There’s a scene in the original Daredevil film (starring Ben Affleck) where he fights a lot of men in a bar (best video link I could find!). Story wise, if memory serves, it’s the first significant time he’s ventured out as his alter-ego, so the audience is a little invested to see how it goes. What occurs is a fast edit fight which left me thinking at the time: ‘yeah, well, throw me in a fight with editing like that, and I could take down anyone too’. The fighting choreography may have been slick but the film missed an opportunity to land a satisfying story punch.
Fast forward 12 years and Daredevil is on Netflix as a TV series. Everyone’s been talking about the fight scene that happens in episode two. The main reason they’re talking about it is because it looks like it’s filmed entirely in one take (and gives a decent nod to the famous fight scene in Oldboy – the original).
Daredevil’s fight scene looks amazing and is deftly staged. But if this was at the start of the episode, it would possibly only register as a ‘cool!’ moment. I think what elevates the fight into a truly great scene is that it comes after a lot of character-driven story to get us to this moment. I won’t go into detail or spoil anything but when Daredevil takes on the men in the corridor, we (the audience) are so tuned in to the hero’s emotional and physical well-being, the fight takes on that satisfying story punch rather than just a cool fight scene that’s seemingly shot in one take.
Lesson learned? Make your fights count. Slick punches are good but character-driven showdowns are better.