By far one of the best action sequences that Daredevil Season 1 provided was at the end of its second episode “Cut Man.” After already spending most of the episode recovering from injuries, the final minutes saw the masked Matt Murdock entering a sketchy building and singlehandedly taking on a group of Russian goons so he could rescue a kidnapped child. Compared to most fight scenes in movies and television, this fight felt not just brutal and raw, but also incredibly realistic, which is why it was necessary to push the actors and stuntmen involved to their limits when shooting it.
Noting that they shot about eight or nine takes of the hallway brawl over six to seven hours, Daredevil’s director of photography Matthew Lloyd explained to The Guardian how aside from the last scene of Matt and the kid walking out, everything in that sequence was one take. Needless to say, creating the whole thing was an exhausting affair. Lloyd elaborated:
Most of “Cut Man” was essentially the calm leading up to the storm that was that hallway fight. After recovering from injuries sustained in the beginning of the episode thanks to Claire Temple’s care, Matt discovered the location of the missing child when he interrogated one of the men sent to kill him. The scene started out calmly as it established the two rooms the goons were in and Matt slowly walking down the hall to get a feel for where everything was, but once he barged into the first room, all hell broke loose. Rather than have Matt effortlessly pummel his opponents in the span of three minutes, Daredevil showed him getting tired as the fight wore on, pausing to catch his breath after incapacitating nearby foes, and by the end of it, he could barely walk into the room where the child was being held. Compared to most of Marvel’s other action sequences, this fight looked like it could have gone down in real life, though the odds on the good guy surviving would assuredly decrease.
Lloyd went on to call the “Cut Man” fight the “foreign film version of the scene,” saying that because the shots were done point-of-view style rather than made to look cinematic, it helped viewers experience the “sheer physicality of the piece.” While there were certainly other big fights during the rest of the season, this is the scene that many fans think of first when it comes to the best action scenes not just of Daredevil Season 1, but all of 2015 television. This fight also undoubtedly played a role in the show earning a Screen Actors Guid Awards nomination last week for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series.
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