There’s this moment in this incredible
single-take hallway fight scene in
Netflix’s daredevil that’s the best
thing that happened on my television in
a long time.
It’s this moment where Matt
Murdock, the blind lawyer who puts on a
mask and becomes daredevil,
slumps into the wall on the floor and he’s so
exhausted he can’t even stand.
You hardly ever see this in fight scenes.
The traditional way fight scenes work
is usually a flurry of kinetic punches
in shots between two
But Daredevil’s doing something different
here. The concept for the scene isn’t
novel at all
It’s a gauntlet; Murdock needs to get to the
end. This is reminiscent
of The Raid where a police team gets stuck
in a tenement building and the hallways
become a death trap. Or John Woo’s classic
in Hard Boiled. Daredevil captures the
same idea of
surprise, but it takes it a step further. The
camera turns in a door frame obscures
the scene, making up the match in the action
to Murdock’s blindness
while they switch out stunt doubles. This
one-shot aspect and Daredevil is the main reason
it’s been compared to Old Boy, a Korean film
released in 2003.
It’s another film where this man wants revenge, and in one scene
fights a hallway of men to do it. But the
most similar thing between the two is
How exhaustion plays into both. Dae-su, the hero of Old Boy, and Murdock, the hero of
Daredevil look like they’re out of it.
The punches get sloppy,
it’s a battle to get to the door. This
which the single take approach
guaranteed, drives home what makes
Daredevil powerfully different from other Marvel
efforts. Violence takes a toll
on everyone involved.
Even when you win.