So what do we have? a blind man in a red leather outfit with little horns, super senses, martial arts and a custom designed billy club. To be honest I've never really been into this character and kinda though of him as a poor mans
Batman. He pretty much does everything Batman does like lurking in dark alleyways and being vigilant from the rooftops in that traditional comic book gothic manner, accept DD is in New York and Batman is in Gotham. Just guys in slick suits with weapons.
The plot includes the characters origins which is fine, of course its all quite predictable and similar to all superhero origins. As a kid 'Matt Murdoch' gets accidentally blinded by some radioactive liquid, his dad raises him whilst he boxes in the ring under 'Kingpin'. His dad refuses to throw a fight so he gets whacked, this causes the young Murdoch to seek revenge and become the 'Daredevil', fighting for justice, forever in darkness, a guardian devil blah blah blah...Must admit I did like the origins though, wasn't overly long and preachy, it was simple and straight forward, looked good too.
To be honest the film isn't too bad it just lacks any real punch. There are of course plenty of money shots with DD leaping through the air in slow motion, plenty of acrobatics, martial arts and dark cityscapes for our hero to pose against, but its all style and no substance really...or should I say action. The opening battle within a seedy bar is by far the best action in the film, the whole sequence feels very 'Blade-like' visually and is good fun, After that everything is pretty anti climatic frankly, even the finale fights aren't that impressive.
Don't get me wrong the film isn't bad, its well put together and looks quite good, its just rather dull for a superhero flick. Was this the first time we had a (sort of) crossover in a superhero flick? I think it might have been. The intro of female hero 'Elektra' is a nice add on in the film which does set up the spin-off nicely and future adventures, shame she is kinda useless here though. The bad guys are also kinda unadventurous here too, 'Bullseye' is performed amusingly at times by Colin Farrell but the character just seemed average. Apart from hurling paperclips at everyone with his deadly aim he has nothing else to offer...accept the obligatory martial arts. I just felt DD could beat this guy easily with all his super senses, body padded suit and amazing fighting skills.
Clarke as Kingpin felt underused really, all he does is stand around and pose with his cane. His finale fight against DD is quite good but over too quickly, although I guess that is more realistic seeing as he's pretty heavy and slow. Not much of a fight for DD really. As for the Daredevil himself...well the character is kind of a second rate hero really, in my opinion, he's not up there with the main superstar heroes. In that sense Affleck fit the role perfectly because at the time he was a second rate action hero (still is). He doesn't quite have the looks, or the physique, or the voice, or the hair, or the jawline, he's a poor mans action hero, harsh but true.
Funny to see a young Jon Favreau here, who'd have thought he would be so important in the future of comic book adaptations eh.
I don't really recall the original theatrical version but this director's cut does feel much better, tighter, better plotting. I did enjoy re watching this and the added violence does indeed help. The film was never really gritty and dark but it has its moments, the DC does enhance that in places with a bit of blood, swearing and less romance...I think. But this version definitely comes across much better as I'm sure this film was much crapper when I saw it in the cinema.
At the time of release this was probably one of the best Marvel flicks alongside 'Blade' and 'Blade II'. Believe it or not it was the darkest superhero flick seen ('Blade' aside as that's more horror) as 'Spider-Man' was very childish and 'X-Men' was clearly tamed for the kids. It still does hold up quite well despite cheesy billy club twirling moments, the iffy looking outfit, the hammy dialog with Elektra and typical dark goth shots on rooftops.
With all those super senses I feel this guy should be a member of the X-Men really. And how exactly does getting splashed with radioactive goo in your eyes enable you to leap from the tops of skyscrapers and from rooftop to rooftop as if you can fly?!. It enhanced his senses so I don't get that connection but never mind.
A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero.
Ben Affleck plays Matt Murdock, a struggling blind lawyer living and working around the dangerous streets of Hells Kitchen. On first appearances you'd be forgiven for thinking that he's like most other lawyers around today. For starters he's extremely committed to his job. He's also a man that takes the loss of a court case to heart. However, the similarities stop there. Why? Matt Murdock is Daredevil - The Man Without Fear, a powerful, masked vigilante that stalks the guilty and enacts his own form of justice. As a child he is accidentally blinded by toxic waste. To compensate for the loss of sight, he relies on his other four senses. His hearing becomes as sensitive as radar. He can form mental images from sound, which on film come out in a blue tint.
The comic book probably deserves a better adaptation than this. Despite a few great action sequences, the movie is fairly dull and should leave many viewers wanting something more, or something different all together. The film seems to lack any real direction and many holes exist in the plot, a problem which seems to plague these sorts of action features. The romance feels forced and is poorly paced, making all the time between action set pieces drag to an almost unbearable extent. Many other elements seem too contrived, too convenient, or too poorly explained. The lack of any real character development is my greatest issue. The film just has no heart.
First, let's begin with the cast. I loved Ben Affleck's subtleness as Matt Murdock, and you can tell he's had experience with similar roles. He even looks a lot like Murdock. Jennifer Garner did a good job too. Not amazing, but good. I'm guessing she did so well because of the chemistry that Affleck and Garner already had for each other, which was transferred when they played DD and Elecktra.
Jennifer Garner was nothing like comic book Elecktra, but she was alright. She showed a lot of emotion, but not too much. If she wasn't called "Elecktra" then I would have praised her more. She was about solid.
And of course, there was Michael Clarke Duncan, playing one of the best villain preformances I've ever seen. What makes him so good is that he doesn't have to confront the hero to make his life miserable, he's just there, and although he doesn't fight him head on until the end, he's as much a danger to Daredevil as any two of his other villain's combined.
The cast and acting wasn't the only top notch thing about the movie. The fight sequences make Lord of the Rings look like Batman and Robin. They are perfected to the point it looks like a synchrinzed dance, only hardcore. This was especially true in the confronation with Daredevil and Bullseye in the church, which happens to be one of my favorite fight scenes. It was actually taken from one of the scenes in the comic book!
That's not to say that the movie doesn't have it's emotional moments. The relationship between Murdock and Nachios is what keep's the movie together. It's a very complicated but intense relationship, and when Elecktra dies at the end, we feel Daredevil's loss.
The directing was spectacular. The lines were given perfectly and every scene was at least remotley interesting. Mark Steven Johnson should be proud of himself.
Although we don;t often, if ever, here the name "Daredevil" with titles like "Batman Begins", "Spider-Man" or "X-Men", we really should. Hands down, the greatest movie I've ever seen.
I mean, when he first meets Elektra? Or just introducing Bullseye and Fisk? Freakin' hilarious. Such over-the-top-cartoonesque nonsense is rarely achieved on the big screen with so little shame.
Unfortunately for us, it slowly rocks back and fourth between that and a certain degree of seriousness that warrants some credibility from Murdocks time spent on the case.
In the end, it's a series of poor decisions that ultimately bring this film down to an all-time low. Bad music, pandering dialogue, ridiculously staged direction etc. All really disappointing, what with there being so much to play with in complex morality from the whole "lawyer" premise.
'Daredevil' follows the story of Matt Murdock, who when dosed by hazardous chemicals at the age of twelve, is left blinded. But in return for losing his sight, his other four senses are radically enhanced to the point where his hearing provides him with sonar-like vision. By day, Murdock goes on to become a lawyer who will only defend those who he believes are innocent. But by night, he assumes his alter-ego Daredevil to prowl the streets of New York, hunting for criminals who have evaded justice. But with the city under the grip of criminal crime lord Kingpin, it's no easy task for the Man Without Fear.
Ben Affleck might be a rather bland actor in his other roles but in this film he was excellent in bringing the reserved, brooding Murdock to life, depicting the burden carried by the character. It was also a nice touch in the director's cut to see more of Jon Favreau's Foggy Nelson, Matt's colleague and only real friend, and establish more of a rapport between the two men. Jennifer Garner made a good Elektra but it made for a better film to see a few of her scenes cut in the DC version in order to spend more time developing Matt. Michael Clarke Duncan, as the Kingpin, and Colin Farrell, as Bullseye, both filled roles of psychotic villains well although Duncan's character could have had a few more scenes to properly explore why he was so feared.
The director's cut also depicted the character more accurately as a man deeply troubled by his past, haunted by his abilities (he doesn't have Superman strength, he can be hurt and does tire, but he does have the hearing that captures every cry for help and every scream of victims' pain) and very alone in the world. It also shows there is this slightly manic side to Murdock when he is determined, which not only makes him very dangerous but also isolates him from others. Further more, the director's cut both offers up superior fight scenes (finally, it's easy to see why criminals fear Daredevil) and explores on a deeper level the connection between Matt and Elecktra and Matt and his friend Foggy.
I'd recommend the theatrical version to comic book fans wishing to introduce the character to the under twelves but everyone else should stick with the first-rate director's cut, which quite simply is the Marvel version of 'Batman Begins'. It's not afraid to explore the darker side to Daredevil or what he does.
"Daredevil" gets props for being gritty and ominous. The Braille opening credits were pretty cool and then we cut to a computer-generated rat roaming through a spooky, nighttime New York City. This is when the movie jumped the shark for me. A computer-generated rat??? Ooooh, so scary! Then it picks up again and we see Matt Murdock bleeding of his wounds on top of a church. Okay, gritty again. We then get to see Matt's emotional backstory for the next thirty minutes of the movie. I thought the backstory was too long because by the time it ended, there was like an hour left in the film. "Daredevil" moves at a dissapointing and odd pace.
So Matt Murdock gets toxic chemicals in his eyes, goes blind, develops a radar sense, and dons a red suit and mask and dubs himself as Daredevil: the man without fear. Okay, thats cool. We then see Spider-Man villain, The Kingpin, being played by Michael Clarke Duncan who wastes his talent with this role. We are then introduced the hitman known as Bullseye who is played by the pestering Colin Farrel.
Matt Murdock meets Elecktra Natchios (Say "Natchios" 10x fast!), falls in love with her, gets freaky with her, and then Elecktra's father passes. She then avenges his death by becoming a superheroine who has a pair of sais as a weapon.
Notice that I just summarized the entire movie for you? Why? Because this movie is so dumb that you'll just feel weird when you view it and ask yourself, "Why did I just watch that?". The acting isn't the best, the dialogue is so cheesy, the use CGI was odd, jumped the shark many times, etc. "Daredevil" adds nothing new to the superhero genre. The direction was not amazing as well. Chris Nolan, the Wachowski Brothers, Zack Snyder, John Woo, and even Francis Ford Coppola could've made a better "Daredevil" movie.
Its a hit-and-miss film but its mostly a miss. I need to watch the Director's Cut version someday because I've heard its quite an improvement over this.
A ho-hum superhero film. I have high hopes for the upcoming sequel/reboot.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were absolute Brilliant in this Movie.