Sunday, 12 April 2015

Marvel's Daredevil Episode 2 Review

A couple of days ago, I reviewed the premiere episode of Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix. You can find that review here. Unlike most, I'm not binge watching the entire season in one weekend. I've managed to watch the second episode, however, and thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

This episode improves on some items I took issue with in my review of the premiere. Namely, the fight sequences. Let's face it, this show is primarily about a guy who beats people up. If the fighting doesn't look good, the entire show will suffer. I found the fight scenes in the premiere looked far too polished and choreographed for my taste, not to mention how it deviates from making this series look tough and street level. This second episode improves upon that. The final fight scene at the villain lair is a little ridiculous (our intrepid hero, barely able to stand much less fight, still manages to dispatch about a dozen guys), but it looks far better. If you've ever been in an actual fistfight or have been witness to one, you know it's mostly chaos and mayhem. This end fight sequence channeled that chaos far better.

Some new cast members joined the show with this outing. Namely, Rosario Dawson as Claire, the nurse who helps Murdock when she finds him beat to hell in a dumpster. Dawson plays the role well and clearly has some chemistry with Charlie Cox. It'll be interesting to see where this partnership leads.

I'm going to touch on the narrative style of this episode. It's really just a pet peeve of mine and maybe it's due to old age or something, but I'm really not a fan of episodes that start in the middle and slowly reveal how we got there throughout the rest of the show. I just find it gimmicky. Show me a linear narrative so I can be invested in it. I'll admit, this time around it wasn't as bad as some as the events that lead us to the middle were told to us through exposition rather than shown to us in a flashback. No, all the flashbacks were reserved for our continuing origin story.

It's probably just me again, but I'm not digging the origin story either. This is a comic book I've never read and a hero I know next to nothing about...well, other than the fact that he's blind, of course. Still, far too much time is being dedicated to setting up how our hero came to be a hero in the first place. I think we get it. Grew up poor with a single dad and a ton of Irish pride. Get's blinded in a freak accident (while saving someone, no less) and dad sacrifices himself rather than take a dive in a boxing match. Done and done. Can we move on?

Foggy and Karen's night out on the town was fun, at least. Some good character building going on there. I'm sure there will be some kind of unrequited crush or maybe a love triangle or something, but since this is still early times in the show, this gives us the breathing room to develop these characters without mucking up the waters with soap opera cliches. The chemistry isn't quite there between these two like it is with Murdock and Claire, but it's not entirely absent either. I think they're trying a little too hard to make Foggy funny, though. Maybe they'll settle him down a little as the series moves on.

All in all, I liked this episode better than the premiere. I'm still not going to binge watch it like most. Probably an episode or two per week. It's the slow burn that leaves the most lasting impression! Or something like that.

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