Daredevil season 3 has arrived, and Marvel fans know by now that any new season of a Marvel Netflix show must include certain staples. And no doubt one of the biggest staples of the entire Marvel Netflix universe are the "Hallway Fight" sequences, in which we get a long tracking shot of a major battle, within a limited space. Well, once fans have a chance to dig into Daredevil season 3, they'll probably agree that this latest Hallway Fight sequence is going to be the new standard to beat!
Warning - MILD SPOILERS about Daredevil season 3 follow!
In episode 4 of Daredevil season 3 (the appropriately titled "Blindsided"), Matt Murdock goes undercover, masquerading as Foggy Nelson when he visits the prison where Wilson Fisk is being held. Matt uses the cover of visiting one of he and Foggy's old clients, Michael, in order to pump the convict for information on Wilson Fisk, while spying on other inmates in the room, to see how they may be connected to an Albanian gang Fisk is beefing with. Matt's plan is a simple pop in and pop out for a simple chat, but Fisk has other plans.
After Matt is punched in the face by Michael, he's required by the prison guards to go to the infirmary and get a disinfection shot. Turns out, this is all a setup, as Fisk has arranged for the "doctor" to try an inject Matt with some kind of substance. Murdock is able to escape that ambush, but he gets a call on the infirmary phone from Fisk himself. The Kingpin taunts Matt, teasing the knowledge that he knows Matt and Daredevil are the same person. After that, Kingpin leaves Matt to face an entire gauntlet of killers and psychopaths, as Matt is forced to fight his way out of the entire prison, hallway by hallway.
The intense sequence begins at around the 23:00 mark, and runs all the to the 33:00 mark. It's all shot as one seemingly unbroken and intricate tracking shot, which also employs some guerrilla-style handheld camerawork. Director Alex Garcia Lopez (The Punisher, Luke Cage, Cloak and Dagger) doesn't shy away from the hard-hitting visceral style of combat action, while also keeping things smooth and fluid enough to be easy on the eye. Like the original "Hallway Fight" sequence from Daredevil season 1, there are a lot of tempo changes in this dance, with moments of intense action also broken up by slower moments of breath-catching, and in this case, some necessary pauses for dialogue, as Matt has to get some assistance, in order to get out of the prison in one piece. That assistance comes in the form of Albanian gangster Vic Jusufi (James Biberi), who uses his influence to help smuggle Matt out of the prison in the midst of a full-on riot - and into the back of a cab, waiting outside.
While it's true that the prison gauntlet punishes Matt physically, he does gain one valuable piece of intel: the first clue that Wilson Fisk staged the attempt on his life by another prisoner, in order to trick the FBI into cutting a deal with him. Of course, Matt also now owes the Albanian mob a favor, which could easily become a much bigger problem - if he can get past The Kingpin, first. As for the sequence: during the Daredevil panel at New York Comic-Con, new showrunner Erik Oleson revealed that the cast and crew actually stopped filming for an entire day, just to do run-throughs of this prison hallway fight sequence. It's one of the most ambitious action set pieces Marvel Netflix has attempted - and the results show onscreen!
What did you think of Daredevil season 3's massive prison Hallway Fight sequence? Let us know in the comments!
Daredevil season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.