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Review: Better The Daredevil You Know?

In Season 2 of Marvel’s Netflix series “Daredevil”, our hero confronts a new nemesis with whom he has more in common than he’d like to admit — the Punisher

By Pamela Chow

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A no-holds-barred vigilante, the Punisher confronts Daredevil, bringing one of Marvel’s most iconic showdowns to the screen. (Photos: Patrick Harbron / Netflix)

 

Blinded from young but imbued with extraordinary senses, Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox of Stardust and “Boardwalk Empire”) is lawyer by day and superhero by night.

At the end of Season 1, Murdock aka Daredevil had successfully put kingpin Wilson Fisk behind bars, significantly lowering the crime rate in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. But the spotlight is now upon him, bringing with it the burden of fame in the eyes of the public and the law.

To complicate matters, a highly-violent rival vigilante enters the scene, bringing more action and difficult questions.
This new vigilante on the block is none other than popular Marvel hero, the Punisher (Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead”). This leads to one of the most iconic showdowns brought to screen.

 

Defining a hero

If you’ve followed “Daredevil” from the first episode, you may notice a significant shift in this second season. Cox said, “He was this faceless man and his impact on the city was documented through the course of the first season.”

“This year, it feels like the world happens to Matt Murdock,” he said.

Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb, added, “[If] Season 1 was about Matt’s decision to be a hero, then Season 2 would be about what the cost of being a hero is and how you define what a hero is.”

But the transition isn’t so easy for him, as he realises that the line between good and evil isn’t as clear as he’d thought.

 

Doubt and danger

Cox pointed out, “Matt is a devout Catholic. And what he’s doing — engaging in vigilante activity, engaging in violence and hopefully bringing bad guys to justice — in many ways conflicts with his religious upbringing.”

At the end of Season 1, he managed to reconcile his actions as part of “God’s will”. However, the appearance of Frank Castle, the Punisher, turns Murdock’s perspective on its head once more.

Stunt and fight coordinator Philip Silvera elaborated, “Frank and Daredevil are at opposite ends of a spectrum but yet both are still on the same spectrum…”

Our flawed hero, Daredevil, suddenly has to face the possibility that he is just “one bad day away from being Frank Castle”, Cox highlighted.

 

An Elektra-fying entrance

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French actress Elodie Yung of GI Joe: Retaliation plays the mercenary and love interest, Elektra.

 

If greater intensity and action from the clash of Daredevil and the Punisher isn’t enough, a tritagonist surfaces in Hell’s Kitchen, with her own fighting style and arsenal — the lady Elektra.

French actress Elodie Yung, known for GI Joe: Retaliation and District 13: Ultimatum, stars as the mercenary in red and love interest of Murdock.

The role of Elektra proved intense even for Yung, who has a black belt in karate and proficiency in Muay Thai.
Yung admitted, “I felt very rusty, to be honest, because I haven’t practised for a long time, and everything goes so fast on this show… It’s very complex, but they try to mix it up so it’s fun.”

Elektra’s martial style will encompass moves from Capoeira to Taekwondo.

With three intense fighters coming together in Season 2, “Daredevil” looks set for another action-packed season with more heart-stopping developments.

 

“Daredevil” premieres globally on Friday, Mar 18 at 4.01pm local time.

 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 148, March 18 – March 31, 2016, with the headline ‘Better the Daredevil you know?’.

 

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