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Charlie Cox as “The Mask” in “Marvel’s Daredevil”
Netflix has managed to strike gold yet again, with Marvel’s Daredevil. A boldly crafted and well planned origin story that spans thirteen episodes and takes its time developing characters, while still allowing the Matt Murdock to fight Crime after hours and doing so but doing so on a modest Budget.
Unlike the 20th Century Fox Film that saw Ben Affleck as the Blind Lawyer in Hell’s Kitchen, this is a very different Daredevil. This Matt Murdock doesn’t believe in killing and his walking cane is rather ordinary. In the film it served a dual purpose as a grapnel or fighting batons to deal with the everyday thug. This daredevil played by Boardwalk Empire alum Charlie Cox is still harvesting his powers and deciding what kind of message he’s sending to the people of Hell’s kitchen, dressing up every night and taking out the trash that the legal system failed to do so.
Cutting between the past and the present in the less than stellar pilot “Into The Ring”. Murdock’s past is all but revealed and focuses on his father “Battlin’ Jack Murdock (John Patrick Hayden), a boxer just struggling to pay the bills and raise the young hero to be. Opening with the fatal chemical accident that would be the end of Matt’s eyesight. Meanwhile, in present day Murdock sets up shop with college roommate/Best friend Franklin “Foggy” Nelson (Elden Henson) via law firm “Nelson & Murdock” as defense attorneys. Seeking to help those in need as Murdock can sense if they’re truly guilty or not by listening to their hearts with his enhanced hearing capabilities. Granted, this is problematic for Foggy as he lacks the ability and would rather find truth with a thorough interview and extensive background check. Not to mention that Foggy is completely in the dark when it comes to Matt’s after hours activities of fighting crime as a yet to be named vigilante. Who in later episodes is simply referred to as “The mask”.
Karen Page, True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll, wakes to find herself kneeling over a dead body with bloody knife in hand and no idea of how she got there. For Nelson & Murdock it’s an entreating hospital visit that puts them front and center to what will become a full on investigation of Union allied and her ties to the company that rebuilt New york after the Loki’s Chitauri invasion. Murdock is convinced she’s innocent and its one of street prowling that “The Mask” saves her once more from the baddies of union allied. This time it was a leak of confidential information that got her into trouble. Granted, the end result is a payoff for Page and a “Semi-Free” secretary for Nelson & Murdock. But, no good deed goes unpunished as she does finally tell them she’s no longer a free secretary in “Cut Man”, but Matt and Foggy trust her so she stays while they find ways to pay her and keep the office with its cardboard sign still hanging.
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Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and Rosario Dawson as Clare Temple in “Marvel’s Daredevil”
The unfolding storyline stays much the same in the episodes proceeding “Into the ring” as each one brings forth each character’s back-story and how they came to be. “Shadows of Glass” tells the backstory of Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’ Onofrio) dealing with his abusive father Bill Fisk; a well cast Dominick Lombardozzi, while “Nelson V Murdock” delves into the friendship of Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson; All the While still moving the present forward.
References to characters like Elektra Natchios (Played by Jennifer Garner in the feature film) are all over the place as the episode “Stick’ which features Scott Glenn as a trainer from Matt’s childhood past reappears, all though seen in the poorly received Elektra and played by Terence Stamp. Make massive improvements as the story progresses. Foggy also makes countless references to popular culture as if it were a walk in the park, not to mention the not so subtle signs characters walk by on their way into the office. However, don’t expect Black widow showing up, despite how involved she was with the character in the comics or even Director Coulson as the blind lawyer is far from showing up on his index anytime soon.
Rosario Dawson shows up every couple of episodes as Claire Temple a nurse that stiches up Matt when he needs it the most. She also doubles as a love interest for him and comforts him. However, it can be seen that she will be written out entirely as Murdock will discover ways to patch himself up, as running to a hospital would surely alert the police to his vigilante presence.
Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) also appears as the journalist seeking the truth behind Union Allied and seeks to make known to the public the unmentionable name of Wilson Fisk.
The series takes a cinematic approach to its storytelling in that every episode carves itself out as a piece of a larger than normal feature film, something seen before on Agents of Shield. Despite that Daredevil, like agents truly has deeper ties to a bigger universe filled with enough superheroes to make earth peace-like over a couple hundred times.
Charlie Cox provides a more level-headed down-to-earth Daredevil that carefully chooses his words before he utters them aloud. While Vincent D’ OnoFrio’s Wilson Fisk is a slightly sophisticated not-so obvious mafia leader bearing a tragic past while hiding the inner rage deep within. However, not everyone is great, as Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page seems to find some good Chemistry with Elden Henson’s rather bad interpretation of Foggy Nelson. Which makes the conversations bearable, but not the two as a possible couple.
Shot on Oakley’s Red Epic Dragon and utilizing hand held methods, the action in Daredevil is often times hard to see. This is primarily due to darkly lit scenes and the fact that “The mask” fights at night. This is only gets better as bigger fights break out and events take place that some wouldn’t even predict possible; All building to the payoff finale “Daredevil”.
Image Credit: Comicbookmovie.com
from left Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, and Elden Henson as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson in “Marvel’s Daredevil.