Tuesday, 14 April 2015

It's like our anniversary lunch at Hooters all over again

Don't mind me, I'm just... erm... cleaning up some old 1980s comics I scanned.  Yes.
Watching Marvel's Daredevil, and bearing in mind the forced and unnatural scripting of its nearest competition - The Flash and Arrow - and gosh but they sure make that whole "doing a decent superhero tv show without looking like we're ashamed of doing a superhero tv show" thing look easy.
I never really had a problem with the Affleck movie like many others did - I found it to be a perfectly serviceable and entertaining action flick - but I did think it suffered from an uneven tone and mixed direction, with the NYC depicted coming off in much the same way the city did in the 1990s Ninja Turtles movies.  By comparison, the small-screen version of Daredevil is consistent in its tone, takes itself seriously to the point that there are episodes where people just stand around crying for no discernible reason, action scenes happen with minimum shakycam so you can actually tell what's going on, and rehashing of a lot of The Wire's schtick certainly helps distract from some of Daredevil's more predictable beats, though it generally avoids most of the usual traps of superheroes on tv.
I think I could have done with more character meat, a less brown costume, and a final fight that didn't go on forever, and the Kingpin is a bit rubbish, too, being very similar to the sheriff from noted tv car-crash Under The Dome, but I can see people going "oohhh daddy issues so he has depth" and liking him for that, but I'm kind of sick of that kind of villainy and would have preferred to see the version of the character that Kingpin sees himself as: a righteous man with good intentions who gradually became a monster in pursuing admirable goals - he even quotes some Biblical parables alongside the usual plastic Catholicism that plagues both televisual drama and the Daredevil comics, so there was potential for that to happen.
As it is, Vincint D'Onofrio handles the material well, and Charlie Cox as Matt Murdoch/Daredevil does a blubbery-lipped emo-hero just dandy.  The action scenes - while very good - sometimes betray that they're only there for their gimmick value, with an overlong "homage" to the infamous corridor fight in Park Chan-wook's Oldboy (I am crediting the Daredevil production staff with not being so culturally thick-eared that they're homage-ing the dreadful Spike Lee remake) being a particularly glaring offender in that it contributes nothing to the episode's story and feels tacked-on.
Still, there are worse problems for a superhero tv show to have than for the punch-ups to be a distraction from the story.

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