It is about that time for another comic book action figure to come to life. Some may be caught unaware, but you should not be too surprised that a nation in such a muddled political spot would want a hero and that Hollywood would answer the call.
What does Matt Murdock, lawyer by day, superhero by night, have that makes him different from other comic heroes? It is what he does not have: sight. Blind, daring, living without fear, Murdock changes into his plum-colored leather jumpsuit (yum) and kicks butt with his modified walking aid.
You will never look at another white stick with a red tip the same way. You will be wary.
Murdock grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, an especially bad part of New York. The violence that taints his life leads him to take on the evils of the city in the dark alleyways and empty streets of the nighttime city. His quest is aided by his loss of sight, not hindered. He gains superhuman senses, hearing being the most powerful.
There is no room for pity in the viewing of this film, but plenty of room for mediocre remakes of scenes stolen from numerous other movies.
A classic scene from the movie “Batman” is included, as well as little bits scattered here and there throughout the film. “Daredevil” also copied a scene from “American Beauty” and another from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (the original movie, not the television show).
Who knows what else may have been recreated that this reviewer did not catch? Copied scenes would have been an interesting and entertaining ploy if they were done in an obvious parody, but it seemed as if the movie was just hoping no one would notice that they had run out of ideas. Appalling. Director Mark Steven Johnson must have been too busy implementing the rain and playing with “Spiderman” special effects to actually oversee the acting in the film.
As for the talent in the film, Ben Affleck plays Murdock decently. It seems that screenwriter Brian Helgeland does not realize that a movie character generally needs to be a little more comprehensive than the one-dimensional comic book drawing it came from originally. He forgot to give Murdock a believable personality, and left Affleck desperately trying to create one by cocking his head and raising his eyebrows a lot. Thankfully, Affleck did not give Murdock the corniness of Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman. Unfortunately, though, Affleck did not give his character anything to compensate for the loss of some kind of genuine-seeming persona.
Jennifer Garner (from the television show “Alias”) plays Elektra Natchios, the daughter of a local billionaire. Garner goes about playing Natchios by keeping her as hollowed-out, tanned and emaciated as one would expect of a comic love interest.
Sure, this works in comics, but in movies? Definitely not. One could forgive her lack of talent in this film if only she had great fight scenes, but they are either all too slow or over too quickly to enjoy them.
Even Michael Clark Duncan (most notably the big guy in “The Green Mile”), disappoints as the all-important rich and dangerous guy, Wilson Fisk. His obsession with roses and cigars makes him a boring comparison to such illustrious villains as Batman’s Joker and Superman’s Lex Luther; even Ariel’s Ursula loves being bad more than this guy.
Colin Farrell, as Bullseye, steals the show. Well, even he is not that great, just the most entertaining character “Daredevil” offers. His Irish brogue (it’s real!) and glimmering eyes make him easy to watch, though he was better in “Minority Report.”
As Murdock’s partner, Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, Jon Favreau (“Swingers”) also adds a touch of entertainment to the otherwise not-so-entertaining film.
If Affleck will stop making movies where he is nothing more than a dashing brute of a man, he may eventually show himself to be worthy of a quality film. His acting has hinted at the possibility of existing talent; one can only hope it may come to fruition. Garner needs to learn to show believable emotion before she makes another movie, and Duncan, well, Duncan could do better than this second-rate action movie. Even if the writing were not so terrible, this reviewer highly doubts that “Daredevil” could ever be considered a good movie by anyone of discriminating taste.
Here’s some advice: Download some movie posters if you must drool over the great bodies of Affleck and Garner, but do not waste your money actually watching “Daredevil.”