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Daredevil – Cut Man (Review)

To celebrate the launch of Marvel’s Daredevil and the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, we are reviewing all thirteen episodes of the first season of Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil. Check back daily for the latest review.

If Into the Ring skilfully sets its tone in the opening teaser, telling the audience everything that they need to know about Daredevil before the first roll of the opening credits, then Cut Man saves its biggest and most defining moment for the closing seven minutes of the episode. It is almost impossible to talk about Cut Man without talking about the superb action sequence that closes out the episode – a single-take piece of stunt work that sees Matt Murdock tearing through an army of Russian mobsters in a way reminiscent of Oldboy.

That sequence is jaw-dropping, and possibly the visceral highlight of the thirteen-episode season. It is a very visceral demonstration of just what Daredevil can do. The technical skill on display in that seven-minute sequence rivals anything in the big-budget blockbuster Marvel movies. It eschews the clean-cut violence of something like the (also superb) elevator fight scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier in favour of a more low-key and naturalistic vibe. Daredevil might not have the budget for monsters or armour suits, but it has a great stunt team.

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In a way, the fact that Into the Ring is defined by its opening scene and Cut Man is defined by its closing scene feels appropriate. These are the only two episodes of the first season to be scripted by Drew Goddard, before he left the production and was replaced by Steven DeKnight. As such, these two episode have a tone that feels slightly distinct and removed from the episodes following on from this point. Although there is a very clear through line running from one end of the season to the other, Into the Ring and Cut Man feel like their own little part of the season.

These two episodes tidy away the broad strokes outline of Matt Murdock’s origin, to the point where the audience knows what they need to know before the actually story can kick in. The show will return to Matt’s early years in both Stick and Nelson v. Murdock, but Into the Ring and Cut Man represent the foundations of a superhero origin that will span the season.

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