Written by Drew Goddard.
Daredevil: Into the Ring made me feel a way I haven’t felt since first seeing Batman Begins. It’s just that good.
For a Netflix original, Drew Goddard’s taken the approach of writing the series like a very-long film. In the long run, this is probably a good approach. But that’s in the long run. Netflix is all about “marathoning”. Indeed, I see some people have already finished the series within its opening night. I’m writing this on the launch weekend, so it’s Sunday right now, but it’s still a top UK trend. You give people thirteen episodes of a show all at once and it continues to be talked about, because it takes so damn long to get through. Not that its length is a weakness. If anything, it’s a strength. What I hated so much about the Ben Affleck Daredevil was it rushed the preliminary exposition, resulting in a skipped origin explanation that made the first act seem more like a pilot episode recap.
But the series doesn’t make that mistake. When a film’s fourteen hours long, you can go into an awful lot of detail and depth. So Into the Ring, as a first episode, does exactly that: it puts Daredevil into his situation. The story begins as the vigilante character begins himself operating. While we get only a few glimpses of the character, those few minutes are unrelenting. The fight scenes are choreographed perfectly and realistically, and the iconic Daredevil outfit is nowhere to be seen. When a boxer first begins his career, he actually has to work for his nickname. In this sense, Daredevil does not exist, and these thirteen episodes chronicle the slow labour of his beginning.
That also means there’s a lot of setup. The characters are introduced over the course of the episode, but I like that mentality. It’s spread-out, and not rushed. It’s like how a meal consists of a starter, a main course and a desert. Well I like all three stages just the same. Even if the starter’s just an orange juice, it’s acidic and freshly squeezed, exotic. And exotic is definitely the word for this. The tone and style of the show manages to be dark yet realistic, dramatic yet believable. And all of it revolves around the lead actor Charlie Cox, who already I can tell you is a perfect casting choice. He’s a man who exudes both intelligence, creepiness and an internal conflict. Even his body language alone tells you he’s verging on constant anger, but chooses to substitute it with charisma. Perhaps Sony should be getting onto him about being the next Bond villain?
I’ve only seen fifty minutes of it so far, but already I can tell I’m in for a great show. I could get into this Netflix thing. This was the series that convinced me to try it out.