to me, Daredevil was the least interesting of the comic-book characters
made into a feature film last year. So, I passed on it until it showed
up on cable this month. To be honest, I was quite pleasantly surprised.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner,
and Colin Farrell
Daredevil tells the story of
Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck), a lawyer from Hell's Kitchen, who defends
only "those that are innocent." As
a child, he was blinded by acid shortly after seeing his boxer father
working for a local crime boss. While the accident left him blind, his
other senses took over in a superhuman fashion, allowing him to "see" and
function with a disregard for fear. When his father is killed for not
throwing a fight, Matt vows to fight for justice as best he can. He becomes
Daredevil, a costumed vigilante who is knowledgeable in various martial
arts techniques, and hunts thugs by night. By day, Matt attempts to serve
justice the legal way by defending those that can't defend themselves
in a courtroom.
One afternoon, Matt meets Elektra (Jennifer Garner), the daughter of
a billionaire. He strikes up a relationship with her which is quickly
cut short when her father is murdered by Bullseye (Colin Farrell), a hit
man hired by crimelord Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) to divert attention
from his own criminal ways. Elektra, who is something of a martial arts
expert herself, believes that Daredevil is responsible for her father's
death. She vows revenge on Daredevil while Daredevil vows to protect her
OK, so the plot is typical comic-book fare. Writer/director Mark Stephen
Johnson handles the subject in a manner that's at once stylish and fun.
Sure, there's nothing here that's not been done before (and done better),
but the combination of winning performances by Colin Farrell, Jennifer
Garner and, believe it or not, Ben Affleck make it work. Jon Favreau and
Michael Clarke Duncan add support that truly bolsters the film's strength.
When a comic-book film has such fine performances, it's easier to forgive
the somewhat lacking visuals.
Everything in Daredevil has a computer-generated sheen to it. Even the
backgrounds in some scenes look unrealistic or have a cut and paste feel
to them. I'm not sure if this was a look that was intentional or not,
but it certainly is distracting. Thankfully, the rest of the movie passes
my story-before-effects test which makes it tolerable. At least the fight
scenes, which make up the bulk of the action, are quite entertaining and
While it's not as strong as Spider-Man or X2:
X-Men United, it's much
more entertaining than I expected. I certainly can't fault it for that.
father fights a boxer named John Romita in his last fight. Romita is
actually a comic book artist's name. John Romita Sr. worked on the Daredevil
series in the 60s. John Romita Jr. worked on the series in the 80s.
Internet Movie Database)