Nerdy Matt Murdock went blind the day he saw his father rough up a man in Hell’s Kitchen. It was also report card day, which explains why the prepubescent lad eagerly looks for his dad in dingy alleyways. As he runs toward the tank of hazardous waste that will eventually splatter all over his face, his report card falls to the floor: straight A’s (don’t that beat all?!). Flash forward Stigmata-style to the present: Matt (a.k.a. Daredevil) sticks up for the underdog dressed in red leather, meets-cute with the chick from “Alias” at a coffee joint, and saves New York City from Wilson Fisk (Michael Clarke Duncan) and his goon Bullseye (an insufferable Colin Farell, even by the standards Tim Roth set in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes), a man who’s clearly never heard of the term “figuratively speaking.” It’s easy to spot everything wrong with Daredevil: a dopey-looking Ben Affleck trying to fit into an even dopier leather suit; love scenes seemingly modeled after a Showtime porn-of-the-week; the running commentary Daredevil provides throughout the film, which consists mostly of ham-fisted sentiments like “In someway, I’m still waiting”; and overblown imagery (water, roses, gargoyles) seemingly left over from Guns N’ Roses’s “November Rain” video. Harder to explain is why a bar patron dares to crack an Irish joke at Bullseye’s expense after the ghoul successfully, um, hits the bullseye a half dozen times during a solo game of darts. Another literal-minded head-stumper features Bullseye and Daredevil working their way to the top of a Church’s belfry. Forget the atrocious special effects, when the bats come flying from all corners you can imagine director Mark Steven Johnson tickled pink after having to cue the “bats in the belfry.” Daredevil is ugly, scattershot, humorless and completely without grace—Spider-Man this ain’t! I’ve seen better music videos on MTV.
- Mark Steven Johnson
- Mark Steven Johnson
- Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jon Favreau, Joe Pantoliano, David Keith
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