Where the Jessica Jones tv series is all about psychological and implied violence, the Daredevil Marvel franchise is all about physical and graphic violence. Where Jessica Jones works to create a noir and brooding atmosphere, Daredevil delights in presenting a man shoving a spiked railing thru his eye and into his brain, a child taking a hammer to the back of his father’s head and a man having his head slammed in a car door until he is entirely decapitated. I had to turn away during a few of these stomach-churning moments. Between these shocking scenes, we’re given long, very unsophisticated and repetitive moral agonising. The tempo really flags and the first series seems to lose its way on more than one occasion. For all that, Daredevil has a heart, great acting throughout (leads and supporting cast) and brilliant/original set-pieces. The true saving grace of series 1 is King Pin – about whom we genuinely feel some sympathy (despite the unambiguously evil things he does), since he is as much a victim/product of Hell’s Kitchen as everyone else. Indeed, King Pin is so charismatic compared to Daredevil that he steals the scene much of the time. It all comes together in a decent showdown at the end of series 1 (unlike the lame finale of the Luke Cage series), and is successful enough to make you want to watch series 2 (already available on Netflix). And what does 2 offer? Plenty. The Punisher, and Elektra, to boot. Plus, they tighten up the moral dimension and questioning quite a bit – it is apparent that in removing King Pin and showing the value of vigilante-ism, Daredevil is responsible for unleashing a wave of super-powered vigilantes who are much happier about killing people than our murder-averse titular protagonist. Basically, having thought he’d cleaned up crime, Daredevil now realises he’s created an even worse mess that he’s obliged to clean up… except that this time he might well be over-matched. If you like your super-hero drama, you’ll like Daredevil (even if a lot of the lines are a bit too muttered to catch). I give it 8 out of 10!
The Daredevil in the detail!