The Netflix Marvel Universe was one of the most unique experiments in the long-running saga that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A grittier portrayal of the same universe tailor-made for a mature audience, the series did away with the intergalactic science fiction. They grounded the superheroes in ways that felt true to the small-screen setting. For the most part, it succeeded, but one fight, in particular, had many fans wondering what was going wrong.
What was ‘Daredevil’?
As IMDb notes, Daredevil was part of the short-lived but wildly popular Netflix universe during the middle part of the MCU. While directly connected to the events of the cinematic universe, it also exists in its own world where Iron Man, Hulk, and the rest of the Avengers are doing their own thing while the people of Hell’s Kitchen and similar locales are faced with small, albeit equally deadly problems.
Charlie Cox received ample praise for his role in the show. After all, Matt Murdoch’s Daredevil doesn’t have superpowers. He’s a blind man whose extrasensory vision provides a view of the world that, many could argue, is more effective than normal vision. His ability to take in everything around him makes him dangerous in hand-to-hand combat.
The series pushed the limits of the type of action that played out on the small screen. While it might not have had the giant set pieces of lights in the sky, alien invaders, and a team of superpowered heroes fighting on a massive scale, they put great work to make sure that every action beat would work inside the smaller scale of the Netflix universe.
However, one particular fight in season three had people wondering why it looked so bad.
Season three brought back Vincent D’Onofrio’s acclaimed Kingpin character. When Daredevil ties him to a chair in episode three, however, Murdoch’s vicious beatdown of the mafioso look fake compared to the fantastic one-shots and martial arts sequences. It looks sloppy. However, some people believe this could be a creative choice.
Reddit user u/benenke touted their cinematography background while explaining why this particular fight scene pales compared to others in a series often praised for its choreography. While filmmakers try to make every shot matter, fake punches are hard to sell, and the user went into great detail in explaining why this is.
According to them, fake punches look better when they are far away. After all, it’s easier to place the actors in positions that look compromising that are quite safe thanks to forced perspective. However, when they want to add some intimacy into the shot, they can run into some problems. In their mind, the creators were trying to go for something greater than realistic effects.
“The filmmakers here definitely wanted to make you feel like you’re both physically and emotionally right there in the moment with the characters by placing the camera physically closer to them. To do that, you need a shorter focal length, which is much more difficult to hide fake punches because the space between the actors is so much more exaggerated. Plus, they’re also shooting from an angle, whereas if you were trying to fake the punch, you’d probably shoot more from behind the actors,” they wrote on Reddit.
‘Daredevil’: Rough in the diamond
One look at its Rotten Tomatoes page shows that Daredevil was an unabashed hit with fans and critics alike. However, scenes such as this are an aspect of the filmmaking industry that many may not think of. After all, we might assume that every director in Hollywood wants to go for gritty realism, but sometimes there are far more spiritual layers that they are trying to touch. Whether emotional, visual, or somewhere in between, these scenes change how the audience perceives the world they are watching.
Next time fans are watching a scene where fights may not look as crisp as others, be it in the MCU or something smaller, they may want to think about why the scene was shot that way before figuring that it was just a mistake. While the execution had some flaws, the explanation behind them is as intriguing as anything that happened on the beloved Netflix series.
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