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Netflix Daredevil (Season 1 Review)

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Marvel Studio has had quite a success in this past several months with its theatrical releases such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the miniseries Agent Carter in the TV front. This time around it’s VOD with Marvel's launch of the Netflix Daredevil series. Early reviews and feedbacks from fans indicated that it is indeed another hit for the superhero entertainment company, and I totally agree.

Daredevil might just be one of the cleverest introductions for a superhero in live-action that I've seen. Marvel Comics fanservice is kept to a minimum and it works. The origin story is handled in non-intrusive flashbacks and instead you're dropped into the meaty side of things yet made it easy enough to catch on.

Charlie Cox is convincing as both Matt Murdock and Daredevil, though I wished he were a little taller since he looks shorter in the series in comparison to other characters. He plays Daredevil without the benefit of a padded suit of armor or gadgets, and there are no flashy representations of superpowers, thus making it believable. Instead, subtle audio cues are injected into most of the fight sequences to represent that he’s blind but got enhance senses.

Though Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk is not seen as much in the early episodes, his presence is hinted masterfully. D'Onofrio is definitely no Michael Clark Duncan in the 2003 film or his comic book counterpart in terms of imposing physic, but he more than gets his point across. Any lingering doubts, if there are any will surely be dismissed during his "Kingpin" moments.

The supporting characters are well cast and do a lot of heavy lifting as well. Rosario Dawson makes Claire Temple a crucial character and lively at that and Vondie Curtis Hall is flawless as Ben Urich. Meanwhile, Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll as Foggy Nelson and Karen Page are standouts. Toby Leonard Moore is great as the villainous Wesley, Fisk’s right hand man that is just not suave but a nasty piece of work as well.

The fight scenes are all outstanding with lots of long shots utilization for you to see every hit. Particularly in an early episode, it's handily the most spectacular fistfight I've seen in any superhero project. Reminiscent of the Asian film The Raid hallway fight scene that should delight action movie aficionado. Definitely one of the most memorable moments in the series that will leave viewers talking.

The violence is considerable and it’s not something we’ve come to expect from Marvel. It has a Punisher feel than say Batman, if I have to compare it to another title. It's a different approach but if this were a theatrical release, Marvel would be flirting with an R-rating for Daredevil.

Daredevil is a series you don’t want to miss. It’s a paradox amongst the sea of superheroes releases; it’s just that different. It doesn’t follow a formula such as the Arrow or The Flash that ends each chapter with a villain of the week. Instead, it’s systematically paced that it’s hard to tell if it’s going to end well by the last episode.

The settings, though a bit dark at times is beautifully shot with a look that is far more The Dark Knight than the 2005’s Fantastic Four. At times it even feels cinematic. If I have to pick at least one aspect of the series that might use further work, it's the Daredevil signature red suit. Though I understand that it had to be tactical, I wished it were more simplistic with clean lines like that of the 2003 film. Nonetheless, Daredevil is well worth the watch and it breaks the Marvel movie mold with bone-crunching delight. If this is the level of quality we can expect from future Marvel Netflix series coming such as AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and Daredevil Season 2 (since it's been confirmed) then we're in for a special couple of years.

All 13 episodes of Marvel’s Daredevil are available now for streaming on Netflix.

Rating: A

BY: Jose Febrero
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