A gritty, genre bending, street level, super heroic slugfest! Season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil takes us further down the deep dark rabbit hole of Hell’s Kitchen. Technically, this is considered to be a “tv” show, but Daredevil is much more than your generic idiot box program. It’s an amazing fourteen hour cinematic experience. It’s a crime noir, political thriller, courtroom drama, martial arts flick, with elements of horror, all rolled up in one explosive combination.
Daredevil is known as being the dark and violent shadow side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and with the addition of The Punisher, the brutality is turned up to another level. Jon Bernthal almost steals the show with his performance as the antihero. He expresses the maniacal rage and quiet sadness of the lone vigilante with perfection. His performance is so engaging that this was very close to becoming “Punisher: Seasone One”. A war veteran of the U.S. Military, Frank Castle is obsessed with avenging the death of his wife and children. After seeing his family gunned down by ruthless organized crime thugs, Castle serves up his brand of justice with bullets and punches. His fight scenes are filled with such blood gushing violence, it’s like Marvel’s version of Fight Club. When you get into a fight with Frank Castle, he is fueled by relentless rage and he will kill you if he has too. That one distinction puts him in conflict with Daredevil who is capable of dishing out his own brand of punishment, but stops short of taking someone’s life. The physical and verbal sparring between Daredevil and Punisher throughout the season is epic.
Another addition to Daredevil’s dark universe is an old lover by the name of Elektra. She is wealthy, mysterious, very skilled in the martial arts, and adds a lot of complication to Matt Murdoch’s double life. Without giving anything away, her presence on the show provide many surprises to the very end. Elodie Yung gives a magnetic performance as Elektra and she exudes pure seduction and danger.
And then there’s Daredevil himself. Charlie Cox gives a powerful and emotionally diverse performance of our dark hero. In the first episode there is almost a touch of optimism to the tone of his performance but as the season progresses, that small amount of hope gives way to desperate aggression. After the first few episodes, Matt Murdoch is desperately trying to balance his professional life with that of his alter ego and failing miserably. He becomes even more obsessed with his personae of Daredevil and using that personae to channel his dark rage. As he tries to keep his actions in check, he also struggles to prevent Elektra and Punisher from crossing the line. Many obstacles and surprise appearances cross Daredevil’s path and when they arrive, the dramatic stakes are raised even higher.
Daredevil Season 2 is simply a heroic masterpiece that transcends the superhero genre. The directing is so cinematic that you forget that this is suppose to be a tv show. Watching this particular show in one sitting just makes it feel like a unique and epic experience. Especially with the unique directing style and fight choreography, it feels like a great movie going experience that you don’t want to end. We need season 3 of Daredevil as soon as possible and The Punisher needs his own Netflix show.