When you live in a poorly kept, rundown area of New York, where crime and corruption is normal, you need someone who is willing to stand up and be counted. Someone to fight for the little guy, not worried about the consequences for themselves. Step forward Matt Murdock, by day a lawyer trying to bring criminals to justice, working within the confines of the law, but by night he takes matters into his own hands and dishes out justice in a slightly different manner, vigilante style. With that we have the premise for Marvel’s Daredevil.
Marvel may have plowed in front of the movie stakes lately, but there’s not many who will argue that with shows such as Gotham, Arrow and The Flash, DC are leading the way for TV based programming. However with this Netflix original series I believe that Marvel has found a way to put their foot firmly in DC’s front door.
So what’s it about (with spoilers)?
Now you wouldn’t think of a lawyer being someone who would take matters into his own hands, fighting outside the letter of the law, let alone taking into account that Matt Murdock does all this while blind. But we quickly learn that he doesn’t need his sight to see what’s really happening in Hell’s Kitchen. After losing his sight in an accident when he was a boy, while saving the life of a man, Matt finds that his senses are heightened to an extent that, amongst other things, he can hear if someone is lying by listening to their heartbeat or know where they are in an almost sonar like fashion, sounds cool doesn’t it! Early in the episode we find him using these skills, along with some rather slick combat moves, to take down some people who are trafficking young women, in a fast passed and brutal style that I can’t do justice with in describing with just words.
His day job, as I mentioned is being a lawyer, working with his friend Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson). Together they decide to start their own firm from scratch, Hell’s Kitchen certain could do with someone fighting its corner, legally anyway. Murdock comes across as a no nonsense, straight shooter coming from a catholic upbringing, while Foggy gives us a more humorous side to the partnership.
Matt was brought up by his father, ‘Battlin’ Jack Murdock, a boxer who while having a mixed career, had a chin like granite. In the first episode he is described as someone who would wear his opponents down by letting them hit him, and it seems like Matt has inherited his father’s ability to take shot. And a great little spin we hear is when, while in confessional, Matt admit the Murdock men have the ‘devil’ in them. Nicely put, don’t you think?
Charlie Cox (of Stardust fame) plays Murdock, and he has said that he wanted to play the character as someone who isn’t without fear, but instead decides to overcome those fears on a daily basis and I must say that it does have the potential to make it more interesting. Now while I’m still viewing the series I have been gripped by the storyline, which carefully blends action, humour and suspense, giving it a darker edge and I look forward to seeing where this series takes us. Add to this the fact the main villain is only teased in the first episode and it shapes up nicely without revealing too much too fast. Even if we know that it will be Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin. Well done Marvel and Netflix.
So after a mere brief flirtation into the world of Matt Murdock, I can say that DC may finally have some competition on the TV front, which can only be good for audiences. All we can do is wait and see what Marvel has planned for us. Hell’s Kitchen, serving justice cold, Daredevil style.