Saturday, 18 April 2015
T.V. REVIEW: DAREDEVIL Season 1
Starring: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Bob Gunton, Ayelet Zurer, Rosario Dawson & Vincent D'Onofrio.
Dare you open your eyes to this? Giving one of comic-books most sought after characters a slot on something that's technically not even prime time television per se could seem like fighting in the dark...but that's kind of the point. As our lead says it best; "there are other ways to see". Now the franchise of franchises Marvel is on a super heroic tear that's showing us that they are even more unstoppable in their second phase. Set your ones to stun for this one because after 2014's second defrosting of leading man 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier', the Electro recharged before the reboot 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2', arguably the best mutant mash-up in 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' and the runaway, out of this world hit, 'Avenger' rivalling 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' gave Stan Lee's team arguably their greatest year yet, they could possibly even assemble a better one in this 2015. After the Disney crossover 'Big Hero 6' opened up a whole new San Fransokyo world of 'Toy Story' like domination, the studios of Marvel now have the charming Stark/Star-Lord confidence of stretching and shrinking to some 'Fantastic Four' and 'Ant-Man' projects. Which judging from their latest efforts will be a lot greater than the fan-boys worries are doing them justice. This is the year of 'The Avengers' however and more aptly the 'Age Of Ultron' for the reassembling of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Incredible Hulk next week for a team and film that is the most eagerly anticipated one of the year. Even in this moment and 365 that's an awakening force of 'Star Wars' and 'Batman V Superman' trailers that are really breaking the internet. With more web assembly happening by rights, Marvel is just getting bigger and better, introducing even more popular comic characters and actors from Ryan Reynolds' 'Deadpool' to Benedict Cumberbatch's 'Doctor Strange' to the movie mainstream by the book.
Yet their latest reintroduction shows real vision. Somewhat ironically in the same week that Ben Affleck's vocal introduction to Batman is leaving fans cowering in their cowl for a different and better reason than previously social media strung up and crucified like a criminal tied-up on a Bat-Signal ways, his old 'Daredevil' character-that those who fear his Bat said he ruined-is returning and even rising to a popularity never seen before too. In a 'Begins' like origin story that's even darker than the Knight in black, Marvel give their fun turn a little more thump. Hell, a lot more of fist and broken jaw ass kicking, as your favourite lawyer by day, vigilante to those he couldn't convict at night (damn the justice system...he really is a better lawyer than advertised), is about to pass the bar and use it to beat those on the wrong side of the law until they'd rather be behind the right side of the justice ones. Mixing magnificent martial arts and lengthy legal proceedings this lucky 13 show season will leave you begging for a retrial revival, because beyond the corny and camp but actually pretty cool cinematic adventure, 'Daredevil' is back and this time the devil will care...and you will dare. All the way to the guns blazing, operatic finale that has shades of Jack Ryan's 'Sum Of All Fears', speaking of Affleck. With the new age T.V. watching of Netflix replacing your regular scheduled programmes and offering up all episodes immediately for those couch marathon, binge watching aficionados of comic-books and top series', its time to start your free trial (a nod of appreciation to them for the gracious gesture of offering audio descriptions to those visually impaired too. After all Marvel is about showing that there are no limitations and everyone can be a hero). As in this day and age where most shows from 'Game Of Thrones' to 'House Of Cards' are like extended movies in this trilogy, reboot age, you have your new favourite show. Move aside 'True Detective' this one rewrites the law he takes into his own hands, breaking bads face. Hells Kitchen is cooking with all sorts of characters as our Daredevil serves his end of the Loki ravaged New York City breakfast every morning like bacon and eggs. Protecting them from a Kingpin that strikes almost as much fear into the cities beating heart as Gordon Ramsey does in Hells. These kitchen nightmares however are woken up by the dreams of our heaven sent hero.
The 'Man Without Fear' strikes exactly that into his foes as he nightcrawls across the darkest end of day in a black, pulled down balaclava mask and ensemble that's even better than his trademark red one. If you didn't know much about British 'Stardust' and 'The Theory Of Everything' actor Charlie Cox then you will now in his Murdock vs Murder moment in movie-making like, small screen history. He plays Daredevil with blind ambition, making this legendary character his outstanding own, all the way down to the rose tinted glasses that only he is looking through. We can see a man torn between honest integrity and cruel influence, making a case between inspiration and isolation and this in turn engages all the senses. You've heard all about it, now witness the smell of fear, the taste of vengeance and the touch of God. From a saturday night of crime in the city to Sundays morning confessional you can forgive this hero for treading the fine line between good and evil...because he's an expert in it. And this lawyer plays it all with a guilty of greatness conviction. He has plenty of legal aid to represent him too. From 'True Blood' twin screen star Deborah Ann Woll sinking her dramatic teeth into another great role, to best friend in the cuddly, funny Faverau role playing, fond form of Elden Henson. Emmy Award winning 'E.R.' guest star, 'Romeo & Julliet' chief of police and Stanley Tookie 'Redemption' director and actor of great depth Vondie Curtis-Hall also joins valuable veteran actor Bob Gunton in extending his formidable filmography range with a supporting but strongly significant, role that's anything but background noise in this drama that wreaks as much havoc in the chambers as it does in the streets. Add Toby Leonard Moore's perfect right hand man to great guest stars like legend Scott Glenn and saint Peter McRobbie and the always real Rosario Dawson to stitch up this 'Sin City' and give it some more pulse as a nurturing Night Nurse with a bold but mild mannered bedside manner, and then this star power assemble adds more big names to the ever expanding Marvel family and universe in Hollywood. None bigger however than Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk. We should never say this Kingpin's name but the actors chameleon actor is just so darn, devil be damned good. Even better than the late, great, criminally underrated mastermind Michael Clarke Duncan. It's hard to believe this is the same guy from Robert Downey Jnr's 'The Judge', but now going all executioner he's ready to trade Marvel Civil War stories. His entrance is televised art and every grimace and gesture honed to a man that can even bring the heart out of a seemingly soulless villain on comic book paper all the way to your front doors gravel drive that is his Vin vocal like delivery. You'll do more than root for this man who shows the emotion and pain behind all of that he inflicts on others, whilst also showing some heart with the lovely Ayelet Zurer for better or worse. Rotting the Big Apple to its very core from the kitchen there is no bigger bark and bite than this. Its this hero versus villain depth that brings more dramatic dynamics to this crime caper of a crusader without a cape. There's plenty of Easter Eggs too this April to keep you connected to 'The Avengers'. From Cap's punching bag gym, to Tony's stark superhero registrar campaign posters. Seeing this all connect and link together with what Marvel has in store for Phase 3 sure is something. Like the alliance of Murdock, Cage, Jones and the man with the Iron Fist for another Marvel series set to join 'Agent Carter' and the ones of 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' in their 'Defenders' battle with D.C's 'Gotham', 'Flash' and 'Arrow' for small screen prominence. They've already won the big screen war and with this on the box one worthy of a billboard nothing is going to be civil now. A new dark knight is watching over the city some call Gotham and it looks like even Batman will have to tighten his utility belt. Just wait until he tries to dance with this Devil in the pale moonlight! See for yourself...he may not dare! TIM DAVID HARVEY.