April is a crazy month for TV. With Mad Men returning, Arrow/Flash starting to wrap up and Game of Thrones starting a new season it’s almost easy to forget that Daredevil is out on Netflix. The first in a series of five Netflix Marvel titles set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Daredevil comes onto the scene with a lot of steam.
So with that said, here’s a First Impression of Netflix’s Daredevil.
Note: This post is based upon the first episode only.
Daredevil opens with a brief flashback, showing a young Matt Murdock after a multi car accident. After being exposed to some of the chemicals that we involved in the crash, Matt is blinded. Jumping forward many years, we see the first glimpse of New York’s Hell Kitchen, as a group of gangsters try to kidnap a group of young women and transport them into shipping containers. However, before they can do so, they’re stopped by a man in a mask.
The next day a older Murdock (Charlie Cox) is looking over an office for him and his partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) law firm. Shortly after moving into the space the two soon find their way onto a murder case after Nelson bribes a police officer.
Their defendant Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) was found in her apartment with the dead body of a co-worker inches away from her. After using his heightened hearing as to determine that she isn’t lying, Murdock convinces Foggy to take the case pro bono (for free for those who don’t like latin).
Over the course of the episode, the two try and unravel the events that led to Page being framed, but what they don’t yet know is how this case is linked to the growing criminal element that’s slowly taking over the rebuilding New York’s poorest suburb.
Acting more or less as a pilot the first episode, Into the Ring, gives the viewer a lot to like over the course of it’s 50 plus minutes. While we don’t get a full origin of Murdock’s life or powers, we see enough that even non comic readers can start to fill in the blanks as the episode goes along.
The show moves quickly and gives us a fight scene up front to show off the type of action we can expect. While the scene reminded me a little too much of the first major action scene in Batman Begins, the fight was simple and effective. The majority of the fight played out in front of steady camera angles, letting the viewer see every punch and broken bone. This really shows off just how brutal and well choreographed the fight scenes are, something that even modern comic shows like Arrow fail to do.
Even past the fighting the cinematography is excellent and makes the show look different from most shows in the Netflix library. Everything is clean and most darker scenes feature a blue lighting colour that’s unlike the other current Marvel TV series which either lean towards cinematic lighting or classic Hollywood soft lenses.
Probably the most interesting part of the show is how the Avengers film is used as a backdrop without going too deep into fan service. Over the course of the episode several characters make reference to the destruction of New York and how it’s taking time for the city to recover after the alien attack. This plot point gives our villains more influence into the world, as the Kingpin rules not only through fear, but through drug and property sales.
Without even showing up in the episode the actions of the our main villain is felt in the way that characters interact with one another, from the kidnappings to even corrupt police officers doing his dirty work.
Overall, Into the Ring is a solid first episode for what could be a great show. While the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or Agent Carter series didn’t peak my interest, Daredevil takes the universe into a different direction and hopes to lay ground work for future titles coming to Netflix, and if this episode is any indication I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Daredevil was produced by Marvel Television, ABC Television, DeKnight Prod. and Goddard Textiles. The series is available to stream on Netflix.