Daredevil Review

by Susan Granger (ssg722 AT aol DOT com)
February 14th, 2003

Susan Granger's review of "Daredevil" (20th Century-Fox)
    Building on the success of "Spider-Man," "X-Men" and "Blade," this is the newest action-adventure fantasy based on a Marvel Comics character. Daredevil, known as the Man Without Fear, is the night-prowling vigilante alter-ego of attorney Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck), who was blinded at age 12 by radioactive waste. As a result of this injury, his other senses have amplified to superhuman level. When she's not trying to kill Daredevil, Matt's girl-friend is Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner), who is out to avenge her father's death. They're lovers/adversaries. Then there's the formidable druglord Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) with Colin Farrell as Bullseye, his psychopathic, relentlessly ruthless assassin. Credit writer/director Mark Steven Johnson's ("Simon Birch") casting: Ben Affleck's a major celebrity these days with his fiancée Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner has a fan base from TV's "Alias," and Colin Farrell's career is sizzling with "The Recruit" and the upcoming "Phone Booth." Jon Favreau scores as Matt's law partner "Foggy" Nelson with Joe Pantoliano as crime reporter Ben Urich. Cinematographer Ericsson Core captures Daredevil's sonar "vision" cleverly, particularly in the romantic raindrops-on-the-rooftop scene, and the stunt wire-work is amazing. As a parent, however, I was uncomfortable watching this superhero take painkiller prescription drugs; for the PG-13 audience, that's not a habit one wants to encourage. And, unlike the crime-fighting comic-book hero, this darkly vengeful Daredevil allows a man to die on subway train tracks, taking credit with a flaming DD. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Daredevil" is a stylized, hard-edged, sinister 7, aimed more at adults than kids. So is it "time to give the Devil his due"?

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