If there were any doubts about Netflix’s latest exclusive, they can be easily put to rest.
“Marvel’s Daredevil,” which premiered today at noon on the digital streaming service, offers a dark, gritty noir-style to the already established Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The show stars Charlie Cox (“Boardwalk Empire”) as Matt Murdock, a man blinded as a boy, who opens his first law firm. Working alongside him is his business partner Foggy Nelson, played by Elden Henson (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”). They open for business in Hell’s Kitchen, an area heavily affected by the events of “The Avengers” in 2012.
At night, Murdock sheds his lawyer suit and dons black garb and mask to combat the criminal underworld with fisticuffs. His other senses heightened, he moves and fights with brutal force.
Free from the restraints of network television, “Daredevil” displays language and violence that shows like “CSI: NY” are barely able to capture. The language does not exceed PG-13 standards, and nudity is flirted with, but not flagrant. The individual cast members and their stories, however, bring a depth to this compelling aspect of Marvel’s franchise.
Cox’s portrayal of Matt Murdock the vigilante is compelling in his nighttime battles against crime. Even blinded, he fights with more speed, strength and grace than even sighted combatants display, thanks to fight coordinator Philip J. Silvera (“Thor The Dark World”). The fights themselves are tense, pulse pounding, and at times, feel realistic, as not even Murdock’s fighting prowess can save him from the occasional punch or graze from a knife.
The show has been said to be related to other Marvel shows, such as “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” but the atmosphere could not be further from its counterpart. While both have violence within their respective narratives, the thematic elements and content of villainous characters set it apart. Dark as the tone is, the writing offers sharp wit and well-timed occasional humor.
“Daredevil” is intended to be a spring-board for other Marvel stories, such as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist. All are to be eventually combined for a miniseries based on the super hero group The Defenders.
All 13 episodes of the first season are now available on Netflix.
Have you seen the show yet? What did you think of it? As always, let us know in the comments below.