*possible plot and casting spoilers ahead
Daredevil was an instant hit on Netflix. The casting and script was spectacular and so too the cinematography. Season 2 had a lot to live up to but with the inclusion of Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) as the Punisher and Elodie Yung (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as Elektra, the on screen performances certainly lived up to last season.
Charlie Cox reprised his role as Daredevil and had to deal with some pretty heavy emotional turmoil that brought him down to the ultimate question, would he forfeit his life and his friendships to protect the city. Jon Bernthal’s Punisher proved to be a deep character that you could empathise with despite his brutal and often inhumane treatment of some of his many criminal targets. His casting was spot on and the atmosphere he brought to the role was one of the best I have seen of a comic book character to screen.
The return of Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, towards the midway point of the season was a pleasant surprise that made total sense. If Heath Ledger is seen as the quintessential on screen Joker then Vincent D’Onofrio is the quintessential Kingpin. The way he commands your attention and his mannerisms as Frisk are incredible.
The conspiracies and double crossings within the story work nicely and the constant back and forth between Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) and the Punisher plot and the Matt Murdock and the Hand plot worked well in tandem. Personally the Punisher aspect of the story was a little more engaging for me as I am not the biggest fan of the magical elements of Marvel’s storytelling, which the Hand do fall into, but the well choreographed fights and stakes made even something I am predisposed against thrilling.
The writing team of Bill Everett, Drew Goddard, Luke Kalteux and Stan Lee have done an incredible job with Daredevil across both seasons and this can only carry through to the as yet unannounced Season 3. Mirroring Matt’s evolution from vigilante to suited and booted hero in Season 1 is Frank Castle and his evolution into the Punisher. Matt didn’t get his iconic costume until the last episode of last season which was a clever bit of writing and so too for Frank Castle this time around. It was a nice bit of symmetry that didn’t go unnoticed.