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Apr
04

The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen

Draedevil-Teaser-Banner

It sure is a great time to be a nerd isn’t it? We seem to be running the show when it comes to movies, TV, the interwebs… pretty much everything. The new cool thing seems to be this platform that seems to defy time and space, many have been all consumed by it that new terms and phrases have been invented because of it. This platform I speak of… Netflix, the thing that stole “binge watching” from DVD/ Bluray collections, and now even has a much more sexy term of “Netflix and Chill.” Where am I going with all this Netfix shenanigans? Well, I am sorry for those expecting a post about Netflix, but the title is kind of where I am going with this. Let us get into something that was reinvented, Daredevil… mainly season two.

Daredevil has come a long way in the past 13 years. Before the show, we had the 2003 Daredevil movie that was a product of its time and Fox. A time when the soundtrack had more thought and planning than the movie itself. It had horrible overly dramatic fight scenes, unnecessary CGI sequences, and like the other Ben Affleck hero movies, it suffered from shoddy script writing, poor directing, and a villain that was as poorly casted as it was overacted. Unless you are watching the Director’s Cut, this movie took one of Stan Lee’s greatest creations and almost ended him entirely.

Daredevil-televison

Now, Daredevil is nothing but resilient. This isn’t the first time the character had been cast aside after disinterested fans. Just like Frank Miller taking Daredevil and giving him new life in “The Man Without Fear,” Marvel Studios gave him new life on Netflix. Season one was more than amazing, even though I personally thought it had a slow beginning. But by the end of season one I was at the edge of my seat, not knowing who to root for… Daredevil or Wilson Fisk. This is why I believe this show was successful, in order to have a great hero story, you need a villain who has just as much character development as the hero. When I read my classic comic books from the 70’s and early 80’s, I can see just how much of a time capsule they are. As a Humanities nerd, I find the writing, artwork, and history of the books to be interesting. However, compared to my more recent comics, they are boring as all frack. The reasoning for this happens to be much time focused on the hero, and the simplest of tasks made out to be as the old saying goes, “making a mountain out of a molehill.” When season one came to an end, we saw Wilson Fisk explaining why he believes to be righteous in his actions, showing his humanity and reasoning for it all, hitting us right in the feels. Who knew the guy who played Gomer Pile in Full Metal Jacket (Vincent D’Onofrio) would grow up to be one of the most incredible and memorable villains on TV.  Then, to top it all off, the one thing everyone had been waiting for, Daredevil standing over Hell’s Kitchen in his full Daredevil costume.

Segway into Season two, the wait was over and we could now see that costume in action. Holy guacamole did it deliver. I am not sure how valid the source for this next part is, but I read on the interwebs that the costume was not well accepted, and had almost been the undoing of the show. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “everything on the internet is true.” Personally I thought it was amazing looking, and have actively been looking at a screen accurate replica to wear myself. While it didn’t look too much like the contemporary Daredevil costume, I personally loved it and thought it had almost captured the look from The Secret War, where Daredevil had a mix of black and red in his costume. The addition of his batons and gadgets gave it a more accurate representation, while not giving it that hokey and unrealistic look and feel. With just one episode in, I was more than happy with our new Daredevil. Charlie Cox again nails it as he portrays the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. All throughout the first season I was amazed with his skill, his body language, and ability to be a believable blind man. This season, he is more defined and much more badass. You can tell that he has been at this for a while now, and has refined his skills that much more.

daredevil secret war

Secret War Daredevil

Now, before I move on and talk about the new additions to the series, I would like to take some time out to pay an homage to our supporting characters. From the beginning of season one to the end of season two, Foggy and Karen have been just as important to the story as Matt Murdock. Without these two, we would not have had half of the story progression, if not more, and could have been left with a bunch of great visuals and perhaps and ending where Matt and Frank discuss their mothers or something. Karen and Foggy were also that great pallet cleanser from all the physical scenes, and the top notch acting from Deborah Ann Woll (Karen) and Eldon Henson (Foggy) really made me believe that these characters were more than just side characters, they showed that they were main character caliber and deserve applause. Bravo!

When season two was announced, we were teased with the addition of two new characters. Elektra, Matt Murdock’s college love turned assassin, who adds more than one type of conflict in the story for our hero. Elodie Yung was almost perfect for this character. I say almost because I am a huge fan of the character, and I felt Elodie’s acting ability to be a little… over-acty in some parts. Other than that, I believe she went above and beyond with Elektra. Jennifer Garner just didn’t bring anything worthy to the table when she played the character, she could have been replaced with a series of lawn gnomes and I would not have known, so there really wasn’t much of a legacy to worry about. I feel she delivered where she needed to, and cannot wait to see more of her in the future. While Elodie Yung said she is not interested in doing a solo Elektra series, she did say she would be more than happy to be part of The Defenders when the time comes (for those of you who do not know, The Defenders are like The Avengers, just not as well funded or recognised). I quite enjoyed this addition, Elektra is an important part to the Daredevil storyline, and it would be a shame to not give her the recognition she deserves. The backstory given in the show was in fact Elektra’s back story, making this comic book nerd  more than satisfied with her addition to the story.

daredevil elektra-poster-jpg

Okay, Okay, I know what you are thinking… “When in all that Cthulu has created is he going to talk about THE PUNISHER!?!” Well, sometimes you need to save the best for last. I have officially forgotten about everyone who has ever played The Punisher, and most of the time I forgot I was watching Daredevil. Jon Bernthal is to The Punisher as Robert Downy Jr is to Ironman, hands down. Some time after Max Mad, Tom Hardy expressed interest in playing The Punisher, and I thought “I guess i could see that, not a fan of him, but okay.” Then I read that Jon Bernthal was cast and I had the same thought process. I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead and have watched it since day one, his portrayal of Shane was pretty good. He did a great job of making me love, and hate him simultaneously. Then he went and decided to play The Punisher, and like Vincent D’Onofrio, he was able to come at me with a fantastic back story full of emotions. I really wanted to hate him for his rash actions, but then he went and convinced me that what he did was necessary, and that only the people who deserved to be hurt were hurt. Something that isn’t easy when one of his adventures involves a hospital. It was as if they took The Punisher straight out of the comics and plunked him into this show. Then again, for the most part that was exactly what they did. A lot of the dialogue between Daredevil and The Punisher were straight out of the comics, word for word. Even the look and mannerisms were captured perfectly. That being said, there was something that bothered me when it came down to the acting ability, not that this is a bad thing. I couldn’t help but notice that The Punisher had a bit of a “Andy Lincoln as Rick Grimes” kind of feel to him, which when you get down to the brass taxes there really isn’t too much different between the two. It was more so the way Barenthal held a gun and talked at the same time, or when something bothered him while explaining something. If you didn’t see it the first time, you might the second time. All in all, I was super impressed with this addition to season two, and can’t wait to see more. Jon Bernthal has expressed interest in making his own Netflix series, and being part of The Defenders as well. I personally think they would be stupid to not go with a Punisher series, they already set the scene for him, and it would be a complete waste to not go through with it. A lot of people like to rag on Marvel for being too “funny and child friendly” and lacking this “dark and gritty” thing that I have become convinced that the people who say that have no clue what “dark and gritty” means (long, boring, and plotless?). Having The Punisher added in with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage in September, and soon Iron Fist, would prove all these naysayers wrong.

daredevil punisher

Before I finish I would also like to say that the addition of all the easter eggs into this season was a great tip of the hat to the MCU. In the second episode the registration act is mentioned, many of the newspaper stories hanging up at the New York Bulletin office are headlines from The Incredible Hulk, and both Avengers movies. There are a couple more that I will not mention due to wanting to stay away from a key spoiler, but I will say that the nod to Amazing Spider-Man #129 (first appearance of The Punisher), and a fight between two characters that was edge of the seat and had to happen when you see the two of them together.

Having to wait until season three is going to be a task in itself. We have Civil War, Luke Cage, and Dr Strange in the meantime though, so it’s not like we will be suffering until then. My only concern with season three is how are they going to top this? Maybe post Civil war and pre Defenders will bring something new to the table. When it comes down to it though, I have the utmost confidence in Marvel Studios when it comes to anything they do. Until then, like Daredevil, everything coming our way will have to heard in the distance and kept on out radars.

I give season two of Daredevil a solid 10/10 devils. If you have not watched it… watch it. If you are watching it… enjoy it. And if you have watched it already… watch it again.

Happy Nerding

Represented and given Justice...

Represented and given Justice…

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