That single take fight scene in Daredevil

Last month I posted a great little video essay, from Chris Stuckmann, called The problem with action movies today, one of the standout points, which is a frequent annoyance of mine, is the editing style of fight scenes.

(Skip to 10:10)

In Netflix’s brand new original series, Daredevil, there is a great scene of him in Ep#2 “Cut Man” in pre-costumed-origin-story-mode fighting a load of hoods in order to save a child. We see the entire scene in a locked off shot for nearly 4 minutes. That is 240 seconds. When compared to some of the shakeycam, and even more shakily edited action films, where one cut could last less than one second, this is standout.

I wish the fight scenes in all the Nolan Batman films were shot and edited like this. There are some fleeting moments in the series where this does happen, but mostly Nolan veers into shakeycam territory.

The last time I remember seeing anything like what ‘Daredevil’ did was in ‘Oldboy’. It is clearly an homage to that scene, and a great one at that. Similar geography, dark and dirty grade, slow painful fighting where you feel every punch and that voyeuristic watchful camera, almost casually watching this violent story unfold in front of itself.