Daredevil: Review: Series 1 Episode 1: Into the Ring

Daredevil 1Hell’s Kitchen – a prime spot for redevelopment… and a place sorely in need of a hero…

It would be tempting to switch off the phones and computers, and just binge watch all the episodes of Netflix’s new Marvel series, Daredevil – particularly given the quality of this opening instalment. However, saner voices are prevailing, and one or maybe two episodes a day will suffice for the moment…

It will be difficult though; Charlie Cox makes an immediate impact both as blind lawyer Matt Murdock and as his – currently black-masked – alter ego, Daredevil, with a strong cast around him. This first episode sets up a lot of the basics for those unfamiliar with the comic: Matt’s accident as a child, his boxer father (with a few Easter eggs there for those who do know the history), his partnership with Foggy Nelson, and their subsequent hiring of Karen Page – who has links (even if the characters aren’t fully aware of it yet) into the overarching problems with their area. This is neatly linked into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the aftermath of the events of the first Avengers movie.

The fight sequences are the grittiest I’ve seen in a Marvel/DC based movie since Batman Begins – they’re similar to the moments in that where Bruce Wayne is in combat without benefit of the Bat-suit. While I’m sure that the doctors who criticised Bond’s survival in Skyfall wouldn’t approve, these seem far more credible (even if you take out DD’s specially enhanced senses, which aren’t being pushed to the fore half as much as I feared they would be).

Verdict: Hitting the ground running in the way that SHIELD didn’t, this is likely to keep audiences clicking through the episodes. 8/10

Paul Simpson


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