Wednesday, 14 October 2015

A Scene to Remember: Hallway Fight Scene (Daredevil S1, E02)

© Netflix | Source: ForTheWin

When the first season of Marvel's Daredevil invited us to an excessive binge-watching session earlier this year, it became obvious that the show was willing to take risks and try new things in TV as well as in the comic adaptation genre. It allowed for its eponymous hero to not be flashy and invincible, but rather gritty and vulnerable. It went for an unpolished, sinister look instead of a slick, glossy one. It neglected CGI spectacle for well-choreographed, physically challenging stunt work. And it produced dialogues that weren't meant to be one-liner fun festivals but gave the characters room to unfold and breathe.

I admit, the scene I love most in season one, taken from the second episode called "Cut Man", is void of any talking. It is a pure action scene in which Matt Murdock, a.k.a. the Daredevil, fights a bunch of thugs in order to rescue a small boy kidnapped by the ruthless criminals.

This certainly is a scene that was etched on my memory long after I first saw it. As an almost three-minute long one-take shot, it is sheer stunt greatness and unlike anything I've seen on TV so far. And while it manages to stand out on its own, it also unites all the above mentioned qualities that mark the series in its entirety. It's dark and rough and physical, technically brilliant, and it portrays Murdock not as someone who has an easy-peasy time fighting the bad guys. No, he's vulnerable, tired and scarred right before and at the end of the sequence. This depiction further fleshes out his character, showing that despite all the harm and destruction he brings upon himself, he's still willing to stand up against the injustices of Hell's Kitchen. 

In this case, action is not just a mere kick-and-punch extravaganza, it also enhances the character narrative. And, hey, I love me some brainy action.

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