Saturday, April 18, 2015

That Spectacular Daredevil Hallway Fight


I have a long, not so spectacular relationship to comic book movies.  Growing up I never read comic books so I did not develop any sort of nostalgic relationship with comic book characters.  I enjoyed Superfriends when it was on (though it seemed to air at odd times and I rarely found it) and other super cartoons.   I liked the Christopher Reeves Superman movies (though even the pre-pubescent me knew the fourth one sucked.)  I saw all the Tim Burton Batman films and the subsequent non-Burton sequels.  But I never though any of them were that amazing.  Etc.  Comic Book Movies were something I'd watch, but never really felt were anything all that awesome once I hit about age 15 or so.

I consider myself a geek, and I love geek culture.  Comic book movies are a huge part of that culture.  In this superhero world in which we live its really rather difficult to escape these types of movies even if you are not a geek. But when you are you live in a steady stream of fanboy excitement over them.  For awhile I'd get carried up in the excitement and see all the movies, but secretly I always found myself disappointed.

Somewhere in the midst of the X-men and Sam Raimi Spiderman trilogies I came to the realization that I wasn't really a fan of comic book movies.  Then early in the onslaught of Marvel/Avengers Initiative run I decided to tune out.  I could no longer pretend to be excited or to really care.

It stayed that way for a couple of years then slowly I started getting back into it.  It was actually The Avengers that sparked my renewal.  I used to have a friend (well he's still my friend I just no longer live anywhere near him) who is happily married and has five children.  As one might imagine his life is pretty hectic and ruled by his family.  But every now and again he'd give me a call and we'd have our own little guys night out.  This usually consisted of seeing some big dumb film with a bunch of dudes punching/shooting each other. 

One of those nights out we saw The Avengers.  I think I had seen the first Iron Man at that point but none of the others.  As mentioned I was intentionally avoiding them at this point.  But my friend wanted to see it and I obliged.  I really liked it.  One of the great things about that film is how they've done away with all the typical super hero fleshing out scenes - the origin stories and all that getting to know you stuff.  That sort of thing was taken care of in each characters solo movie so that all The Avengers had to do is bring them together and watch them kick ass and wise crack. 

It also helped at this point that I had started reading some of their comic books.  Reading the stories really helps flesh out the characters and get a better understanding of all the little things that fanboys love. 

I've since gone back and watched all the solo character movies and while I can't say that I loved them all I've been able to accept them as the dumb summer popcorn flicks that they are.

Which brings us to Daredevil.  I won't say that I was excited about this new Netflix series.  I know very little about the character having only read one or two of his comics and that only because he was included in larger story arc with the X-Men or something.  But I allowed the fanboy excitement to carry over and started watching the series.

I'm still actually only two episodes in, but I wanted to talk about that spectacular fight scene to close out the second episode. 

I'm really not a fight scene guy.  Part of the subtext of this whole essay is that I've become a bit of a movie snob.  I like classic films, art-house fair, and foreign films.  I want my movies to have important themes and artistic development with panache and style.  Big action scenes tend to all look the same and they just don't do it for me anymore.

But this Daredevil scene did something fantastic with it.  Maybe a little arty too.  You can watch it in that embedded clip above, but I want to note that it skips the beginning which is really actually important.  The real beginning starts at the far end of the hall looking towards a door.  The bad buy is carrying a plate of food or something, he enters the door and we hear him speak to the kid.  The camera follows him down then backs up as he comes back out the door.  We see him go in one other door with other bad guys then out and into another door.  Then the camera turns and we see Daredevil walk into view.  Here the scene picks up in our clip.

What I love about what you can't see here is that it gives us perspective.  Its essentially walking us through the space we're about to see turn action packed.  Once the fight begins the camera essentially keeps moving up and down the hallway showing us just how tight a space it is.  Its a beautifully choreographed scene and brilliantly done.  That it takes place in a television show and not some big budget film shows just how cinematic TV has become.

So far I'm only so-so on the series, but that scene needs to be seen.

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