MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:43 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Joe Pantoliano
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: 2003
Kiddie Movie: Not too young.
Date Movie: Only if she has the hots for Ben.
Gratuitous Sex: There is a scene, but we still don’t get to see Jennifer Garner’s boobies.
Gratuitous Violence: People die in bad ways.
Action: People get chased in bad ways.
Laughs: Mostly lines from Bullseye.
Memorable Scene: Nothings stands out.
Memorable Quote: Bullseye: “I never miss.”
Directed By: Mark Steven Johnson

Growing up I was a fan of comic book heroes, but only if they were TV stars. I wasn’t a reader, I was a watcher, and although he might have had a cartoon on TV, I don’t remember Daredevil. Pretty much if you weren’t a part of the Justice League of America, I don’t remember you. And so it is for me with the Daredevil character. I really didn’t know anything about him other than listening to Howard Stern talk about him, so going into the movie all I really knew was that Daredevil was a blind dude whose other senses became enhanced to make him capable of being a superhero. The baseline for the story sounded fine, kinda like a Batman only blind, but when it was announced that Ben Affleck was picked to play Daredevil I began to get skeptical. I saw Ben Affleck as able to play the blind lawyer part well, but there is just something about him that didn’t seem to fit the part of the dark-sided superhero, and for me, I was pretty much right, that and the fact that the movie as a whole was pretty much crap.

Here’s the basic run-down of the movie. We get introduced to Daredevil, collapsing in a church, seemingly injured to the point of no return, or at least a long recovery back. It’s now flashback time and we get introduced into the psychological making of Daredevil, and as usual it has to do with a childhood tragedy – in this case young Matt Murdock finds his father murdered after just winning his boxing match, a victim of the bad guys who wanted Dad Murdock to take a dive. And so young Matt vows to fight crime and has a problem loving women.

Let’s come to the present day, and as Matt goes about representing the less fortunate victims in court by day, by night he plays justice seeker for those who, well, pretty much can hire lawyers better than he is. Meanwhile he is finding a deep underworld, controlled by Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan), and sets it upon himself to take out the bad guys. As the story goes he finds a girl, in this case Elektra (Jennifer Garner), who kicks as much ass as he can, and Matt is now in love. As his luck would have it, Elektra’s dad gets set up, a hit put on him by Kingpin, a hit to be carried out by Bullseye (Colin Faffell), and when Daredevil tries to save the day, Bullseye carries out the dirty deed in such a way that Elektra thinks Daredevil killed her dad. Alright, enough of the crap about the story, it’s pretty much cookie-cutter, you can figure out most everything that is going to happen, and mostly every episode of the story gets dragged out so you just wait for the next scene to come. It is this, and the fact that I didn’t really buy Affleck in the superhero mode, that made me anxiously await the ending I figured was going to take place. And, oh yea, for most of the movie Daredevil had this entire ritual to heal himself, in a human sort of way, but at the end, without any explanation, he miraculously overcomes a through-the-shoulder, life-threatening puncture wound as if it never occurred.

There was a reason the first two installments of “Batman” worked, and that was pretty much Michael Keaton. Christopher Reeve was a great Superman, and lately it was Toby McGuire playing a near-perfect Spider-Man. Why did these movies work? Because the lead character was someone who fit both roles. You could believe Keaton as an eccentric millionaire and a slightly devilish Batman; Reeve was great as the clumsy Clark Kent, but not so over-the-top Superman; and McGuire had the perfect boy-ish charm for Spider-Man. Sadly Affleck failed on the superhero side, the side that is probably more important if we want to believe the everyday person can be a superhero. As far as the rest of the crew, Michael Clarke Duncan could have been a better bad guy if they only would have let him; Garner is hot, kicks some major ass, but gets trapped in a predictable role looking to avenge her father’s death; and the only saving graces are Joe Pantoliano as the inquisitive reporter, Ben Urich, looking to figure our the Daredevil story, and saving every scene he was in, Farrell was great as Bullseye, making him a totally over-the-top bad guy, much the way a comic book bad guy should be.

I’m not sure who would have been a better fit for Daredevil, and even if there were someone, I don’t know if they could have saved the movie anyway. Like Batman, Daredevil seems to be more of a dark character and that’s fine, but Daredevil seems to be too confused with whether what he is doing is right or wrong (hence the scenes of him seeking advice from a priest) rather than just realizing that there are bad guys in this world and he has been given a gift to save the people from those bad guys.

In the world of superhero movies I thought Daredevil failed. It wasn’t that you look for something new because you know the underlying story, that the superhero can’t really love someone, that they will get the bad guy, and that there will always be an opening for a sequel, but you just want it to be action-filled, you want a great villain (Bullseye was great in this one but Duncan wasn’t given the chance), and you want to leave rooting for the good guys. In Daredevil I was almost sad when Bullseye fell out of the window, he was the only thing fun about the movie adventure. Sadly it’s 1 ½ stars out of 5 for “Daredevil.” Wait for the rental, wait for cable, or maybe a matinee. It didn’t come across as a movie that you really needed to see on the big screen.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!