Daredevil (2003)

jlWqDgyNow, first of all, I am a fan boy, for the record; and I love the Daredevil comic books; so when this came out in the theatres, I was foaming at the mouth. Daredevil is not a household name like Spider-Man or Superman, so it’s a challenge trying to make this appeal to a wide audience. Many people compare this to spider-man, and in a lot of ways, the marketing and advertising is almost identical, but it’s unfair to compare the two. Spider-man is a light fun action-packed romp, while Daredevil is more deep, complex, and incredible. I was rather upset at the casting choices for each of the characters, but I decided to give it a chance. I was breath taken by this movie. Ben Affleck is incredible as Matt Murdock. I’ll admit, I didn’t think he would do good to the role, but he was able to pull it off without flaw. Ben Affleck is great as the humble and often cold Matt Murdock.

This is a hard role, because Ben cannot use his eyes to charm people, so he must rely on other body movements and such. I was amazed at how Ben Affleck was able to be a charming Lawyer and switch to the cold dark hero named Daredevil with such finesse. Daredevil, unlike Spider-Man, is a dark hero who is constantly conflicted by his personal demons. He hates being the masked superhero, but it is a necessary evil he must ensue night by night. He has his home as his lair where he stores his costumes and weapons and sleeps in a Sense deprivation chamber to better hone his abilities. At one point, he stands in his shower, picking his teeth from his mouth from a brutal fight. This gave daredevil, the persona, a very human feel as we see he suffers from the battle wounds, yet he continues the war.

Matt is a character who is constantly haunted by his memories and often isolates the people he cares for. The costume is dark and cold striking fear into the hearts of all criminals. Elektra is very well played by Jennifer Garner who has experience in martial-arts from her hit television show Alias and she pulls the character in the movie off without flaw, as well. She and Affleck have excellent chemistry together, and they constantly challenge each other. Colin Farrell is electric as Bullseye, the assassin with sharp reflexes. In the comic books, he’s a cold manipulative psychotic master assassin, in here he is a tough Irish brawler who is also psychotic. Colin Farrell pulls his character off well, and makes him a force to be reckoned with. Michael Clarke Duncan is phenomenal as the Kingpin, constantly standing aside and letting his minions do battle as he orchestrates everything in the shadows, I thought he was very intimidating and pulled his character off well.

John Favreau and Joe Pantoliano are excellent supporting characters, constantly helping the movie move along, each conveying their own presence. The movie isn’t entirely faithful to the comic book, which I forgive, including the major changes in costumes and characters. I didn’t mind they altering Daredevil’s costume, nor did I mind them making the Kingpin, a white character in the comics, into an African-American. Mark Steven Johnson’s directing is unbelievable as he displays New York City once again as a huge war zone with many interloping skyscrapers which Daredevil uses on the prowl. The camera angles are fast, intense, and very dark, conveying true skill with a noir-ish yet futuristic feel. The movie’s plotline is basically an introduction into the dark mind of this superhero who must fight justice as a vigilante whether he likes it or not. Lo and behold, this is a superior movie.

Unfortunately, there are some aspects of the movie I didn’t like. First off, in the comic books, Matt the boy learns how to fight by a fellow mysterious blind warrior named Stick who helps him to master his abilities, yet he is never featured. Michael Clarke Duncan is underused in this movie, rarely making any appearances, but it’s powerful when he does. Colin Farrell is a bit over the top as Bullseye, making him comical at times, with his flinching and growling. But, of course, I’m just nitpicking. The characters are deep, the special-effects are great, and the plot is very much complex. Give it a shot, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s one of the great adaptations courtesy of Marvel.