When I saw the teaser trailer for Netflix’s rendition of Daredevil, I was interested, but only because of the concept. I’ve always loved the concept of Daredevil, a man with a disability that turns it to his advantage. The blind criminal prosecutor who fights like a vigilante at night. And most of all, I love the fact that Netflix, a company who clearly knows how to grab the right talent for making quality content, has grabbed this idea for a television series. However, the trailer left me dubious. It didn’t say much, and that’s not what I want to see from a teaser released mere months before the show releases.
The biggest problem with this show is fighting the doom that the previous Hollywood incarnation wrought. I didn’t think it was nearly as bad of a movie as most people thought, and I know that’s controversial. It was mostly faithful to the character, and Ben did a good job portraying him, but the problem was the writing and the ludicrously stupid villain they chose. Daredevil’s kind of an obscure character. Most people only know the name from Ben Affleck’s rendition. So Marvel and Netflix is going to have a bit of an uphill battle convincing people that this show is going to be any good.
And then I saw the first full-length trailer, which was released a couple of days ago.
I can’t believe that I never thought of Daredevil as a television show. But it all makes sense. Matt Murdock leads two lives, as a criminal prosecutor, and a vigilante by night. That’s basically Law & Order meets Arrow. And that’s clearly way too much to throw into a film, as demonstrated with the previous effort.
But I am officially intrigued. I love how the audience is drawn into believing that our hero is talking about the city being in his blood and wanting to fix things. Then, moments later, we see a hulking bald man, and those of us who know the comic books know exactly who that is. Kingpin. Daredevil’s ultimate nemesis and criminal mastermind. Who seems to be getting a bit of a sympathetic treatment. Is he an anti-hero? Obviously he’s the villain, but even that’s hard to nail down.
Especially when we get a view into Matt Murdock. He doesn’t exactly look like hero material. He’s younger, slimmer, but he’s got some scruff. Not even good looking well-manicured scruff.
He looks like he forgot to shave for a couple of days. And what’s with those glasses? Totally retro, and yet, a little too familiar.
Our “hero” talks about other ways to see, and working outside the law. Look at all those sidelong glances. I mean, he just looks morally ambiguous, but haunted by it. I love the quote that “One man’s evil does not make you good.” It’s clear that this series is going to be dark, but it’s a very different kind of dark then Chris Nolan’s dark. It’s not about a rich boy with a kind heart trying to fix a city, it sounds like the series is debating the moral ambiguity of the vigilante superhero. Who’s form of power is more justified? By the way, this is the premise behind The Watchmen.
His origin story appears to be similar to the comics. There’s a quick scene of a young Murdock with burns on his eyes, presumably from some dangerous chemicals, and another scene with a gravelly old dude telling him about gifts and training him. In the comics, this gravelly old dude is his dad, a former boxer, who trains him to fight. When his father’s murdered, instead of whining about it forever and using a family fortune to fight crime, he decides to do the thing that real people do, and becomes a criminal lawyer. After finding that the courts can be bought, he decides to take matters into his own hands. From what I’m gathering so far, this looks like a similar origin story.
The only thing I’m hoping they omit, is that Matt Murdock actually gets blinded by radioactive juices, which give him a bunch of superhuman whatevers. I’d much rather see a blind man who gains these abilities through practice and sheer force of will. But that’s just me.
Anyway, I’m also interested in the strange design of the costume. I understand that this show will be created yet another origin story, but it’s exciting to see that Matt Murdock isn’t going to be getting a custom tailored suit from “Superhero Spandex R US” conveniently delivered when he wants to go all vigilante. I mean, it looks like he’s wearing some weird red and black Nike workout suit with a grey towel that he wraps around his eyes. If anything says amateur vigilante, it’s that.
The best part about this trailer, though, is that it confirms that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Matt Murdock than we will of Daredevil. Daredevil shows up only in quick, low contrast, movement shots, but we see a lot of Matt Murdock in a courtroom, walking down the street, talking with friends, and consoling clients. In the Daredevil movie, we saw very little of Matt Murdock in the courtroom, even though this is one of the things that makes him unique in the Marvel universe. He’s one of the only superheroes that pursues criminals in his day job and as a vigilante. As a result, he’s capable of some incredible character depth and emotion by the sheer fact that his night life is motivated by his day life.
Anyway, I’m excited to see what Netflix can do with a Marvel movie. This is their first foray into superhero movies, but they’ve already proven they can handle intense political and criminal drama, which is basically what this is. So, I think this is definitely going to be one to pay attention to.