Daredevil Reviewby Rose 'Bams' Cooper (bams AT 3blackchicks DOT com)
February 18th, 2003
Rated PG-13; running time 102 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Seen at: Uptown Palladium 12 (Birmingham, Michigan)
Official site: http://www.daredevilmovie.com/
IMDB site: http://us.imdb.com/Details?0287978
Written by: Mark Steven Johnson
Directed by: Brian Helgeland, Mark Steven Johnson
(based on the Marvel comic book)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jon Favreau, Erick Avari, David Keith,
Joe Pantoliano, Leland Orser, Scott Terra
Review Copyright Rose Cooper, 2003
Wow, so there really *is* a Movie Star who's even stiffer than Keanu Reeves after all. "The Man Without Fear"? More like The Actor Without Expression.
THE STORY (WARNING: **spoilers contained below**)
As a young boy (Scott Terra) growing up in Hell's Kitchen, Matt Murdock was blinded in a freak industrial accident; but the radioactive materials he was hit with somehow served to develop his other senses drastically, and even under certain circumstances, allows him to "see" through a kind of radar. By day, the adult Matt (Ben Affleck) is an Attorney For The People, along with his partner Franklin Nelson (Jon Favreau). But Matt decides to Use His Powers For Good at night, along the way avenging the murder of his boxer father (David Keith) and taking on mobster Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and his sidekick, Bullseye (Colin Farrell). Things get complicated for Matt when he becomes involved with the mysterious and beautiful Elektra (Jennifer Garner), who proves to be more than a match for Matt and Daredevil alike.
How bad is DAREDEVIL? Let me count the ways. Who'm I kidding; I can't get past the first, worst way. DAREDEVIL learned all the wrong lessons from the BATMAN franchise, and none of the right ones from that franchise, THE MATRIX, SPIDER-MAN, ad nauseam. DAREDEVIL is completely humorless; painfully so. Unlike SPIDER-MAN, DAREDEVIL didn't have the good sense to not take itself seriously; and Affleck pays the price for this faux pas. Many audiences reportedly supplied the "humor" DAREDEVIL so desperately lacked. I liked the audience's version of DAREDEVIL, better.
I once promised myself that one movie soon, I'd raise up off'a Ben Affleck. This is not that movie. What I found astounding was just how incredibly wrong Affleck was for the part of either Matt Murdock or his SuperEgo. To say that Affleck makes a poor superhero, is a vast understatement. As Daredevil, he runs like a girl, fights like he has a stick up his ass, and Emotes in all the wrong places. I kept wishing for Bartleby (his snarky DOGMA character) to show up; instead, we got the boring Matt and the unintentionally funny Daredevil. I especially got a kick out of what was probably meant to be Affleck stretching his Inner Conflict thespianic muscle, that instead reminded me of the scene in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN when Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor learn to enunciate properly: "I am not the bad guy. I AM not the bad guy. I am NOT the bad guy. I am not THE ba..."
As with most Rilly Bad Flicks, DAREDEVIL didn't become Bad all on the shoulders of one person. Michael Clarke Duncan's considerable shoulders can take some of the burden. The casting controversy involving Duncan aside (many comic book fans protested that Kingpin was written as White), there was little for Duncan to have shown up on the set for, besides spouting bad lines badly, and flexing himself only at the end. I wept for both Jon Favreau and especially Joe Pantoliano, the latter of whom should have a law written for him stating that he should never be wasted in a Rilly Bad Flick (though it looks to be too late for the upcoming BAD BOYS 2 to get that legislation going). All this can be traced back to writer/director Mark Steven Johnson, another on my list of people who shouldn't be allowed to write and direct the same movie. For some of these guys, it's like chewing gum and walking at the same time: they can't do either well enough separately, let alone simultaneously.
While I did enjoy Colin Farrell as Bullseye (the Bad Guys always seem to make a Rilly Bad Flick somewhat more tolerable, don't they?) and strangely enough, Jennifer Garner as Elektra (at least early on, until she went into Warm Place mode), overall DAREDEVIL is one movie I'd like to forget I'd ever seen. Looking at the box office receipts, though, I doubt that'll happen anytime too soon.
3BC IN THE MOVIE HOUSE
I think I've already found this year's best theater experience, and it's only February. The grandeur of the Uptown Palladium 12 almost made it worth it to sit through a Rilly Bad Flick like DAREDEVIL. The theater house is laid out beautifully, inside a grand building. But the Premiere Entertainment Auditorium, with its soft leather chairs and spacious seating, was a cut above. I didn't do the Dinner And A Movie thingy there, but I'd be sorely tempted, even at $25 a pop.
BAMMER'S BOTTOM LINE
ewww, that was actively bad. I reckon there's one good thing that can be said about DAREDEVIL, though: it made me look forward to the upcoming releases of the two THE MATRIX followups all the more.
DAREDEVIL rating: flashing redlight
Rose "Bams" Cooper
Webchick and Editor,
Entertainment Reviews With Flava!
Copyright Rose Cooper, 2003
EMAIL: [email protected]
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