Sunday, April 12, 2015

Stream-And-Run: Daredevil: "Into the Ring"

            Episode 1...
            One of my chief fears going into this new Daredevil series was that it was going to be a thirteen-hour origin story. And while we are still seeing the building of an emerging hero, the opening minutes rush us from the aftermath of a young Matt Murdock being doused in chemicals to a black-suited ninja-man taking out a bunch of human traffickers, showing us that this series is as eager to get to the "good stuff" as we are. And what good stuff it is! Charlie Cox hasn't done much that I've seen that screamed "Daredevil" to me, but his portrayal of the blind Hell's Kitchen lawyer is across-the-board fantastic. Cox nails it all: the affable humor, the obsessiveness, the grit of a normal dude taking a punch and the tough little kid who overcame blindness to become not just a prominent lawyer, but also a superhero. A hero who is still relatively new, but has been active for a while now, thankfully bypassing his formative days so we can skip ahead to the crime-fighting. Cox is surrounded by an able supporting cast, whether it's Elden Henson as Matt's law partner Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll as their soon-to-be secretary Karen Page or an ice-cold Toby Leonard Moore as Wesley, the second-in-command to the Kingpin, who doesn't get much more than a passing mention here. The character work is excellent, with scenes such as a quiet conversation between Karen and Matt where the blind lawyer expresses how he still misses being able to see the sky, or just the general banter between him and Foggy, which keeps the show fun to watch even though it heads down a darker path than what we're used to with the MCU (to which it most certainly belongs - Daredevil may be of a different tone that Thor, but it absolutely could be happening just down the street from that world). All of it is produced with the cinematic flair we've come to expect from our high-profile television dramas, with a pair of action scenes (one at the beginning and one at the close) that rival a lot of big screen brawls in terms of sheer intensity. And yes, he may not be wearing the red suit just yet, but when the rest of the show is this good, I'm not entirely sure we need it.

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