CRIMSON CATHOLIC HEAD KICKER: DAREDEVIL SEASON 2
And lo, Marvel’s crimson Catholic head-kicker returns to your streaming device* for a highly anticipated second season of angsty, claret-soaked pulp vigilantism.
Setting up shop squarely in The Dark Knight’s thematic bailiwick, season two is an exercise in escalation: melodrama ratcheted right up; bruising, head mashing violence ratcheted right up; meditations on crime and punishment to the fore.
To wit: in stark contrast to season one’s tepid slow burn, we’re immediately introduced to Jon Bernthal’s (Fury) Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher (essentially Michael Myers with Arnie’s Commando arsenal).
Frank doesn’t just maim his quarry like Ol’ Hornhead — he straight up murders them in a hail of high velocity, Ted Nugent endorsed gunfire.
Castle’s modus operandi sets up this season’s central concern: do the ends justify the means.
Then there’s a certain cantankerous, stick-wielding former mentor hovering on the periphery..
Structurally, Daredevil: Season Two’s thirteen episodes could be considered a trilogy of interconnecting tele-films, each embracing a pulp genre.
We begin with the Death Wish pathos of The Punisher, move on to the sassy heists and saucy romance of the Elektra arc (given some extra nuance by the courtroom drama of Frank’s trial), the ensuing prison film tropes and…well, that would be telling.
This season’s grander narrative canvas is ambitious, but, sadly, let down by some extremely threadbare dialogue, ropey supporting performances (those appalling Oirish accents!) and impressive fight choreography betrayed by murky lighting and cinematography.
Still, the core cast — both original and returning — are incredibly game, with newcomers Bernthal and Yung in particular bringing dazzling new colour and shade to proceedings.
Once more drawing the bulk of its inspiration from Frank Miller’s seminal 1980s run of funny-books (with a lick of Garth Ennis for good measure — what he’d think of those accents would beggar belief), Daredevil, whilst perhaps a tad over-long and on-the-nose, script wise, confirms that the Netflix Marvel universe is the place to be for a cheeky spot of vaguely adult(ish) superheroic drama that’s less ‘shit dropping out of the sky’ and more ‘oh god I never realised I needed to see Frank Castle shoot someone’s face right off on a telly show’.
Get to it!
A Netflix Marvel show review with zero references to ‘binge-viewing’.