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Daredevil (2003) – Movie Review

Daredevil Poster

Written by: Brian Helgeland & Mark Steven Johnson, based on characters created by Bill Everett, Stan Lee & Frank Miller
Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Favreau

My Advice: Wait for cable.

Matt Murdock (in the older version, played by Affleck) was a good kid. His dad, Jack (David Keith), is a mildly washed up boxer who doesn’t want it to be known to his son that he’s working for a local hood. When an accident blinds Matt, Jack decides to straighten up and start kicking ass again–a decision that ultimately leaves Matt alone. But he’s not really alone–and he’s not really blind, of a sort. You see, what blinded him was some biohazardous goop that also jacked up his other senses like you wouldn’t believe. He’s able to, with his other four senses, create a picture of the world around him that enables him to be even better than before. He decides to put on some tights (and a dog collar, apparently) and go out into the world and kick ass–as Daredevil.

[ad#longpost]Jesus, Mary and Joseph, this movie really sucked. Forget the fact it’s a bad comic book adaptation–it’s just a bad movie. And the key to that lies in this question: if you were Matt Murdock, leading a double life as Daredevil, would you use the same cane/billyclub combo device in both guises? That was a nice red color, just like Hornhead’s costume? And had a nifty little devil insignia on the handle? If the answer is yes and you would make such a stupid goddamn error then please leave my site and never return. If the answer is no, then if you haven’t seen the film–I’ve just ruined it for you. Because the film really is that stupid. Forget the fact that he and Elektra (Garner) go toe-to-toe in a playground, both in their civvies–like it’s normal for a blind lawyer to move like a freaking ninja. Forget that, like Spider-Man, which was mediocre on a good day, the director thinks his audience is comprised of morons. Why? Because we don’t need a flashback to remind us of something we just saw forty minutes ago. The list goes on and on and on.

Don’t blame the actors, though: the material is what’s terrible. And the costumes–Jennifer Garner wearing a dress made out of aluminum foil with a little locket that lives in the valley between her ample breasts…sure you might want to be that locket, but do we have to see her in such a terrible damn outfit? Affleck makes for a good Murdock and Daredevil. Garner does well enough as Elektra, but she’s not given much to do. Colin Farrell is goofily malevolent as Bullseye, but hey–in a bad comic book movie all you can do is turn the dial to eleven. Michael Clarke Duncan is given absolutely nothing to do. Jon Favreau makes for a good Foggy Nelson (even though he’s never named “Foggy”) and Joey Pants is a good Ben Urich. But again, hardly anybody is given anything to do.

The film has one of the worst soundtracks on record. It’s comprised of a bunch of progressive-pseudo-thrash-metal that all sound the same, “Lapdance” by N.E.R.D. (which is a decent song, but is chosen to introduce the Kingpin–Je-sus), and some terrible shitty love song that I don’t even know the name of. I just know that it gave me shingles. The musical score isn’t much better, with Graeme Revell ripping off better scores that he’s done (The Crow) and even better scores that others have done (American Beauty) near the end).

Sure, it’s got cute little references all through it to various Daredevil writers and artists over the years, with Frank Miller and Stan Lee making cute little cameos. But it’s just god-awful, with plot holes the size of Galactus that you could plow through, and with too many characters walking around wasting the time of good actors. If you truly want some good Daredevil, take the money you would have spent on seeing this and instead buy the Miller run, or read some recent Bendis, or hell, Elektra: Assassin. Catch this on HBO. You’ll thank me.

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