characters when he’s done right. This Netflix show gets it right.

Daredevil was first created by Stan Lee, Bill Everett, and Jack Kirby in 1964, but it was really Frank Miller’s work on the series that changed the tone. It became darker and more complex. It was no longer aimed at kids. The stories were filled with violence, sex, drugs, and crime. This show takes inspiration from the Frank Miller era, and that was a good choice.

The first season introduces us to Daredevil (Charlie Cox): who he is, what he does, and why he does what he does. We meet Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), his best friend/law partner. We meet Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), a young lady with a thirst for justice who ends up working at the law firm. We also meet Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), because no superhero is complete without a supervillain. Fisk is one of the better villains of the Marvel Universe. He’s a ruthless criminal mastermind who runs his empire like a business.

Solid writing and established characters are the foundation to any good show, but you can’t skimp out on the action and fight scenes if you’re doing a project about a superhero. This show has some of the best fight choreography I’ve ever seen. The fights are realistic. The punches have impact. The characters get hurt. They get tired. They get winded. They slow down. And you actually see what is going on. They frame everything correctly. There’s no shaky camera work or rapid cuts to distract you. Check out this fight scene and tell me you’re not exhausted after watching it.

Watch Daredevil. It’s worth it. And it’s the first of four intertwined Marvel shows on Netflix. Soon Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage will have series of their own, culminating in a supershow based upon the Defenders which will unite all the characters. It’s like the Netflix version of The Avengers, only with TV shows instead of movies. You don’t want to be left behind. Get on it now if you haven’t already.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young


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Daredevil (shitty film)

Daredevil is a pretty awesome comic book character. It just didn’t translate to the big screen. Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch, Ghost Rider) directs Ben Affleck in this jumbled and diluted tale of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer by day and a masked vigilante by night. Daredevil fights crime in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, righting wrongs, beating up bad guys, and kicking ass even though he can’t see anything. In this movie he meets Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Bullseye (Colin Farrell), two of his main rivals in the comics. He also meets Elektra (Jennifer Garner), his sometimes ally, occasional foe, and passionate lover.

Daredevil Movie Poster

The movie begins with the origin of Daredevil. A young Matt Murdock is living with his dad, the aging boxer Jack “The Devil” Murdock. Being an aging boxer doesn’t pay the bills, so Jack has to work as a mob enforcer. Matt runs away and gets in a freak accident with some chemicals and loses his sight. His other senses become heightened and he starts honing his abilities. The mobsters kill his dad and Matt Murdock becomes Daredevil.

Matt Murdock meets Electra and the two of them have a romantic friendly fight and decide to hang out. Her dad is a criminal with ties to a shady new crime boss known as Kingpin. Kingpin doesn’t like Elektra’s daddy anymore and hires a deadly hit man named Bullseye to kill him. Daredevil tries to prevent the hit, but doesn’t succeed and Elektra thinks that Daredevil killed her dad.

A reporter named Ben Urich (Joe Pantoliano) has been investigating Daredevil and discovers his true identity. Rather that trying to publish a story, he helps Daredevil out and tells him that Bullseye is going after Elektra. He goes to help Elektra, but she kicks his ass instead and finds out his true identity and realizes that he didn’t kill her dad. She then goes after Bullseye herself, but she dies.

Matt fights Bullseye and defeats him and goes after Kingpin. He gets his ass beat for a while, but ultimately prevails and Kingpin goes to jail. There’s a few hints that Elektra might be alive, and one of the final scenes show that Bullseye is recovering in the hospital and it sets things up for a sequel that will never come to be.

Daredevil is a great comic book character… comic book, not film. Daredevil is blind, but the comics can depict Matt’s emotions show his fears, his thoughts, and his inner turmoil. Movies rely on pictures to tell stories. If your main character is a blind guy, there is no way to visually tell his story and that’s one of the areas where this movie fails. Daredevil’s world is darkness, and movies require light so that you can see what is happening. The two ideas clash and can’t coexist.

Jon Favreau plays Matt’s friend and business partner Foggy Nelson. You can tell that he is just taking notes on making a movie about a second-rate Marvel hero. And he did a great job because Iron Man kicks ass and Daredevil sucks.

This movie is slow. It is dull.  A bunch of things happen but nothing stands out. The worst part about this movie is that it makes Daredevil seem lame so newcomers wouldn’t want to read the comics. And you can’t blame them. This movie destroys Daredevil, Elektra, and Kingpin. Colin Farrell’s Bullseye is the least intimidating and most absurd comic book villain ever… even Jim Carrey as the Riddler is more frightening. Watch this movie if you want, just be aware that it disrespects the source material.

Critically Rated at 6/17

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Daredevil: The Man Without Fear (comic)

If your only experience of Daredevil was that terrible Ben Affleck flick, I feel sorry for you. That movie did no justice to one of the best superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Frank Miller didn’t invent Daredevil, but he reinvented him and made him a badass. This graphic novel collects issued #1-5 of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear. It is an origin story, and it’s a great way to introduce yourself to the sightless world of the Daredevil.

Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer by day and a vigilante known as Daredevil by night. The story starts with a young Matt Murdock growing up in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City. He lives alone with his dad, a washed up boxer Jack “The Devil” Murdock. Jack’s glory days are well behind him and he is forced to do enforcement work for a local gangster. Jack’s biggest fear is that Matt will grow up and become a lowlife like him. He pushes Matt to stay out of trouble, to obey the rules, and to be a success.

One day Matt pushes an old blind guy out of the way of a truck, some toxic sludge gets on his face, and Matt loses his sight. Although he loses his eyesight, his other senses grow and he can use his heightened senses to get a sense of the world around him. He can feel the air and echolocate, and he gets heightened physical abilities like a ninja gymnast. He meets a mysterious mentor named Stick who teaches him to harness his abilities.

Jack’s dad pisses off the wrong people and ends up dead. Matt seeks his father’s murderers and wipes them out one by one. Stick catches wind of this and decides that he can’t teach him anymore and stops their nighttime lessons.

Matt Murdock grows up and goes to law school, where he meets his best friend Foggy Nelson. Matt also meets Elektra, a wealthy girl who also likes to run around under the cover of darkness. She is wild, untamable, and he loves her instantly. They have a brief but passionate love affair, but she breaks it off and moves away.

Matt graduates and becomes a lawyer and finds himself back in Hell’s Kitchen as an adult. A new criminal named the Kingpin has risen to power and crime is on a meteoric increase. Matt meets a young girl named Mickey and she’s having a hard time and Matt takes her under his wing and starts training her. She gets kidnapped by some lowlifes with ties to the Kingpin and in the process of saving her, the Kingpin becomes aware of the new threat to his criminal empire and they become enemies.

Frank Miller takes a ridiculous concept like a blind superhero in New York and makes it genuine. Like Batman: Year One, Miller takes an already established character and goes back into his their history to find out who they are and how they came to be. Dressing up in a costume and risking your life to fight crime doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years and years and a lot of fucked up events to twist your psyche into that level of delusion, and that’s what this story is all about.

Don’t let a bad Ben Affleck movie keep you from exploring the source material. They made Daredevil into a movie for a reason. He is an interesting character with cooler powers than you might think. Check out The Man Without Fear for yourself and agree with me.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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