Wednesday, April 29, 2015

That Daredevil Fight Scene Tho'...

What's happening folks? For this post on Hai!Karate, I wanted to touch on the explosive success of Netflix's latest series, the highly anticipated new TV entry from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Daredevil. Now, if you haven't watched ANY of the series yet, I am inclined to post this for your benefit so you can click away and I don't have to hear any nonsense:
Now that that's out of the way...Daredevil has been getting rave reviews from almost everyone I've talked to. From the inspired casting of Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock to Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, to the dialogue, to the plot twists - the series is one of the best to break out of the gate in quite some time. Does it help that the full season uploading policy by Netflix gets more viewers? Probably. But I think that the same accolades would be in place if this was set up week by week in traditional form. The series is a gritty crime drama, hard-nosed to the point that you can smell the musky damp air of Hell's Kitchen at night. Of course, the major draw of Daredevil are the fight scenes. The first episode alone had me on the edge of my seat with every second of those battles. Major props have to go to the entire stunt team and their fight choreographer, Philip J. Silvera, whose work was recently on display in Thor:The Dark World and The Dark Knight Rises. Which brings me to the bit that has captured the imagination of many: the fight scene at the end of episode 2 where Matt goes up against the Russians for the first time. That scene is the centerpiece of "Cut Man", an episode that lets viewers get even more of the complexity of Matt Murdock's background. I've seen some commentary from a couple of bloggers about how that it's the greatest fight scene EVER. *record scratch*

Some of you need to have a seat and sit the next couple of plays out.

Listen. The fight scene is a thing of beauty. It is a testament to the work of all involved. But you CANNOT sit there and pull a generational amnesiac move and proclaim it as the 'best fight scene ever.'Do you understand how stupid that sounds, given the history of martial arts cinema? It's symptomatic of the thinking and writing I've been seeing these past few months in terms of kung-fu flicks and related movies. You know what I'm talking about - those lists by other magazines and websites. Lists that are as suspect as Donald Trump doing the Cupid Shuffle on Dr.Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. More on that in a sec. The fight scene in 'Cut Man' was brolic beyond words, no question. But you don't get that fight scene on an American television show without acknowledging the heavy influence from three distinct areas. First, the Indonesian martial arts/crime thrillers The Raid and The Raid 2. Second, Tony Jaa and his output of films from Thailand. And lastly, District B13 and the rise of parkour. All of those elements are at play in that scene, done in one long contiguous take. If you were on the fence about the show from the first episode, that moment was the one that pulled you in all the way. But let's keep it funky. That scene's greatness should not get put on a pedestal above the countless other moments in martial arts movie history. And yes, you can make that statement and not be a 'hater' or whatever else you pop-culture crazed mofos with no sense would say. Which leads me to the next decision...

Hai!Karate is going to do it's OWN LIST. Yes, I'm tired of these cat-in-the-hat ass lists from folks that haven't appreciated or seen the full scope of the movies. The list will contain thirty entries, counting down to number one, split into three posts. That's going to take place over the course of the next month, with alloawances for other work I've got going. SO...if you're a fan of this blog, tell a friend. Tell ten. Because we plan to GO IN.