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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 Rob Gonsalves

"Not particularly daring, but acceptable."
3 stars

For a while there in the '80s, Frank Miller halfway legitimized men in tights. His magnum opus was 1986's famous 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns,' but the work that first got him noticed was his run on 'Daredevil.'

Bringing his obsession with ninjas and film noir street grit to the blind hero -- noble lawyer Matt Murdock by day, crusading avenger Daredevil by night -- Miller set the bar higher for flawed, human comic-book heroes. Among the fans of Miller's run was Mark Steven Johnson, who has now presented his very own movie version. The result is a little like a novelization of a damn good movie: Miller's comics were more cinematic than this piece of Daredevil cinema.

Blinded by toxic chemicals as a boy, Matt developed hyperactive senses to compensate: he can smell the perfume of a woman from fifty feet away through a wall, he can tell if you're lying by listening to your heartbeat (an asset in court). This hero's journey begins as so many other heroes' journeys do, with the death of the father (David Keith, who gives Matt's broken-down boxer dad some rumpled pathos). Somewhere along the line, Matt — played as an adult by Ben Affleck — fashions himself a fabulous red leather outfit and becomes Daredevil, beating the tar out of criminals that the law can't touch. Johnson does a serviceable job of piling this and much more exposition into the movie, though it doesn't leave room for much else.

Matt's (and Daredevil's) emotional downfall comes in the shape of Jennifer Garner, as Elektra, a Greek ambassador's daughter intimate with martial arts and ninja weaponry. They don't make a terribly electric pair here; Affleck gives a pained and conflicted performance -- and you can take "pained" literally; Matt munches Percocets and other painkillers after a hard night on the town -- but Garner is athletic and robust, a bouncy jock girl, where she needs to be sullen and exotic. The let's-capitalize-on-Alias casting is a mistake.

If anyone emerges from Daredevil as a sex symbol, it won't be the latex-clad Affleck or Garner -- it's more likely to be Colin Farrell as Bullseye, a loose-cannon Irish assassin hired by the city's crime lord the Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan, doing more of his jocular basso-profundo thing) to bump off Elektra. Throwing his arms out in an arrogant worship-me pose, Farrell's Bullseye is always playing to a wildly appreciative audience in his head. Watching him, I was struck anew by the thought that the villains in Hollywood movies know themselves far better than the heroes know themselves; not sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, Bullseye is free to run amok with implements ranging from a paper clip to a peanut, and Farrell gives a large-scale performance in what's really, in terms of screen time, a tiny supporting role.

Daredevil has some of the same problems as 2002's lighter-than-air Spider-Man. In both, CGI figures do most of the hoofing, and you can see why in one unfortunate shot of Ben Affleck attempting to run in his head-to-toe leather. If Daredevil is a man without fear, Johnson is sometimes a director without shame: It's been a very long time since I last saw the camera pan away from lovers to a roaring fireplace. Yet Johnson adds some fine touches: Matt sleeping in a sensory-deprivation tank; raindrops dappling Elektra's skin so that Matt, with his super-auditory "radar" sense, can "see" her. The first living thing we see onscreen is a rat, making it clear that this isn't the well-scrubbed Manhattan that Peter Parker swung through. Whenever possible, Johnson sticks close to Frank Miller's hard-boiled tone, and he stages a key confrontation between Bullseye and Elektra that's note-for-note out of the pages of Miller.

I enjoyed Daredevil while it lasted, but except for Farrell and some amusing bits from Jon Favreau as Matt's portly legal partner Foggy Nelson, very little of it has stayed with me. The fights are your standard quick-cut unscannable fare -- God forbid we should see how exactly Affleck or Garner manage to raise their legs more than two inches off the ground in their crinkly latex -- and the last half of the movie seems to be devoted to them. Also, I wasn't aware that having augmented senses of smell and hearing enables you to dive hundreds of feet down the side of a building and then land on an iron balcony without causing your legs to telescope into your stomach.

These comic-book movies forget that we'll buy things in comic books that we can't buy in live action. A movie that has the wherewithal to show Matt popping Demerols should also at least gesture in the general direction of the laws of physics.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=7012&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/11/07 23:50:11
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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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