Age Rating (UK/US): 18 / TV-MA (Changed to 16+ on Disney+)
Recently I have started watching Marvel’s The Defenders Saga, which was originally on Netflix but is now streaming on Disney+, beginning with Daredevil.
Overall I have been very late to the MCU – I had watched the odd one but hadn’t committed to watching them all. However my colleagues in my day job are massive fans and persuaded me to watch them all which I wish I had written reviews for at the time as it would’ve been nice to write down my thoughts as I went I have decided to start writing my thoughts with the first Daredevil.
I was watching this alongside She-Hulk which I admit I wasn’t a fan off but this show seem light years better than any of the Phase 4 content that I’ve watched so far. In the first episode we meet Karen Page who was about to expose her Union Allied bosses with some accounting figures showing they had tax avoidance when her colleague ended up dead, with herself being accused of the crime. She requests the help of Matt Murdoch and Franklin “Foggy” Nelson.
Matt is blinded in an accident as a child where some chemical spilled into his eye, however it also gave him additional skills, with extra powerful hearing and smell allowing him to operate by night as Daredevil, the vigilante. Matt protects Ms Page from those seeking to kill her to keep her silenced but whilst doing so comes face to face with the criminal underworld of Hell’s Kitchen.
This criminal underworld consists of the Russian Mafia, Yakuza and Chinese Triads who have exploited Hell’s Kitchen since the Battle of New York (the climatic battle scene of The Avengers) and the three have an uneasy alliance led by the mysterious Wilson Fisk. However as Daredevil gets closer to taking them down he may get pushed to commit actions he never thought possible.
I think the main thing I loved about this series is it has a much darker tone than anything Marvel has produced before which stood out. This series’ action is gritty and violent, Hell’s Kitchen appears dark and dirty and the characters are nuanced and complex.
Charlie Cox is excellent as Daredevil as he is torn between his feelings of duty to protect his city and the people he cares about and his Catholic upbringing which makes him not want to commit a sin. Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll are also brilliant as Foggy Nelson and Karen Page.
I also loved Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on Wilson Fisk/Kingpin in this series. I had already seen Hawkeye which was the characters first appearance in the MCU since Disney fully took over the series during Phase 4 and I actually found the character to be quite one dimensional there. However here he is much more nuanced and you can feel a palpable sense of tension whenever D’Onofrio is on screen, making his violent actions even more horrific. The series also does well to humanise him by giving him the relationship of Vanessa and his upbringing in a violent home which is what makes his characters motivations so interesting.
I would say the action scenes are very violent and some of the scenes are not for the squeamish as there is shots of as blood splatter, bodies with heads severed etc. which isn’t for the faint hearted.
My only real critique is the sixth episode “Stick” in particular which introduces the character of the same name who was partly Matt Murdoch’s mentor, however after the previous episode “Condemned” ended on a fantastic cliff hanger, however this episode changed the pace somewhat and I did find it boring and fell asleep midway through. However, from what I could tell the only repercussion of this episode was resolved in the 9th episode and I still managed to understand largely what had gone on.
Overall though the series is very enjoyable and if anyone has been watching the Phase 4 shows recently and hasn’t really felt the love for the newer Marvel stuff then this show is definitely worth a look if you missed it first time around.
The show was followed by Jessica Jones Season 1, which you can read my review for here.