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2 stars
A thrill ride hobbled by hollow legal procedure and interpersonal drama

Daredevil easily has the worst creative team of the Netflix Marvel shows. The dilemmas aren’t interesting, the characters aren’t convincing, the dialogue is often cliched and wooden …

The interpersonal drama that’s supposed to underpin the action is clunky. Charlie Cox (playing Matt Murdock / Daredevil) and Élodie Yung (former flame and bad girl, Elektra Natchios) almost–but not quite–make the material work, and occasionally Cox and Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page, the love interest) will have a moment, but for the most part the actors aren’t good enough and don’t have the chemistry to pull off the weak material they’re given.

Considering that they exist almost entirely as filler and drivers of contrivance, Elden Henson (playing Murdock’s friend, Foggy) and Woll should have had less screentime. Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of the antagonist, Kingpin, has been praised but I find it too hammy–perfect for a stage. The broadness and intensity doesn’t work for the television format, and certainly not for the sort of show that Daredevil attempts to be. Much of the second season functions as an extended backdoor pilot for The Punisher, which is unfortunate. Daredevil doesn’t have the gravity or intelligence to address the moral ambiguity of that anti-hero.

But when we get to the action, it’s good. The action set pieces and hand-to-hand combat are mostly well-choreographed and directed. And the more whimsical, comic-booky elements of the setting–the giant, 40-story deep hole in the ground, for example–add a welcome punch to the proceedings. There’s fun to be had. Unfortunately, we’re made to wade through a lot of filler and boring backstory to get there.

I got a few good action scenes and some moderately engaging Daredevil x Elektra drama out of it. I’ve had enough. I doubt I’ll be returning for a third season.