Marvel's Daredevil: TV Review
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Marvel's Daredevil is the first of five Marvel series being released exclusively on Netflix. Taking place in the same world as The Avengers and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil takes a dark look at New York City's Hell's Kitchen, a neighborhood riddled with crime and poverty. It's worth noting right off the bat that this is not the Marvel programming appropriate for the whole family. The violence is gruesome throughout, and the morals, while strong, are sometimes more ambiguous.
The series begins with Matt Murdock in a confessional. He tells the priest he was raised to always get back up when knocked down, and he doesn't confess, but rather asks for forgiveness for what he's about to do. Matt Murdock, though he's blind, puts on a black mask at night to stop criminals.
In the first episode, Matt also begins his new law practice with his good friend Foggy. They take on their first client, Karen, who was found standing over a dead body in her apartment. When they look into the case, they start to see that something much bigger is going on in Hell's Kitchen.
The very beginning of Daredevil sets up the moral conundrum that Murdock faces. He has deep convictions, largely due to his Catholicism, which is why he feels he must do something to save Hell's Kitchen, but this sometimes leads to questionable decisions. For example, near the beginning, the masked Murdock saves some women from being sold into slavery, but he doesn't stop at that. He also beats the men responsible to a pulp in utter rage. Cosmic justice is black and white in this series, but what Murdock does on the streets of Hell's Kitchen at night sometimes lingers in the grey.
The characters are very likable in Daredevil, especially Karen and Foggy. At times, though, viewers may forget Murdock is even blind because he's so independent and capable of nearly everything. The stunts are remarkable, and the camerawork is unique, with many shots that require exquisite choreography. The visual tone is that of an old film noir movie, which adds to the moral complexities the series tackles.
That said, Daredevil is no anti-hero. He has convictions and values, and while those may be stretched and blurred at times, he always tries to do the right thing. Because the violence goes overboard at times and there's some foul language, strong or extreme caution is advised.
Republished from www.movieguide.org with permission.
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