Marvel's The Defenders

Daredevil to Defenders: Ranking the Hallway Fights of Marvel Netflix

Contributed by
Aug 23, 2017

SPOILER WARNING: Minor spoilers below!

The Hallway Fight. You probably didn't know it was something you needed so badly in your life, especially in superhero adaptations, until you were bingeing the first season of Daredevil and hit the end of the second episode. You were treated to an incredible piece of action, shot in one glorious take, a single swift camera movement as the nascent Daredevil took down a slew of thugs in close quarters ... specifically, in a hallway. The handiwork of Philip J. Silvera, stunt and fight coordinator, it set a standard.

Since then, every season of Marvel Netflix except Jessica Jones has featured a hallway fight (Jones was left out, most likely, as it was already filming before Daredevil hit and people freaked out over the scene, and also because it's a more cerebral show/lead).

With The Defenders (and their hallway fight) now streaming, let's decide in what order these all sit.

Iron Fist Season 1: Episode 4

Iron Fist's hallway fight was indicative of the series: slick camera work and unique shots to cover up the star's (self-admitted) lack of martial arts skills. The switch from the hallway to the elevator saves this one, though, as the slightly darkened space, and the cool overhead angle make for a couple of the best moments in the first half of Iron Fist Season 1.

The Defenders Season 1: Episode 3

It starts with a solo fight for Iron Fist that's better than anything in his own series. That turns into the first team-up between Danny and Luke Cage, which is an aw yeah moment for comics fans. That all turns into all four heroes teaming up to fight Elektra and a bunch of Hand thugs in business suits. It only ranks so low on the list because the fight's chaos, and its need to serve all four heroes, prevents it from taking on much of an identity of its own. It's still cool to see The Defenders team up for the first time... in a hallway.

Daredevil Season 1: Episode 2

You never forget your first (hallway fight), right? Daredevil enters a room full of thugs, and starts taking them down. This leads the camera to pull back into the hallway, but it takes a moment for the action to catch up. Daredevil is methodical, and while he's incredible and gifted, he's still human. He gets hurt, he has to take time between flurries of punches. It's a masterpiece of cinema, and it's hard to believe they've done better; you could pretty easily argue this as #1 just as easily as #3.

Luke Cage Season 1: Episode 3

Do you think your Wutang style can defeat me? Set to "Bring Da Ruckus," this is Luke Cage unleashed for the first time. He's tired of being on the sidelines, of reacting instead of acting, and he's done. Luke marches through the halls and stairwells of Crispus Attucks, taking bullet after bullet and beating down all comers anyway. He's an unstoppable force, and rarely has a character looked this powerful in any superhero story. Also, it probably sets the record for most bleeped-out F-words in a soundtrack song ever.

Daredevil Season 2: Episode 3

A gun duct-taped to his hand, a chain in the other, and in full costume, Daredevil takes out the frustration of the long (and awesome) rooftop conversation with Frank Castle upon an entire biker gang. He's so much more brutal this go-around, and so much more practiced. He uses his weapons more often to take out lights (and give him the advantage there) than he does to fight, though he does whip one guy around the neck with the chain in a move that would make Ghost Rider proud. The hallway fight turns into a stairwell fight, as Daredevil makes his way downstairs, not really taking a clean hit until he gets to the bottom. There, he finally takes a breather, and emerges from the stairwell -- only to get the biggest of the thugs lined up to take him on in the lobby.

Every second of this scene is carefully planned, but shows his recklessness and brutality. It's the perfect finale to his conversation with Castle, as it shows Daredevil is just "one bad day" away from turning into the Punisher.

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