Season 2 of Netflix’s (and Marvel’s) Daredevil was released today. Well, it was released yesterday but I’ve binge watched it until the writing of this post, which is about one in the morning at the moment.
So what’s the verdict? Really good. Season 2 was really good.
I’d read some reviews before and I was worried. Most of the reviews criticized the first few episodes. It claimed that the show started too slow and only ramped up around episode five. After watching the season, I vehemently disagree.
In fact, while I enjoyed the whole series, I enjoyed the first few episodes far more than the rest. I felt the story was grittier, more realistic than the ninja stuff later on. Don’t get me wrong, I love ninjas… and pirates… and transforming robots. I just like that gritty Batman-Nolan-esque stuff, too. The stuff that throws in themes like what degrees of vigilantism are acceptable and how far should a hero go.
Another reason I loved those first few episodes was because of Jon Bernthal. Man, this guy can act. Bernthal’s been in a lot of big name productions, the two most well known being his roles on The Wolf of Wall Street and The Walking Dead. I’m not sure if it’s intentional, but he’s become kind of a character actor, always portraying the big tough guy character. But damn is he good at it.
My favorite scene in the entire season is a monologue given by Bernthal in episode four. It’s about ten minutes long, which is one-sixth of an episode’s run time so you know some deliberate directorial choices were made here. Bernthal put me through the full range of emotions here; from heartwarming to depression, real fast. I watched that monologue a few times and realized just how grateful I am they casted Bernthal as the Punisher.
That’s not to say there aren’t other great scenes. The action scenes again are great, with a stairwell scene between Matt and some biker thugs being particularly memorable. Some scenes felt sloppy and unconvincing, but you do the best you can with the budget you got. Overall, still great job done by their stunt coordinators.
Elodie Yung (plays Elektra) is mostly great and I always love watching Scott Glenn (plays stick) sassing Charlie Cox (plays Matt Murdoch).
However, there are a few weaknesses that stand out this season. Firstly, that whole plot line with the Black Smith was just stupid. It ended pretty stupidly, too. It was unnecessary. Some of Elektra’s scenes were great… while other’s were odd. Specifically, one of Elodie’s final scenes near the end where she’s speaking with Matt just felt awkward and contrived. That could have been performed a lot better. Felt like bad calls made by the director there. Also, Charlie Cox’s performance also gets real awkward and just snaps me out of the show a number of times. He’s doing his best with that American accent, but sometimes it slips. Cox also breaths real weird. You’ll see what I mean at the end of the final action scene in the last episode. He breaths hard for about three minutes… and it’s weird. Someone get him an inhaler, jeez. Elden Heson (plays Foggy Nelson) is fine, but he is forced to say some really cringy lines.
Further, there were a lot of characters thrown in this season who didn’t need to be here. Some reoccurring from the last season, like Fisk. Others include Hogarth, who first appeared in Jessica Jones. There’s just a lot of spinning plates at Marvel and I would have liked a tighter story that didn’t necessarily throw obvious bones to the other aspects of the Netflix-Marvel universe.
In conclusion, despite some awkwardness and weaknesses, I greatly enjoyed season 2 and recommend everyone go binge watch the damn things right now.