Marvel is in a unique situation. They have had so many hit movies and are on such a roll with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). There is a massive catalogue of heroes to choose from, both super and non-super. When Marvel sold its most marketable characters, Spider-Man, The X-Men, and Fantastic Four in order to get itself out of debt, it took a tremendous chance on its B roster. Notably, the use of Iron Man as a central character. And since then, they have not had a failure in any of the movies they have released.
All of the Marvel movies are basically stuck being in the most marketable rating a movie can be assigned. The PG-13 rating. It allows for cursing and suggestive material while not segregating a block of viewership with an R rating. But some characters are really at their best and have been most popular in a graphic novel format. Such is the situation with Daredevil.
Marvel now is so popular and it’s Avenger’s series is the driving force behind the success of its current theatrical franchise. However, it also has a group of heroes known as the Defenders. They protect various parts of New York City. Marvel and Netflix have a deal to produce four individual series based on the Defenders series. And if Daredevil is going to represent the quality we are about to see in this group, Marvel has set itself up for another round of successes.
Daredevil is gritty, grounded, and real. He get hurt and takes a tremendous realistic beating. He has to be stitched up and has limitations to his movement. Having learned martial arts and a sort of parkour movements, he can’t fly and doesn’t have super strength. After an accident with some radioactive chemical materials, he is blind. But, his remaining senses are heightened to the point where his blindness doesn’t inhibit his daily activities. The blindness is his cover as well. Who could suspect a blind hero?
I have said this many times, and it is always true. A hero is only as good as the villain. In this case, an inspired choice of casting was done. Vincent D’Onofrio is downright fantastic as Wilson Fisk (the Kingpin). His want of a better Hell’s Kitchen comes from the pain of his youth. It has warped him and he typically is quite contemplative about all of the events in his life. However, when he loses his composure, he is vicious, violent, and pure rage. The transformation is inspired acting. Fisk is second only to Loki in terms of great villains in the MCU.
Strong scripts, excellent acting, and great direction really have this series pointed in the right direction. Sit back, enjoy, and relax. It’s a heck of a ride.
4 Stars – A Hitting A Mark recommendation.