Daredevil Review

by Brendan Cullin (brendan AT empiremovies DOT com)
February 14th, 2003


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I am not a comic book person. I have not read, bought or even looked at a comic book in over twenty years and even when I was interested in comics, the only ones I looked at were Archie, Richie Rich and Spider-Man. In fact, the only comics I have really taken any interest in over the years are the one-pagers that appear every 20 or 30 pages in Playboy. And even then, I only look at them for a few seconds as I browse the magazine for boobies and shaved bushes. My point is, is that I went into Daredevil not knowing who the hell or what the hell he was. As far as I knew, Daredevil was Ben Affleck and Ben Affleck was Daredevil - end of story.

Well, I came out of Daredevil knowing the superhero a bit more - but not nearly as much as I would have liked. Daredevil is a character whose human name is Matt Murdock. As a young boy, Matt is blinded by radioactive waste but fortunately for him, all is not lost. At the same time, his other senses are enhanced beyond human comprehension. As Matt grows older, he decides to use his powers to help good people and kill bad people. Yes, he kills the bad, which immediately told me that Daredevil is not your typical superhero. Could you really picture your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man killing your friendly neighborhood purse-snatcher? Daredevil might. In some ways, that makes Daredevil a very cool and somewhat unique superhero. I just wish the movie would have given us more of a chance to get to know him.

The first thirty minutes of the movie gives us a quick overview of Matt's childhood and what brought him to be the superhuman vigilante. It is an interesting and enlightening thirty minutes of Daredevil's life. But then the movie sort of jumps to about twenty years later and all character development ends right there. We did not learn much about Matt or Daredevil except for the fact that he was a blind lawyer and he could smell a hot chick from a mile away - one of his more impressive attributes. And let me tell you, Matt sniffs out one of the hottest chicks I have ever laid my perverted eyes upon - Jennifer Garner, who plays Elektra in the movie. I have heard of Ms. Garner before but never paid too much attention to her. Let me tell you, she really is something to behold. She definitely ranks at least number 2 on my now updated list of hottest chicks of all time. Back to my bitching about character development - Bullseye (Colin Farrell), Kingpin (Michael Duncan Clarke), Foggy Nelson (a chubby Jon Favreau) - all cool characters but we know nothing about them. Apparently Foggy and Matt are lifelong friends - did not know that. Who is Kingpin and how did he weasel his way to the top of the crime chain? And what the hell happened to Bullseye that made him so pissed off? And one other thing - how did Daredevil's back get so many scars on it? So many questions - but for non-Daredevil comic book readers, there are not many answers.

With all that being said, there are many elements of Daredevil that I quite enjoyed. Like the whole effect of showing the audience how and what Daredevil sees - very well done. The action scenes are excellent, the movie is dark and it is not afraid to journey off that carved-in-stone Hollywood path - like having a good guy with a very dark side and killing off a main character or two.
As an aside, I was surprised at Affleck's bad hairdo. I know he is blind and everything, but usually Affleck has the cool do going. Not this time. His hair looked like an old mop.

Overall, I have to say I quite enjoyed Daredevil. I don't want to do this, but it did go through my mind and it is going to go through everyone's mind who sees the movie - is Daredevil better than Spider-Man? Well, about halfway through the movie, I was thinking yes, it is indeed better. But the lack of character development really left me wondering. I have to say, I did like the Daredevil costume and Bullseye and Kingpin were superior baddies compared to Green Goblin, whose costume I still cannot forgive. But in the end, I suppose I would prefer Spider-Man, although thinking about it now, I did prefer Affleck to Tobey Maguire. A Spider-Man vs. Daredevil movie would definitely kick some ass. Perhaps if elements from both movies were mixed into one, we would have the best comic book movie of all-time. But until then, I guess we just have to wait until the next Spider-Man and, I am sure, the next Daredevil movie to let the comparisons begin again. Spider-Man wins round one.

Review Date: February 13, 2003
Author: Brendan Cullin

Official Site: http://www.daredevilmovie.com/
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Theatrical Release Date: February 14, 2003
Cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jon Favreau

Empire Movies
Copyright 2000-2003 Liam Cullin

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