Whilst Netflix’s Marvel shows are largely inconsistent, Daredevil has always managed to shine. The first season is almost faultless, with the second succeeding not only in being great, but also in spawning the equally compelling The Punisher. Now, after Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ second seasons have failed to deliver, Daredevil is back to save the day.
After surviving the events of 2017’s The Defenders, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is forced to once again become Daredevil after his nemesis, Wilson Fisk, (Vincent D’Onofrio) is released from prison. Matt and his friends, Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) are still haunted by their previous encounter with Fisk and are determined to take him down before he can corrupt Hell’s Kitchen any further.
The most striking thing about Daredevil season 3 is that the show is reverting to the format which worked so well in the first season. This is best seen by the fact that Matt doesn’t ever wear the Daredevil costume, instead opting for the black mask he donned during his early days of crime fighting. Whilst the cast is almost identical to season one, the dynamics between them have shifted dramatically.
The most phenomenal change is in Daredevil himself. Matt Murdock is introduced as a broken man who has almost completely lost his faith. Whilst Cox tries his best to lean into Daredevil’s darker side, he is hindered by poor dialogue which lacks subtlety. At times the hero seems angsty for the sake of it. Luckily the character improves as the season goes on.
This, however, is made up for by the strength of other characters. Foggy Nelson once again brings humour and charm, Agent Nadeem is a welcome new addition and Karen Page is given far more to do than previous seasons. But Vincent D’Onofrio steals the show once again as Wilson Fisk. Both physically and vocally, Fisk is a powerhouse whose mere presence sends shivers down spines. Fisk is backed up by another iconic Daredevil villain and the decision to introduce this secondary villain helps with the pacing of the show, preventing the mid-season bloat that is all too common with Marvel’s 13 episode seasons.
Daredevil’s action choreography continues to astound. The now iconic hallway and stairwell fights from the first two seasons are topped here with a single take, 11 minute prison fight scene. Visually, the show stands out with fantastic cinematography and a distinct style which has been lacking from Marvel’s recent outings.
The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen proves himself reliable yet again as Marvel finally have their first hit of 2018.
Image Credit: Movie DB.