A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Created By: Melissa Rosenberg
Produced By: John Davis, Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon
Written By: David O. Russell
Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, David Tennant
And just when you thought the superhero genre had been spread far too thin and was entering the infamous realm of overkill, we’re presented with this. Under the Marvel banner lies two separate worlds, both of which play out in a shared universe. The film universe (the overly clichéd, sanitised, money-making machine) makes up the majority of what audiences gravitate towards, whereas the television universe (a grittier, more grounded medium) is the minority.
Where a Marvel feature film has to cram in as much action, as many special effects and excessive stimulation wherever possible within the 2-hour runtime, a series, particularly one presented through Netflix, has time to build, mould and explore.
Jessica Jones is the second hero streamed to life on the small online screen and once again packs a sizeable punch. A strong female lead and a charismatic villain that parallels Tom Hiddlestone’s Loki, there is a lot to absorb within the 13-episode series.
A former hero-turned-private investigator, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is brought back out of the shadows as the maniacal Killgrave (David Tennant) manipulates and controls the minds of civilians, psychologically commanding them to carry out shocking, violent and unspeakable acts of induced madness.
With the assistance of lifelong friend Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) and addict neighbour Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville), Jones attempts to rid the town of Killgrave and his menacing ability, however her connection to the suited-up lunatic complicates her approach.
Where 2014’s Daredevil took a more street-level approach to masked vigilantism, the tone of Jessica Jones stems from classic crime dramas with a gritty and mature edge. Jones, a sarcastic, loose drinker carries herself as an strong and independent woman, however she appears broken all the same.
A fascinating character to explore over the 13 episodes, Jones’ ark is an emotionally challenging ordeal as she must find the balance between the two facets of her lifestyle; crime fighting and crime investigation.
Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin was nothing more than a brutish bull with a tragic backstory and excessive wealth. David Tennant’s Killgrave is anything but physical. A suave, slick and sophisticated antagonist, his actions are purely phycological, adding a completely different aspect into the mix.
With the power to manipulate and control the minds of anybody he choses, Killgrave’s powers are daunting and intriguing, yet it’s the sporadic humour thrown in that focuses on the need to be overly literal in his commands that is the most effective.
The most memorable villains are those who you can either relate to or learn to like; Killgrave in a sense is both.
The re-watchability factor for Jessica Jones may be lacking, particularly in comparison to the more action-oriented series that preceded it. This is very much one to watch and absorb the first time around,, particularly because it doesn’t have much to draw you back in for more.
The writing, character arks and structure are all satisfying enough, as are the resolution and conclusion, yet at the end of it all, you most likely won’t find yourself holding out for season two.
Perhaps that’s not a bad thing, more a sign of the quality and solid roundedness of the series on its own. In an age of sequels and spin-offs, it’s always pleasant to enjoy something singular before it becomes something far more expansive, particularly in a cinematic universe such as Marvel.
Marvel manages to continue its run of top quality content, even amid a foreseeable dip in worldwide interest. Jessica Jones is a distinctive property in and of itself, refreshingly diversifying the output of media with the Marvel banner. An intriguing, thrilling series with a sense of maturity, this is one for the fans of investigative drama over enormous, bombastic blockbusters.
Jessica Jones won’t be for everyone, however to have variety in not just media platforms, but themes and tones as well, that’s a highly refreshing thought.