Daredevil (6/10 Rating)
Released February 14, 2003
Streaming on HBO Max. For rent/purchase on all major platforms.
Genre: Action, Crime
Rated PG-13: Action/Violence and Some Sensuality
A pre-MCU take on “The Man Without Fear,” Daredevil came out less than a year after the very successful Spider-Man. It is a darker film, edited down from an initial R rating about a blind lawyer that trains to become a vigilante in Hell’s Kitchen. A toxic waste accident blinds him at a young age, while providing his remaining sense with enhancements and superhuman abilities. This movie gets a lot of hate. I dare say, it is not as bad as you remember. It certainly has some weak spots and according to many reviews, the Director’s Cut is a much better film. I plan to check that out, but this review focuses on the theatrical release. Daredevil stars Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock aka “Daredevil.” Affleck is good in this role, and you can see how he would come to play Batman years later. The supporting cast is not as good, however. In fact, Jennifer Garner would go on to reprise her role in the spin-off Elektra two years later, which in my opinion is responsible for leaving viewers with a bad memory of Daredevil. It is easy to lump the two movies into one memory, but Daredevil is a far better, more competent movie. It is not great. The music is terrible and reminiscent of the early 2000s. Some of the dialogue is too cheesy for the dark tone, and there is just a lot that does not work. I was surprised to see Jon Favreau, later responsible for kicking off the MCU. Colin Farrell is just fine as the villain and Michael Clarke Duncan certainly has the look for Kingpin, but does not really deliver anything special. We do get a Stan Lee cameo, some decent fight scenes, and overall, well done darker comic style. It is worth a rewatch, but your time might be better spent watching the Charlie Cox series on Disney+ (formerly created for Netflix), which is soon to be continued as an eighteen-part limited series called Daredevil: Born Again.
Also check out: Poolhall Junkies (5/10), Dark Blue (6/10), Gods and Generals (5/10), Old School (8/10), The Life of David Gale (8/10), Cradle 2 the Grave (6/10) (follow @jlucia85 for these reviews and more)