I watched the whole Daredevil series this weekend. It is fantastic. I was really into its world, and I didn't know how dark this story would get. The acting is amazing, the fight scenes are excellent, and the pacing and camera work is fluid and impeccable. The show creators, led by Drew Goddard, definitely took a lot of care and respect for the original work. I loved how epic it was for a TV series on Netflix, there was this gravity to it that made everything feel heavy. The music was reminiscent of The Dark Knight, so I liked that allusion.
Karen was one of my favorites on the show. I loved how much she grew throughout the series, from a scared victim who became a survivor investigating corruption and facing a lot of fears. She was a whistleblower who wouldn't take bribes or be intimidated by businessmen or gangster types. She stuck to her convictions, even when there was a huge risk to herself or the people she cared about. She wasn't a damsel or the love interest, as I had feared at the beginning. I was really happy to see that she was one of the biggest heroes of this show, and was just a great character, with a superb portrayal by Deborah Ann Woll.
Matt Murdock was just a great character, and brilliantly portrayed by Charlie Cox. I loved that he was portrayed as being like a real, regular person, albeit having heightened senses. Despite that he's a great fighter and has his hearing advantages, he gets hurt a lot throughout the show, and the show doesn't shy away from showing how mortal he is. He fights while injured a few times, and it isn't a fantasy where the hero goes through mortal danger and jumps back up. Nope, he visibly winces in pain a lot and clutching his broken and bruised parts while fighting, and gets tired and worn out. I loved that touch of realism to him, breaking out of cliches where the hero can survive a fall or going through glass and never gets hurt. Besides that, he was a great friend to Foggy and Karen, they all had really sweet chemistry together. And I loved the scenes with his dad. They had this warmth to their moments together that nearly made me tear up.
Foggy was a sweet and funny guy, and Elden Henson's portrayal of him was way above Jon Favreau's from the movie version. I knew of Henson as a teen actor from the 90's, usually cast as a bully, a lunkhead, or a gentle giant (The Mighty Ducks, The Mighty, Idle Hands), but didn't think anything of him. He was excellent in this. He infused Foggy with humor, lightness, care, and as the show progressed deeper, more heartfelt seriousness. There is a vital episode between Matt and Foggy that was an fantastic showcase for Henson's talent as an actor, I was really amazed by him.
For the villains, Wesley, who was Fisk's main henchman, was my favorite. He had this quiet and calm demeanor that made him more intimidating than the brutish Russian brothers or Fisk throwing fits and attacking people. Wesley reminded me of Cillian Murphy's performance in Batman Begins, a quiet, studious-looking man who can hold absolute terror in his hands. Toby Leonard Moore was one of the standout talents on the show.
And Vincent D'Onofrio was fantastic as Fisk, and I really enjoyed how the show rounded his character out to show how he really believed he was saving the city through his methods. It is obvious that he is the villain (he works with organized crime and drug lords, and uses violence to get what he wants), but seeing depth and dimension given to the villains, as much as the heroes got, was refreshing to watch.
The cinematography on this show was glorious. I loved the slow pans and one-take shots, especially when the audience could anticipate that Daredevil was about to strike as the camera work did a continuous panning shot around the environment, with either minimal music or no music accompaniment. The camera was often pulled back for the fight scenes, with no shaky editing or jump cuts, just showcasing amazing fight choreography. The stunt double as Daredevil deserves some kind of award or recognition, he and Charlie Cox pretty much share the role, much like how Lucy Lawless and Zoe Bell shared the role of Xena back in the day.
I loved this show, and got really invested in the characters within just a few episodes. It is a genre show on Netflix, so it may not become as popular as Orange is the New Black or House of Cards, but I loved it. I didn't know anything about the character (and I'm not counting the bad movie), so seeing a faithful adaptation by people who love comic books was beautiful to watch.
This show is AWESOME.