Friday, March 03, 2017
( 6:56 PM ) posted by Setsuled
I finished watching the first season of Marvel's Daredevil a few weeks ago, which I found generally enjoyable, featuring some surprisingly good fight choreography in its earlier episodes and a villain in Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk who deserves his reputation as being one of the most interesting villains in the MCU. That was a long sentence so I didn't type out "Marvel Cinematic Universe" but it occurs to me MCU sounds like it might stand for "Mediocre Care Unit". Which wouldn't be fair at all considering another one of the best things about the show is the nurse, Claire Temple, played by Rosario Dawson. Performances by Dawson and D'Onofrio stand head and shoulders above everyone else on the show, often to its detriment.
Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock isn't great but not really bad. More remarkable for his seemingly complete inability to act is Elden Henson as Murdock's lawyer partner Foggy Nelson. Henson is so bad it's sort of captivating. He gives the kind of performance you normally associate with a character who's killed off quickly so I kept expecting that shoe to drop but he incredibly stays alive for the whole season. There's even a whole episode almost entirely devoted to his relationship with Matt, a miscalculation not only because Henson can't act. It's not a story that can really support that much screen time and the episode is interminably dull. Altogether, in fact, the series might have benefited from some tightening up--stretched out over thirteen episodes is really only about six episodes' worth of material.
Deborah Ann Woll is slightly better as Matt's other sidekick, Karen Page. Mainly she's effective for being really beautiful and I liked how her hair became gradually more fabulous as the series progressed.
She also has a very satisfying showdown with Wilson Fisk's assistant James Wesley, playing by Toby Leonard Moore in another performance that made me want to claw my own eyes out for its tedious mediocrity. His lousiness was accentuated by frequent contrast with Fisk, whom D'Onofrio plays with a rich emotional constipation.
Always sounding like he's forcing words out through clenched teeth, the impression he gives is of incredible rage he's always just barely keeping a lid on. It adds incredibly effective suspense to the burgeoning, cautious relationship he enters into with Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer).
Rosario Dawson is great as Matt's secret nurse, Claire Temple, and it's a pleasure to hear her line deliveries. She really sells it when she says she's happy to patch Matt up because it gives her a chance to see him topless again--in one line she simultaneously conveys her physical attraction to him, her playfulness, her caution, and her generosity. Dawson is one of the most underrated actors working to-day. I heard she recently tweeted approval of a fan suggestion that she portray the live action version of Ahsoka Tano. I can't begin to tell you how badly I want that to happen.#