Regardless of the criticisms one can level at Daredevil season 2 – and make no mistake, there are a few niggles – the sophomore outing of Charlie Cox’s lawyer by day, vigilante by night hit the ground running.
Placing the water-tight action choreography on full display, it was a rat-a-tat pace that culminated with the Man Without Fear crossing paths with Jon Bernthal’s Punisher – in the first episode, no less.
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But almost in an effort to prove that the famed corridor sequence from Daredevil season 1 wasn’t just some one-off stroke of genius, it is the third episode of season 2 that contains what is arguably one of the most mesmerizing TV fight sequences in recent memory.
Think of the corridor scene from Oldboy – or even a handful of the toe-curling brawls glimpsed across Gareth Evans’ Raid films – and you’ll begin to get an idea of the style and tone. Armed with only an empty gun and a chain, Matt Murdock plows through the Dogs of Hell biker gang in stunning fashion, and the fact that the camera glides effortlessly over, under and around him in what is surely a masterful single take is impressive in and of itself – that is, at least until Murdock is fighting for his life on the bottom floor towards the end.
As a standalone piece of TV filmmaking, it’s a tour-de-force; but as a smaller piece of a bigger puzzle, the stairwell fight sequence captures the raw and desperate crusade of Charlie Cox’s costumed hero, one which continues long into Daredevil season 2.