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Review: Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix)

 
 
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Speelduur: 13 afleveringen van ongeveer 55 min.
 
Taal: Engels
 
Verkrijgbaar vanaf: 10 April 2015
 
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Goed


Donker, gewelddadig, brutaal en realistisch. In contrast met eerdere Marvel Studios-producties, maar blijft Marvel Magic behouden. Sterke personages en acteurs. Niet voor kinderen.

Minder


Ontsnapt niet aan enkele clichés.


Met Daredevil gaat op 10 april de allereerste Marvel-reeks op Netflix van start. Brainfreeze bekeek de afleveringen en zag al snel dat het goed was… Lees hier de eerste review!

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Posted 01/04/2015 by

 
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Do you mind telling me how a blind man in a mask ends up beaten half to death in my dumpster?

Daredevil, Marvel‘s Man Without Fear, kicks off Marvel’s very first Netflix television series. The 13-part show will premiere worldwide on april 10th and is the first in a line of Netflix Originals which will introduce several of Marvel’s darker, street level superheroes. Call it Marvel Knights, if you will. Daredevil will be the first, followed by AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist who will all eventually form The Defenders, where these heroes are brought together, Avengers-style.

This first outing retells the origin of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), the blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen, New York. As a child, Matt was blinded by a radioactive substance to the eyes. His other senses, however, developed to superhuman levels. We see a grown Matt trying to jumpstart his lawyer’s practice with his partner and best friend, Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson). At night he scours the rooftops and dark underbelly of Hell’s Kitchen as the nighttime vigilante Daredevil. Matt eventually picks up on a brewing gang war between the crime families of New York. A key figure in all this is Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), aka the Kingpin. Dare to speak his name, however, and the price just might be your head…

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This Daredevil was created by Drew Goddard and showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, known for his work on Starz’ Spartacus series. And it shows right away. Daredevil is much darker, grim and more adult than anything we’ve seen from Marvel Studios up to this point. The style of the show has a lot in common with Marvel’s Punisher: War Zone movie, DC‘s Arrow or even The Dark Knight Trilogy. DeKnight himself describes the show as “Batman, but without the money”. Well put.

The Netflix series is extremely loyal to the Daredevil comics as written by Frank Miller (Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns) and later Brian Michael Bendis (Powers, Ultimate Spider-Man) and Ed Brubaker (Captain America, Winter Soldier). More crime-noir, less traditional superhero. Despite the less-than-stellar reputation of the 2003 Daredevil film with Ben Affleck, there are a lot of visual similarities (and some nice throwbacks to the “I’m not the bad guy” line). That’s not a bad thing, though. The iconography and cinematography of that movie was just fine (and there are no weird changes in tone here like that godawful playground fight scene).

Daredevil’s plot is easy enough to follow. There’s the story of Matt’s two identities in the present, while several flashbacks flesh out the origin story of our hero. It’s easy to see how, if this were a syndicated tv-series, Matt and Foggy would take in a new client every week to jumpstart the plot and Daredevil would fix everything outside of the courtroom in the episode’s third act. There are episodes here where this exact same thing happens, but because this is a 13-part Netflix series, it never loses sight of the bigger, overarching story. In other words, there’s no filler episode or even a villain-of-the-week format. And that’s very refreshing in a superhero show such as this one. Daredevil lends itself perfectly to a nice evening of binge watching.

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Charlie Cox and Elden Henson may lack some of the charm their predecessors (Ben Affleck and Jon Favreau) had, but their characters are more fleshed-out in serial format. While Henson, as Foggy, is primarily a comic relief/sidekick, you do start to care for him during the show. Same goes for Cox as Murdock. In his case, you may even literally share his pain.

The fight scenes and stunts are well-choreographed, to-the-point, realistic and very brutal. Again and again we’re reminded of the fact that, although Daredevil is equipped with superhuman senses, he remains at his core a regular man with several limitations. Despite his sweet ninja moves, Matt has difficulties taking on several perps at once. He doesn’t have a Super Soldier serum flowing through his veins or an indestructible flying armor, but that fact makes his fights and heroic status even all the more admirable. The series goes out of its way to remind you of that fact. Matt is still in the process of learning the ropes and must make sure that he doesn’t cross the line.

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Thankfully there’s Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple. An ex-girlfriend of Luke Cage, here she’s very clearly the Night Nurse. She takes care of Matt’s (or is that “Mike’s”?) many wounds and acts as part of his conscience. Deborah Ann Woll plays Karen Page beautifully. Karen’s the first client of Nelson & Murdock-before growing into the role of their secretary and good friend. Deborah Ann Woll is very convincing in the role and pays an amazing tribute to Matt’s first great love from the comics. Then there’s Ben UrichVondie Curtis-Hall does what he can with this older, more relaxed and careful version of the famous Marvel reporter. Scott Glenn portrays a deliciously arrogant Stick, Matt’s former mentor.

Charlie Cox, on the other hand, may play Matt Murdock a bit too arrogant in the beginning, but makes the role his own throughout the later half of the season and is very convincing when he puts on the mask as Daredevil. Yes, even despite the prototype black ninja outfit he wears during most of the season (the suit is a nice nod to The Man Without Fear miniseries and even the very first Daredevil in live-action: Rex Smith in the 1989 tv-movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk). Daredevil’s famous red, horned costume is something that has to be earned (on a quite painful journey, to be sure). Once Matt finally puts on the red suit, though, all bets are off. Matt’s story is solidified by the several flashbacks to his youth, where Skylar Gaertner (as the young Matt Murdock) and John Patrick Hayden as his father, boxer Battlin’ Jack Murdock, have some very convincing emotional scenes together.

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Most villains in Daredevil are pretty average, run-of-the-mill criminals and henchmen. Marvelites will recognize Bob Gunton as Leland Owlsley (the Owl) and Toby Leonard Moore as a surprisingly threatening Wesley, the Kingpin’s right hand man. Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk is of course the main villain of the show. While Marvel movies aren’t well-known for their deep character development arcs when it comes to the villains, Daredevil goes a very different route. Wilson Fisk doesn’t even show up in the first couple of episodes. His name will not even be uttered… yet the constant threat of his shadow is there and it’s frightening. Thoughout the series, Fisk’s transition to the Kingpin becomes equally important to Matt Murdock’s own evolution into Daredevil. The villain is introduced and fleshed out beautifully. He’s obviously a major threat and a force to be reckoned with, but we do get to see Fisk’s softer side as well. In one scene, Wilson Fisk can snap and violently take off a man’s head using a car door, in another we see him acting very unsure, clumsy and (dare we say it) even kind of adorable in his attempts to ask Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer) out on a date.

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While Daredevil obviously takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (there are some obligatory references to The Avengers and many easter eggs for comic book aficionados), Hell’s Kitchen does feel like a city within a city. It has more in common with the Gotham City seen in Batman Begins than with the New York in the Avengers films. Daredevil is no traditional Marvel production. It’s not suited for younger viewers either. There is some recognizable Marvel humor present and there are some quirky characters in there, but the main bulk of the show is gritty, grim and violent. It mixes the best elements and iconography from the previous Daredevil movie and some legendary Daredevil comics with crime noir, court room drama, brutal fight scenes and Marvel’s usual, diligent attention to the person behind the mask.

Daredevil is a must-see Netflix show that proves Marvel Studios can do more than produce traditional superhero blockbuster fare. The show mixes up the standard Marvel formula and is all the better for it. Not just for Daredevil and Marvel fans, but also for viewers who like their superheroes a tad darker and more realistic (think DC’s Arrow or The Dark Knight Trilogy). Daredevil may not be the most original mix between superhero show and crime drama, but it is everything a live-action Daredevil origin story should be. Right on the mark, this one… or should that be bullseye?

Marvel’s Daredevil will premiere april 10th, exclusively on Netflix.

Everything you need know about Matt Murdock/Daredevil you can find in our START TO READ: Daredevil.

 

Comments

comments


Arno

 
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I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me.


3 Comments


  1. avatar
     
    Lav

    Nice, ik heb veel verwachtingen voor deze reeks :)




  2. avatar
     
    nelly

    Awesome show! Love it! All great actors, Amazing fight scenes! Very realistic looking blood scenes, emotionally entangling, epic episodes. I was never a fan of devil but Now I am. I have been recommending this show to everyone.




  3. avatar
     
    LilB

    Ik ben echt zwaar onder de indruk van deze serie. Wat me altijd tegen steekt in een superhelden film is de snelle opbouw naar een gigantisch groot plot of gevaar, met nog wat romances in humor. Allemaal opeengepakt in twee uur. Dat is hier niet wat rust geeft maar ook de kans geeft om aan alles meer aandacht te schenken en om een totale sfeer te creëren die ik nog niet veel heb gezien.

    Ik ben een enorme fan!!





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