Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’ Hallway Fight Scene Versus ‘Daredevil’
Sweet Christmas! “Luke Cage” has arrived!
I’m sure that many of you are binge-watching Netflix’s latest Marvel-ous original. With “Luke Cage” upon us, some may be comparing it to other Marvel series. With “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” already established, “Luke Cage” is yet another layer to the universe. But while each series is uniquely its own, there are some similarities. One similarity exists between “Luke Cage” and “Daredevil.” A particular hallway battle in “Daredevil” has some striking similarities to the “Luke Cage” Crispus Attucks Complex scene. As both are pivotal fight scenes, I thought I’d examine both to determine the best one.
Round 1: Cinematography
In this round I’ll focus on the camera work. From composition, lighting, and overall visuals, this round will determine whether “Daredevil” or “Luke Cage” had the most eye candy.
With “Daredevil” I immediately noticed that this is one continuous shot which is amazing. Alejandro González Iñárritu received acclaim for this same method in “Birdman.” I love this style and it made me feel like I was in the hallway myself, watching as this went on. You can even see how smooth this scene is by replaying this in reverse. The shot remains steady rotating on one axis making it pretty solid filmmaking.
“Luke Cage” follows a more standard approach but is still appealing. From the beginning to the end there are multiple cameras showing many perspectives through multiple cuts. You see Luke being attacked from different directions and that message is conveyed through this method of filmmaking. It holds interest for sure but from a stylistic approach, it just doesn’t carry the weight of the “Daredevil” scene.
Daredevil – 1 | Luke Cage – 0
Round 2: Body Count
In this round, the focus will be on sheer numbers. Both Daredevil and Luke Cage are formidable opponents, but how many bad guys did they take out?
Daredevil’s ally is his reflexes and training. He’s a master martial artist but his strength is on par with a peak human man. Immediately we see him take on three thugs at once which triggers more to arrive. A fourth thug immediately rushes out from another door quickly followed by another. After he lays the beat down to those two, two more quickly follow. Daredevil proceeds to distribute beatings evenly and an eighth and final thug approaches from the door. This could be a previous thug he knocked back but for argument’s sake, we’ll say Daredevil has a count of eight.
Luke Cage is an indestructible powerhouse. Using brute strength and a car door as a shield, Cage immediately starts cracking skulls. Starting with three pushed back from the car door, he follows throwing a fourth through a window. Immediately met with gunfire, Cage knocks back another three then swiftly kicks another back into an elevator. Four more approach from another entrance only to get knocked down the stairs. As another tries to surprise him from above, he gets wrapped in the car door and thrown back with the previous four. Moving forward Luke pulls a pipe from the wall to handle the others that approach. Swinging left then right then left again Luke takes down three. He then thrusts forward taking out another four pushing his count to twenty. He faces quite a few more thugs but at this point he’s already doubled Daredevil’s numbers. There’s no need to count anymore because by now, we all get the point.
Daredevil – 1 | Luke Cage – 1
Round 3: Choreography
Choreography is the foundation of a good fight sequence. Offensive and defensive movements are what sells audiences on the genuineness of the battle.
Daredevil starts by taking three on in the hallway. Shifting his body and weight he dodges, punches, and throws to take out the initial swarm. He then kicks an opponent and takes out another with a well-executed jump punch off the wall. Dodging, punching, and throwing are soon met with fatigue but this does not affect Daredevil’s perseverance. The brilliance of this scene is that balance of fatigue mixed with true martial arts. The fight feels authentic from beginning to end.
Luke Cage’s fight is a bit different as he relies on his strength. The moment where true hand-to-hand combat comes into place is the pipe scene. It doesn’t make sense for someone of Cage’s power to put in much effort. But it also doesn’t provide much substance in the realm of choreography. His simple pushes and swings have no rhythm to them. This scene conveys Luke’s power to the audience but does little for his fighting ability. Given that his opponents are nowhere near his level, the lack of effort is justifiable. Regardless I still think that Daredevil’s fight moves like a ballet while Luke’s is simply scattered.
Daredevil – 2 | Luke Cage – 1
Round 4: Music/Score
Sometimes the music can make the fight. Some of the best film fights have an accompanied score to supplement. So between “Daredevil” and “Luke Cage,” which has the best beat for the beatings?
Daredevil’s fight isn’t accompanied by any particular music. This scene would not fit well with some sort of vocal number. At the same time there’s no particular score for this scene. A variety of dark, ominous, and suspenseful tones dictate this scene’s auditory response. While the scene itself has a creative edge, the score is a bit bland.
Luke Cage on the other hand has his fight sequence scored by none other than the Wu Tang Clan. The song “Bring Da Ruckus” almost drives this scene. It’s incredibly powerful and pertinent to the battle itself. Given that the “Luke Cage” fight scene is accompanied by actual music, I would say this wins in a landslide.
Daredevil – 2 | Luke Cage – 2
Round 5: Development
Developing plot or character development earns a fight scene an emotional impact. Whether it progresses the story or establishes a character, development is an important aspect of a fight scene.
The motive of the “Daredevil” fight scene is pure and heroic. To rescue a child Daredevil puts his life at risk punching his way through mounds of thugs. Despite his ferocity in battle, he comforts the child with kind, heartfelt words. As he walks through his path of destruction holding the child, you see what Daredevil is capable of. But you also see the hero he strives to be.
Luke Cage’s path has a heroic end as well, but not as emotionally impactful. It’s the first time that he goes on the offensive against crime. He hits corruption where it counts most, their money. But while it changes the course for his character, the outcome isn’t as noble as Daredevil saving a life.
Daredevil – 3 | Luke Cage – 2
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