Instead of an older genre film, this Weekend Review takes a belated look at Daredevil‘s second season.

Luke Cage will be out shortly, and Daredevil’s third season will arrive next year.

Title: Daredevil, Season Two

Cast and Crew

Directors: Phil Abraham, Stephen Surjik, Peter Hoar, Ken Girotti, Euros Lyn, Andy Goddard, Marc Jobst, Floria Sigismondi, Michael Uppendahl

Writers: Bill Everett, Drew Goddard, Luke Kalteux, Stan Lee, Whit Anderson, Sneha Koorse, Douglas Petrie, Marco Ramirez, Lauren Schmidt, John C. Kelley, Mark Verheiden, Johnny Romita, Gene Colan, Frank Miller, Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin, Roy Thomas, George Tuska, Bob Brown, Marv Wolfman, Gary Friedrich, Jack Kirby, Garth Ennis.

Select Cast
Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil
Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page
Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson
Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle / The Punisher
Élodie Yung as Elektra Natchios
Royce Johnson as Sgt. Brett Mahoney
Geoffrey Cantor as Mitchell Ellison
Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple / Night Nurse
Susan Varon as Josie
Scott Glenn as Stick
Peter Shinkoda as Nobu Yoshioka
Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk
Stephen Rider as Blake Tower
Rob Morgan as Turk Barrett
Michelle Hurd as Samantha Reyes
Peter McRobbie as Father Lantom
Matt Gerald as Melvin Potter
Wai Ching Ho as Madame Gao
Amy Rutberg as Marci Stahl
Ron Nakahara as Hirochi
Suzanne H. Smart as Shirley Benson
Deirdre Madigan as Judge Cynthia Batzer
Marilyn Torres as Louisa Delgado
Ron Nakahara as Hirochi
John Pirkis as Stan Gibson
Rob Morgan as Turk Barrett
Amy Rutberg as Marci Stahl
Kevin Nagle as Roscoe Sweeney
Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth
Lily Chee as Young Elektra

Premise

Daredevil has established himself as the protector of Hell’s Kitchen, but he finds himself in a conflict involving multiple mobs, old allies, and a killer vigilante. Old enemies—even those behind bars—find they have a stake in the developments.
Under the pressure created by Murdock’s vigilante activities, Murdock and Nelson collapses.

High Point

The show gets crowded with three separate vigilantes (and Stick), but the interplay among them nicely balances pulp action with a thoughtful debate about the appropriate way to address crime and criminals, once they exist. And that debate goes to the heart of the superhero premise. What does its popularity say about us?

Low Point

We make certain concessions to genre, of course. Daredevil is about a super-hero having pulp adventures—superior pulp adventures—in a noir New York. Nevertheless, it’s not Guardians of the Galaxy; we’re in a more realistic corner of the MCU. I’ll accept Matt Murdock’s powers and the supernatural doings of his adversaries. I have more trouble with legal proceedings that aren’t even up to Cop Show standards. I can suspend disbelief, but not my tolerance for dubious writing. They didn’t need to wait another season to show the trial, but they could have handled the trial proceedings in a number of other ways that would have had some connection to reality.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6 The show expands in new directions this season.

Effects: 6/6 Marvel’s Netflix shows should receive some kind of award for the seamless integration of effects. The fight scenes, true to the show’s origins, go over the top, but the effects themselves never seem gratuitous. They serve the show, rather than provide decoration, as happens at times in the bigger-budget films.

Story: 5/6 The multiple storylines kept me watching. Some tension exists between the need to tell intrinsically compelling, contained stories and the need to set up future seasons and other series. The Kingpin’s involvement suggests we’re going to visit some of Frank Miller’s stuff from the 1980s, while the Japanese-based villains look likely to have a Hand in the forthcoming Defenders series. Of course, we will see more of the “deceased” Elektra, and it seems possible Frank Castle will receive a Punisher series.

Acting: 5/6 The acting remains strong, especially among the established cast. We do not have as much time to explore the characters as we did last season.

Past live-action Punishers have failed to impress; Jon Bernthal gets it right. He is the single most compelling character of the season.

Honorable Supporting Character mention goes to Lily Chee as li’l Elektra.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, Daredevil, Season Two, receives 35/42