Daredevil (2003)

“He may be blind, but he can still see evil.” Maybe one, of the 100 cheesy blind references this film makes.

Attorney Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) is blind, but his other four senses function with superhuman sharpness. By day, Murdock represents the downtrodden. At night, he is DareDevil, a masked vigilante stalking the dark streets of the city, a relentless avenger of justice.

Ever since ‘Spider-Man’ came out in 2002, it seemed like the superhero genre had taken off with almost every superhero known to man either getting a film, or in discussions for a film. However, I don’t really think that choosing a blind dude as your next big block-buster was the best idea.

Writer/director Mark Steven Johnson did a pretty good job here with keeping to the whole dark and gritty atmosphere. Right from the beginning, you know that everything is going to be pretty glum and depressing, which is always different to get with a superhero flick and it’s nice to actually see him stay close to that mood rather than trying to lighten it up all that much. The action scenes he has here are also a lot of fun and bring a great deal of eclectic energy to the film when it probably needed it the most. Yes, the are a little confusing to watch with way too many fast-cuts, but they still were fun to watch and really what kept me watching in the end.

The problem with this flick is that when its not sticking to its mood and the action itself, the film starts to get a little goofy and not in a good way. The film does take itself seriously so when you have these people that are moving, jumping, and swaying around a place like they were trained acrobats, it starts to seem a little unbelievable and cartoonish in a way. I mean I get that superheros are obviously a lot more trained when it comes to moving around than the average human but there’s only so much that I can believe and actually take seriously. Still, this is just one of the problems with the script.

Another problem with this script was that it obviously just seems a little too cheesy and poorly-written for my taste. I wasn’t going into this film really expecting a Shakespearean-like experience when it came to these characters speaking but I still would have definitely like to hear a lot less blind references and more focus on the actual plot itself. The lines, as well as the moments themselves, can get pretty cheesy after awhile but where it really bothered me was the romance between Elektra and Daredevil. They obviously have this fire between them that just strikes up sex, but the story never really allowed them to take that route with all of these melodramatic sequences where he would be able to finally see her through the rain. Lame.

This is what also lead into one of my main problems with this flick and that was it’s rating. The film is obviously a lot darker and grittier than a lot of other superhero flicks I have seen as of late but it still had to go for that PG-13 rating to interest all audiences, which is where I think the film itself messed up on. The violence definitely could have been a lot more dirtier and violent and the sexual tension between Daredevil and Elektra should have been so hot, that it would even have me poppin’ a b. I know that there is a version of this film out there that’s unrated, but I just think the film should have been R-rated from the start and at least take a shot at being a more grownup kind of superhero flick.

Ben Affleck bulked up very well for this role as Daredevil and he’s actually pretty good. He seems like a pretty simple, nice, and everyday dude that just so happens to be blind and still have the ability to knock the hell out of mafia members in a bar. Affleck did this character a lot better than I expected and it’s a shame that he may never do this character again because with a better script, he could have done wonders really. Jennifer Garner is ok as Elektra because she does what she can with this role, and the chemistry between her and Affleck was good (so good, that they now are married), it’s just that she gets some pretty crappy writing by the end of the flick and she’s not really the best actress to cover it all up anyway.

Michael Clarke Duncan is menacing and scary as Kingpin and he just feels like one of those villains that’s so mentally and physically powerful, that no matter what happens to him, he always comes out on top. Colin Farrell is also fine as Bullseye because he’s also a victim of some pretty bad writing as well even though he’s definitely an actor that is able to cover it up a lot better than Garner. Sorry Ben, please don’t kick my ass.

Consensus: Daredevil has a dark and gritty tone to go along with it and action scenes that contain plenty of energy, but the script is written too poorly to be any different from any of the other superhero flicks, except the fact that the superhero himself is a blind dude. I also think that this is one of the very rare, superhero stories that could have at least benefited from an R-rating.



  1. I like this movie, I would definitely give it a much higher score than you did… I don’t believe an R rating would have helped it all that much. If you think the script is stupid, then an R rating won’t make the script any better. But that’s just what I think.

  2. I agree that this should have been an “R” film to allow them to tell the story from the comics that it was based on. The studio is actually the one who ruined some of the movie. After the success of Spider-Man, they ordered a lot more special effects scenes of Daredevil swinging around the city to be added to the already completed film. Apparently they figured this was what made Spider-Man so popular, as opposed to the story.

    They spents tens of millions of dollars adding these scenes – and these are the most ridiculous ones in the film. They’ve got Daredevil – a person with no special strength or invulverability – doing things that would kill Spider-Man. He leaps hundreds of feet, drops many stories with no problem, etc. Even before I learned these scenes had been added afterwards I already felt like they didn’t go with the rest of the movie.

  3. I liked this film, but it certainly wasn’t without its flaws, like you say. Michael Clarke Duncan is certainly the high point of the film for me.

    Supposedly the director’s cut is a considerably better version of the film, but I haven’t had the opportunity to see it.

  4. I watched this movie a long time ago while I was drinking, so I don’t remember much, but not even alcohol could save it for me. For some reason I thought that the music they played when introducing Kingpin was pretty hilarious.

  5. Now we’re doing the opposite. I actually liked Daredevil, I think I’ve seen it like 3 times. But you do bring a valid point. Daredevil would have been a much better movie had it been rated R, and kept with its same dark mood throughout.

  6. You should definitely check out the R-rated director’s cut. While it’s still not a great film, it solves a lot of the problems with the script, rearranges the love story and actually puts back in a *plot*.

  7. Did you see the directors’ cut? It’s in fact an R rated version and adds about half an hour onto the film. But does make it a much better cut than the theatrical release. It’s how the story should have been. Not the sugar coated version that was released.

    I thought Ben Affleck made a great Daredevil. Just a shame that Jennifer Garner’s Electra was such a let down. God knows who thought it was a good idea to give her her own film!

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