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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.22%
Worth A Look: 17.33%
Just Average: 18.67%
Pretty Crappy: 23.11%

12 reviews, 153 user ratings

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by Paulapalooza

"Uneven tone, uneven film"
3 stars

I’ve heard that this little baby was greenlit for the sum of 50 million dollars, but after the success of the OTHER Marvel Comics inspired super-hero flick, SPIDER-MAN, Fox execs decided to throw an extra 30 mil at writer/director Mark Steven Johnson to spruce up DAREDEVIL with effects shots and more wire-fu and the like.

I actually think they might have made a better film for 50 million.

The comic book character Daredevil began as another gimmicky super-hero in the Stan Lee glory days at Marvel Comics. He was a kid, Matt Murdock, who lost his sight saving a man from a speeding truck, only the truck was carrying radioactive material, and exposure to the gunk robbed Matt of his sight and enhanced his other senses. It was a cool gimmick, a blind super-hero with a secret identity as a lawyer, and years later, when writer Frank Miller took over the book, he layered that skeleton with large doses of Catholic guilt, pulp mystical and martial arts tics, and street-level grittiness, turning Daredevil into one of the most compelling monthly comic reads of all time. Miller moved on and several writers have tried their hand at the character (Ann Nocenti did a pretty good run on the book, and Kevin Smith did an eight issue arc), but the book is in the best shape since the Miller days, month in and month out, with current writer Brian Michael Bendis, who is putting his own hard-boiled crime spin on Hornhead.

This is the creative backstory and the contemporary creative environment in which the DAREDEVIL film is being released, and it pays greatest hits homage more than anything else to the Miller run of the book, which introduced DD love interest and cold-blooded assassin Elektra Natchios. Elektra’s been softened up and played light by Jennifer Garner, who shows true star power in an underwritten role that should have probably gone to another actress. Ben Affleck’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil is a tortured soul, haunted by the death of his father (homeboy David Keith) and determined to bring down the scum he can’t convict on his day job.

The real problem with the film is that we get a lot of TALK about this grief, but it’s never really sold to the audience between the hyper-kinetic, overedited action sequences and the often clumsy melodrama. Therefore, the Murdock and Elektra characters never really gel, and the drama that should result from their pains never reaches a ripe fruition. Rather than exhibiting true chemistry, Affleck and Garner seem mannered and stiff around each other, and their every moment seems to say “These could be great moments if this were an R-rated film, but it’s PG-13, so let’s play it close to the vest.” Remember, BLADE threw out the notion that a comic book film should play to the kiddies first and foremost, and with the weighty themes that SHOULD be in a DD flick, it perhaps should have shot for that adult cachet. The coolest character bits, Murdock sleeping in a sensory deprivation chamber to keep his enhanced senses from making him loopy, and Matt pulling teeth and coming down on pain meds after a brutal night out, just don’t do enough to make up for the lightly sketched character arc that he goes through.

Two guys who are in another movie entirely are Michael Clark Duncan as The Kingpin, and, as Bullseye, Colin Farrell. Duncan’s Kingpin barely registers, which is strictly the fault of the screenplay. He poses, chomps on some cigars, and passes out “menacing” red roses. The Kingpin’s final confrontation with Daredevil is the definition of anti-climactic. Farrell, however, owns this movie (as an aside, don’t leave when the credits start rolling…Bullseye isn’t yet done). He chews up entire city blocks as he acts, but it’s exactly the adrenaline shot of character this film needs to avoid thematic ponderousness. He strengthens and heightens the actors around him in every scene he’s in, and when he’s dispatched as bad guys are in comic book movies, you know the real meat of the story is over.

Honorable mentions should also go to Jon Favreau as “Foggy” Nelson, Matt’s law partner. Favreau is game for the requisite back and forth patter and comic relief schtick that are required by law in major studio films with this budget. Joey Pants as reporter Ben Urich is just frickin’ wasted, and that’s a damn shame. Pantoliano’s recent turn as gangster Ralph Cifaretto has me as high as I’ve ever been for the actor, but he’s nothing more than an afterthought in DAREDEVIL.

As I was saying, 80 million is too much. If you don’t have the crutch of CGI effects and extended fighting sequences, you have to sell the film on character and story, and DAREDEVIL just isn’t quite there despite a wealth of source material. Word of advice to the overmatched Johnson…do the sequel for the 50 mil and make it street and sweaty…a little more NARC, a little less SPIDER-MAN. That’s how the character works best.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=7012&reviewer=21
originally posted: 02/14/03 05:17:48
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell lame superhero flick 1 stars
3/28/16 Aj wales Movie is uneven but not a bad movie. Feels like a tv pilot though. 4 stars
5/20/11 Dr.Lao The fight sequences are straight out of "The Matirx" (and that's NOT a good thing) 3 stars
1/16/10 Pegleg I liked this movie, but i felt it was too short. 4 stars
7/05/09 JM Synth Director's cut reveals a solid movie, marred by overly-broad comedy and awful sountrack 3 stars
8/26/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting storyline. 4 stars
7/22/07 johnnyfog Actually, the parts with Elektra were garbage. Not QUITE enough action. 4 stars
7/16/07 MaDmAN Jennifer Garner was the only good thing in this movie 2 stars
4/22/07 David Risser One of the best action movies I've seen! 5 stars
3/19/07 dude it was okay 3 stars
2/16/07 AJ Muller Better than you'd think; dark, exciting, and asskicking. And Garner is HOT. 4 stars
2/09/07 Donald Martwick Directors cut=Awesome 5 stars
2/08/07 Andre urbani biggest pile of shit i've ever seen 1 stars
1/12/07 del Instantly forgettable. 2 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini were they dancing or fighting? 2 stars
12/25/06 johnnyfog Only liked the last scene with DD & Kindpin. And what's his weakness, NOISE?! ..LAME 2 stars
12/04/06 Stanley Thai An "above average" superhero film. One of the best SH films. 4 stars
5/23/06 Josh Standlee This movie fucking rules! What are you people talking about?! 5 stars
5/19/06 Kcaj Bestest action and great effects with lot's inside. What the hell is wrong with this movie 5 stars
5/18/06 drydock54321 love it 5 stars
3/27/06 Brian Meyer "I WANT A BLOODY COSTUME" endulge the man. Save the sequel. 2 words: Frank Miller! 4 stars
1/10/06 Michael Not Much There ... Passes the time, not much else 1 stars
8/24/05 Anthony G bend assflack sucks the shit out of this movie. 1 stars
8/12/05 ES Finally a movie that connects to how many of my romances began= with a bad fight scene 2 stars
7/22/05 Duffyboy666 Starts with a bang, but finishes with a whimper. 3 stars
7/20/05 Chris What a waste of money! 1 stars
6/10/05 Rock-Steady A fucking riot! non stop laughter...... 1 stars
12/12/04 sbpat21 not very good at all 2 stars
11/15/04 Dunce One of the funniest things I've ever seen. Oh wait… 1 stars
10/30/04 Kris best part was jennifer garner 2 stars
8/22/04 Tyrantis Daredevil is only a hero to blind people, and that's only because they can't see him. 1 stars
8/11/04 McGraw Pointless, poorly made hero flick. Throw it away. 1 stars
8/01/04 Anthony G garner is hot, ben affleck fucks matt damon, this movie sucks ballc like ben 1 stars
7/24/04 Daveman Too downbeat, plodding and humourless to be really worth going back to. 2 stars
5/26/04 Jim Tiger Sad CGI characters and bad "flying samuria" choreographing were like FULLface slaps 3 stars
5/12/04 Yasu Lacks everything. Unoriginal, same old same old. 2 stars
5/12/04 Whatevr A 1 million megaton bomb 1 stars
4/19/04 ALI HBOUS could have been much better 2 stars
4/17/04 HorrorScribbler Affleck bland, Farrell over the top, Garner hot, script mediocre. Spider-Man it ain't. 3 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 i dont get the hate its one of my favorite spandex movies 5 stars
3/20/04 Dummer Congraturation,winner of Rhapsberry,Ben. 1 stars
3/18/04 Belenda W. Extremely disappointing. Didn't care much for the dark nature of the superhero. 2 stars
2/29/04 Samuel This shit sucks 1 stars
2/27/04 Sir Spam-a-Lot anyone afraid of pointy things should stay away 2 stars
2/19/04 DM Kevin Smith would have been a better Daredevil 1 stars
2/14/04 Kate Tell me, how does a blind man see enough to have sex? 2 stars
2/08/04 Whatevr Took one year off my life 1 stars
1/25/04 American Slasher Goddess Silly and bland. 1 stars
1/11/04 The Ramuh Justice is bland. 2 stars
1/05/04 I Would Oh no! NO! This is wrong, this is all wrong! 1 stars
12/21/03 john how not to do a super hero movie 1 stars
12/16/03 tatum Good direction, but this superhero stuff is getting moldy 4 stars
11/29/03 john very very bad 1 stars
11/11/03 Andrew Miller It was good, but could stand for some help 4 stars
10/28/03 my name this was possibly the worst movie ever!!! 1 stars
10/18/03 Don Spider-man beats Daredevil anyday. 3 stars
10/16/03 Josh Standlee Daredevil could kick Spider-Man's ass! 5 stars
10/15/03 B. Fresh This had pretty bad acting editing fx and story. worst comic movei out now 2 stars
10/03/03 Stewart Sinclair The horrible performances are only overshadowed by an incredibly bad script. 1 stars
9/24/03 Ingo Popcorn cinema, but I won't buy the DVD. 3 stars
9/23/03 JesseL For this genre, very good. The kids loved it. 4 stars
9/21/03 Jacques nothing like the comics, a screw up but still okay. 3 stars
9/19/03 IAN GOOD FLICK 5 stars
9/18/03 Noacat Ben Affleck is evil and souless. He must be stopped before he kills again. 1 stars
9/17/03 Samuel Justus The best Comic Book-Movie i've ever seen!! 5 stars
9/15/03 bobby da squid Bad script with horrific editing; music picked by a 15-year-old boy 2 stars
8/27/03 anna So close to greatness.... and fails in the final editing. 2 stars
8/27/03 Chris It's dark and gritty tone make it mean spirted and too seroius. A horrible ending. 2 stars
8/25/03 Tim Keeley As a Daredevil fan for nearly 7 years now, I gave it a B to a B+ 5 stars
8/25/03 Laurian Diaconescu Finally a movie without ridiculous characters. Best Marvel movie so far. 5 stars
8/02/03 Brodieman Not Spiderman, but a worthy comic flick none the less. 4 stars
7/31/03 Walter Horrible Script, Horrible Acting, Horrible Movie 1 stars
7/30/03 Daddy Plaid Anything MARVEL gets my vote! 4 stars
7/14/03 Gary This is total garbage 1 stars
7/12/03 nick g its stank like hell 1 stars
7/09/03 Niko Ben Affleck is a talentless piece of sh@*t 1 stars
6/22/03 Johnny Affleck cant act. Things just happen in this film. Stupid wannabe Batman waste of time. 1 stars
6/21/03 Alex Prue An Amazing superhero movie with awsome action and story. 5 stars
6/21/03 Ashley An xcellent movie 5 stars
6/08/03 Christian Harding DareDevil Rules! Whoever didn't like It must be nuts (not that they are). It's really good 4 stars
5/15/03 The Lurchprong Splitter Beyond loathesome and depraved. "Heroes" were worst villains most of way through. 1 stars
5/04/03 Stick with Spidy and X-Men. Now, let's hope they don't f**k Punisher.. out of the whole Marvel universe, WHY DAREDEVIL?? He's a 2nd-rate hero. 1 stars
4/24/03 GWhooya Spider-man followed the comics more accurately. This one was more silly, Laurian. 3 stars
4/24/03 Bill ben affleck sucks ass. Wtf with garner's eyes? I was rooting for kingpin and bullseye 1 stars
4/23/03 GWB great flick 5 stars
4/10/03 ZIP Love at first fight with super blind man vs. nature girl. 1 stars
4/08/03 Laurian Finally a decent comic book adaptation! Much better than Spider-Man! No silly villains.Cool 5 stars
3/31/03 thomas whiteside i really liked it ,but it wasn't the best movie i've ever seen 4 stars
3/30/03 spacecowboy i wasn't particularly impressed 'a la spiderman' 3 stars
3/30/03 sfghghfghg What the hell were they thinking? Ben afflek sucks? 1 stars
3/29/03 J.J okay I even lliked this more than attack of the clones 4 stars
3/25/03 Spiderfan729 Some compare it to Spiderman but I compare it too Batman; Dark, Brooding, and Entertaining! 5 stars
3/23/03 adele the callings song is beautiful. 3 stars
3/20/03 Darren This was complete CRAP !!! 1 stars
3/19/03 Cameron Slick Passable entertainment even if it is a little derivative. 4 stars
3/18/03 rue the whirl i'm $8 poorer and horny for horse-faced women 1 stars
3/18/03 Gracy Lionheart This movie is gritty? HAH!!! This movie is all style and no substance. 2 stars
3/13/03 bullseye max-you shouldn't offer your opinion...ever. daredevil hits the BULLSEYE!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/11/03 Max absolutely stupid... Ben can't act. 1 stars
3/05/03 Jay Pretty cool! 5 stars
3/04/03 bullseye clint,-or is it clit?- you suck tubesteak. DAREDEVIL is king!! '' bullseye!!!! '' 5 stars
3/03/03 Clint I have to say this is the worst movie I've ever seen. 1 stars
3/01/03 !! A GREAT FILM 5 stars
3/01/03 Me You Americans are gay and so are your movies...go visit the WTC 1 stars
2/27/03 G Worst Movie EVER! 1 stars
2/27/03 Uncle Salty I would have been better if it was performed with muppets. 1 stars
2/25/03 Mortis Better than I expected. A good transtition from comic book to movie. 4 stars
2/25/03 Daniel Dark, edgy, exciting with a good plot and a likable hero. 5 stars
2/23/03 bullseye loved it-the grit of the 1st 'batman',flair of 'spider-man',and the action of 'blade'. 5 stars
2/23/03 Titus Not great, but worth a matinee price admission for Colin Ferrell's performance + a few gags 4 stars
2/22/03 RAFMAL1 This movie had potential, and anyone with any talent would see that. It sucked as is. 2 stars
2/21/03 bob leather jacket Yawn...had it not been for Affleck, Garner, or Farrell...I would have fallen asleep 3 stars
2/21/03 Swirlyrainbow Better than i thought it would be 4 stars
2/21/03 jean azucena ben affleck is too dull to be a superhero. He should stick to army roles. 2 stars
2/21/03 TJ Combo not better than Spider-man but stil good. 4 stars
2/20/03 TheBomb69 very average 3 stars
2/20/03 malcolm as good as Spiderman,Duncan was the weakest of the film 5 stars
2/20/03 Johnny DustDevil. Makes one wish he/she was blind like the Devil. 1 stars
2/20/03 the Knave A satisfying and sometimes gripping adventure (even at full price). Loved the 'in' jokes! 4 stars
2/19/03 veddermatic If you have no clue about the comics, it *may* not sucks, but goddamn did this movie blow. 1 stars
2/19/03 luvs184 a lot better than i expected, ben affleck does a pretty good job here. 5 stars
2/18/03 Public Opinion A movie this bad hasn't been released since Tomb Raider 2 stars
2/18/03 You people liked Spiderman, fer chrissakes! Another very lame adaptation of a Marvel comic. Only Farrel and Duncan don't suck in this. 1 stars
2/18/03 Mikek If you love the comic book, you'll love this movie. 5 stars
2/18/03 Kirk This is by far my favorite adaptation of a mainstream comics character. 5 stars
2/18/03 Mister Bigglesworth Too bad Matt Murdock is blind. No, wait, otherwise he would see this pile of shit! 2 stars
2/18/03 George Jung Not bad, but not too fucking good either. 3 stars
2/18/03 Jeff If Jennifer Garner wasn't hot as hell, I wouldn't have made it thought this crappy movie. 1 stars
2/18/03 Roy Smith CGI looked like shit, and Bullseye was the only highpoint. 3 stars
2/18/03 strider3700 Way to much trying to be spiderman 3 stars
2/17/03 Mk Not better than Spider-Man but still good. 4 stars
2/17/03 spaceworm You'd be better off in a sensory deprivation tank... 2 stars
2/17/03 aly wane Best film adaptation of a comic book since the original Batman. 5 stars
2/17/03 Uncle Salty What a waste, such a mess. Lame character, horrible acting. Forget it. 1 stars
2/17/03 Symbiote Quite surprised it didn't suck. It was fun. 4 stars
2/17/03 nick2k too much heartfelt crap...needed more doses of reality (ala bullseye). fuck you, affleck. 3 stars
2/16/03 Bob Jones Not bad at matinee price 4 stars
2/16/03 Jean Allen no story, horrible acting, misused cgi, don't waste your money 1 stars
2/16/03 Darren Shea CG is bad, and Affleck is bland, but otherwise decent. Nice comic book in-jokes. 4 stars
2/16/03 Dev Ben Asslick sucks. Daredevil is better as a comic book. 1 stars
2/16/03 Pat Ben Affleck is the DEVIL! He couldn't act his way out of his red leather suite! 1 stars
2/16/03 OgamiKoto Over the top while remaining human, Tons of comic book fun. Best adap. since LWAC 5 stars
2/16/03 Lara A predictable wad of garbage. I hate you Ben Affleck, and I hope J-Lo deprives you of sex. 2 stars
2/16/03 KingNeutron Movie rocked. Kevin Smith is the undertaker. See it. 4 stars
2/15/03 Deano Great first movie to set the stage for sequels 5 stars
2/15/03 whatever this movie kicked major ass. garner is hot 5 stars
2/15/03 savagegiraffe you losers! anyone who even kinda liked this movie is a moron. the comic was rad though.... 2 stars
2/15/03 syrius indeed, not enough garner at all 2 stars
2/15/03 FrayLo Knew nothing about it and enjoyed it. Garner's boobs deserve their own movie, btw 4 stars
2/15/03 Shaun Uneven, not enough Garner, Affleck is not a good superhero 2 stars
2/15/03 Vicious as good as spiderman 5 stars
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  14-Feb-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Nov-2004



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