Daredevil: The Devil In Hell’s Kitchen

Summary: As a young boy, Matt Murdock was blinded by a freak chemical spill in a catastrophic accident. Instead of hindering him, this accident gifted him with superhuman senses that enabled him to see the world from a unique standpoint. Now he uses his abilities to deliver justice as a lawyer by day but as masked vigilante at night.

Daredevil (Charlie Cox) exceeded all my expectations. Netflix succeeded where the CW failed. Netflix have Daredevil and CW have Arrow. Arrow was supposed to be this dark story set in the back alleys of Starling City that is blitzed with organized crime. I wanted a show that was dark, bloody and didn’t hold back. Arrow is enjoyable but it could have been done better. It shouldn’t have been done on the CW, it should have been done on FX, HBO or AMC. These three networks being responsible for shows like: The Wire, American Horror Story, Game Of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Sopranos and Sons Of Anarchy. Shows that are known for being brutal and not pulling any punches.

Gangsters rule Hell’s Kitchen, or do they?
(Daredevil, Netflix)

Netflix are able to do things that cable networks can’t. The main thing being that they can afford not to care about offending this person and that person due to having no weekly slot for episodes. The beauty of Netflix being that they release all episodes at once. Netflix have pulled some absolute crackers in the past few years which include: Marco Polo, House Of Cards & Hemlock Grove.

When people think of Daredevil, they think back to that dreadful film of 2003 starring Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner. They butchered that character to the point of no return…until now. Netflix brought character back in the form of a series without being afraid of the backlash of what would happen if the series was to fail. They are the network without fear. They went in blind and pulled their wildcard which turned out to be their ace of diamonds.

I believe that this series has one of the best opening dialogue/scenes of any series I’ve ever watched to date. The opening dialogue epitomizes Matt Murdock/Daredevil as a character. Being a Catholic is part of his character and motivates him into many of his decisions. He sees it as his Catholic duty to defend Hell’s Kitchen from those who seek to destroy it, even if it means doing the not so Catholic thing of dropping bodies outside the precinct. It’s as follows:

Charlie Cox’s performance as Murdock is flawless. Where Affleck’s performance lacked conviction, Cox’s performance overflowed with it. It was contagious and it immersed the audience in the setting of Hell’s Kitchen. This vigilante, all in black gave me the feel of this demon keeping to the shadows. I was mesmerized by Cox’s performance not just as this vigilante but as the lawyer too. There are only a few actors that I have seen that can master the art of delivering a dramatic monologue in a court scene, Cox being one of them and his words hold true to our own world. If he’s not nominated for an Emmy, I will be disappointed.

Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) gives a thought-provoking monologue to the court
(Daredevil, Netflix)

Excerpt from the speech:

“…I’ve been preoccupied of late with, uh, questions of morality. Of right and wrong, good and evil. Sometimes the delineation between the two is a sharp line. Sometimes it’s a blur, and often it’s like pornography: you just know when you see it…these questions are vital ones because they tether us to each other, to humanity. Not everyone feels this way. Not everyone sees the sharp line, only the blur. A man is dead. Um, a man is dead. And my client, John Healy took his life. This is not in dispute. It is a matter of record, of fact, and facts have no moral judgment. They merely state what is. Not what we think of them, not what we feel.”

The way Daredevil was filmed, is uncanny to a Mafia movie. It had this 1970s New York feel to it. It reminded me of films like The Godfather. It was a thirteen hour mafia-driven political thriller with the addition of a vigilante. It mirrors our own world down to a point. Corruption in law enforcement, media and politics have all been revealed in reality and in this series normally engineered by a few people. e.g. Watergate (1972) and Fifa (2015). Corruption is very real and is a topic that as a society we shy away from because we are so comfortable with the order of things. It’s just how things are. To fight corruption is subject to one’s morality. We very rarely do the right thing because nobody else does and society has always followed this suit.

Everybody wants to be the king
(Dardevil, Netflix)

Daredevil is a product of Marvel and in typical Marvel fashion, the series is riddled with Easter Eggs. The quote below being my favorite of them all.

Maybe if they had an iron suit or a magic hammer, that would explain why you keep getting your asses handed to you.”

The martial arts in the series are unlike anything I have seen before and there are flashbacks to Matt’s past of being trained by an old blind guy who had super-senses just like he did. It’s corny and cringy, a bit like Splinter in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Matt was essentially raised by this guy when his dad was killed by the mob. I liked the consistent flashbacks to the past to show us how he came to be how he is. Other characters in the series include: Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) & Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). Foggy was the co-owner of Nelson & Murdock law practice. I didn’t really like him because he just seemed really wimpy when he found out about Matt being Daredevil. His friend is a hero. Most people would be proud that there friend is helping so many people. Karen Page is their secretary and Ben Urich is a journalist that Karen brought into the fold.

I will end my feeling towards this series with a brief note on Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio). Kingpin is a true mob boss if there ever was one. A psychopath through and through. There was an unforgettable instance when he killed a man by crushing his head in a car door. He is violent, intelligent and calculating. His performance was legendary. Powerful, gritty and exciting. I couldn’t have wished for a finer actor to portray Fisk. His tall and wide stature dwarfs Daredevil but that doesn’t stop him. It’s literally David VS Goliath. I hope to see D’Onofrio back again next season, even if it’s just a cameo after his role in Jurassic World. The Punisher will be the main antagonist for season two so I don’t expect Fisk to have a prominent role.

Vincent D’Onofrio kills it as Wilson Fisk AKA Kingpin
(Daredevil, Netflix)

Verdict: A great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I can’t wait to see season two as it will bring great dialogue, more great action sequences and The Punisher. This is the best series of the year so far and I think it will retain the title. The only other show could possible beat it is Jessica Jones in The Fall. If Daredevil is anything to go by, Jessica Jones will be just as epic.

Even great men can be corrupted