It’s been three days since Daredevil hit Netflix and proved that Marvel is capable of taking a walk on the gritty side. Which means it’s been three days of overwhelmingly lavish praise for showrunner Steven DeKnight and the Spartacus-lite level of intensity that the series delivers at each and every turn. While its acclaim has been spread out over many areas, including the cast’s performances and the series’ realistic tone, one of the show’s biggest strengths is the mindblowing fight sequences.
From the first minutes to the last, Daredevil put its titular superhero against all forms of thugs and villains in a manner that was far more mature and brutal than nearly any other superhero project out there, and we’ve rounded up the top 5 fights from this stellar debut season. Be warned, though. There are definitely spoilers covered here, so finish your binge-watch ASAP.
The Fight in the RainMatt Murdock’s first battle against the human traffickers was a great introduction to his alter ego’s flashy acrobatic style of fighting, but it was the fight against Karen’s would-be killer later on in “Into the Ring” that really cemented how hardcore this show could get. The close-up fisticuffs in Karen’s apartment looked great, and when the pair crashed through the window down onto the rained-out street below, that was when it hit a new level of pain. We got a real sense of how Matt uses his senses in figuring out the best way to handle his enemies.
Matt vs. StickFans of Daredevil were definitely waiting to see the iconic comic character Stick enter the picture, and the seventh episode brought him in with the full force of a masterful Scott Glenn performance. It offered viewers a glimpse back into Matt’s past, when Stick’s harsh mentoring set him on a path of justice and future vigilantism. The mini-fights between Stick and young Matt were damned exciting, and they perfectly set up the vicious tussle in adult Matt’s apartment – “Get up! Get up!” – which ended in a cringe-inducing flip off of the staircase. It’s not often you get to watch two ridiculously powerful blind men go head to bloody head like that.
The Warehouse BrawlFor the first chunk of Daredevil, Peter Shinkoda’s Nobu was an intimidating crime boss growing weary of Wilson Fisk’s lapses in judgment. But the first seconds of “Speak of the Devil” introduced us to his warrior side in a barbaric battle that was teased out through the rest of the episode. Wielding giant body-ripping hooks on chains, Nobu was a fierce competitor, doing more damage to Matt than any other non-Fisk character. If it hadn’t been for that whole “being engulfed in flames” thing, I’m fairly certain Nobu would have finished the job. Not that Fisk didn’t try to do it himself, bashing Matt’s face to a pulpy mess. It almost killed Matt, and put a large dent in his street-level heroics in the following days.
That Hallway FightComing in just the second episode “Cut Man,” the epically choreographed hallway fight sequence could have easily been a season-capping scene, as it was shot in one continuous take. Recalling the similarly amazing corridor scene from Oldboy, this fight pit the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen against a group of Russian thugs holding a young boy hostage, and it runs the gamut from exhaustingly intense to cartoonishly amusing. (Such as when that one guy gets decked with a flying microwave.) One of the most believable parts of this entire series was Matt’s need to take a breather every few seconds in between the melees, and the single camera move made every second feel excruciating. Kudos to director Phil Abraham and his stunt coordinators.
Daredevil vs. Wilson FiskOne of the biggest unspoken draws with Daredevil was the constant anticipation for scenes where Matt and Fisk were in the same room as one another, and the season finale “Daredevil” was the flawless consummation of their protagonist/antagonist relationship. It was ridiculously frustrating to see Fisk’s transport go in his favor, and then equally rewarding to see Matt’s first fight in the awesome red costume. Although it only lasted a few minutes, their alley brawl truly felt much longer and featured several cheer-worthy bits, such as the body slam pictured above. The hatred that each man has for the other was felt in full, and I’m pretty sure I got a bruise or two just watching it.
Should Daredevil return for Season 2 at some point, it will be exceedingly difficult to create sequences that top these five. Seriously, though, that’s a challenge that needs to be taken on. Come on, Netflix!
Which Fight Was Your Favorite?