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Overall Rating
2.69

Awesome: 14.22%
Worth A Look: 17.33%
Average: 18.67%
Pretty Bad: 23.11%
Total Crap26.67%

12 reviews, 153 user ratings


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Daredevil
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by Collin Souter

"A rare action movie that suffers when it has action scenes."
3 stars

You know you’re in trouble when a movie opens with an inconsequential computer-generated rat. ‘Why a computer-generated rat?’ I thought. What’s wrong with a real rat? Sure, they may be hard to train to walk through a puddle on cue, but how important is it for the rat to be there in the first place? Is this where the extra money went after the producers were granted an additional $20 million (or was it more?) when “Spider-Man” hit the big time? I mean, here it is, only one minute into the movie and the magic is already gone. I’m sitting here thinking about five seconds of film where nothing really happens. I really have to wonder about that rat.

You also know you’re in trouble when a superhero comic book action movie has a “Music Supervisor” in its opening credits. It usually means we’re going to hear a lot of unmotivated third-rate music cues from fourth-rate PearlJam/Nirvana knockoffs such as Nickelback and Hooberstank. What’s wrong with a nice John Williams score? Whatever happened to that? Am I dating myself? Probably, but it’s only because I came to see a kick-ass action superhero movie and ended up feeling as though I just purchased something utterly disposable from a faceless, soulless retail outlet.

(SPOILERS WARNING)
The strange thing is that “Daredevil” really isn’t all that bad. The backstory of this blind superhero, Matt Murdock, is beautifully told in the movie’s first 15 minutes. It has a nice father-and-son element where the prize fighting working-class father teaches his son to be better than working-class. One day, Matt comes home with a great report card from school and ends up getting a face-full of acid as a result of an accident on a loading dock. His struggle for success in life becomes greater.

Matt grows up to be a lawyer with a heightened sense of hearing, aroma and physics. He also puts on a costume and fights for justice on the streets where it fails in the courtroom. Now, if it seems as though I just sprung that on you without any sort of motivation behind dressing up in a suit to kick some criminal butt, it’s only because the movie does it that way too. Unlike “Spider-Man,” we don’t get what went into the idea of the costume or what it must have felt like when he first served justice his way.

The good thing about “Daredevil,” however, is that he does feel conflicted about his situation as a crime-fighter. He has to try and convince himself that he is doing the right thing, even if the criminal has a son who only knows him as ‘daddy.’ The other good thing about “Daredevil” is Jennifer Garner, who plays Elektra Natchios, a woman Matt meets one day when having lunch with his wacky sidekick business partner, Foggy Nelson (Jon Favreau). Garner and Affleck’s second scene together where they compare battle techniques is the movie’s best moment and demonstrates the fun sense of humor lurking beneath the gloss.

Of course, we also have villains, two of them in fact and both pretty good. First we have Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk, (Michael Clarke Duncan). When one of his men decides he wants to back out of a life of crime, Fisk hires an Irish thug named Bullseye (Colin Farrell) to wipe him out. The problem is that the guy he just wiped out is Elektra’s father and she wants revenge just the same as Matt himself once did. This shared acquaintance brings Daredevil and Bullseye together, but, surprisingly enough, not in the finale. The final fight sequence has a wonderful little irony about it that I prefer not to give away. We also have an ace reporter, Urich (Joe Pantoliano) who has been tracking down Daredevil and writing about him as an urban myth.
(SPOILERS END)

The story, characters and performances work in “Daredevil”’s favor. Sometimes, when an action movie has phenomenal action scenes, one can forgive a lame performance here or a gaping story hole there. Sometimes, an action movie should be just that and to hell with everything else. I suspect many people will walk into “Daredevil” with that attitude, which is the right attitude really. I love a good, dumb action movie as much as anyone, but if it has an engaging storyline and interesting characters, so much the better.

“Daredevil” has an ironic problem: The action scenes. They seem to be all over the place and cut to shreds. I never once felt on the edge of my seat, nor did I feel any sense of relief once the duals ended. It tries too hard to evoke the action spirit of “The Matrix” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” by employing “Magic Fu,” in which characters occasionally defy gravity and slo-mo gets used whenever a bullet flies by. I can feel myself tiring over this “Magic Fu” stuff and we have many more movies to come that use it (“Bulletproof Monk,” “Kill Bill” and obviously the two “Matrix” sequels). I also felt myself getting irritated during “Daredevil” every time they inserted a speed-cam shot of the city. It seemed to happen every 10 minutes and I’m almost tempted to start a drinking game around it.

“Daredevil” comes to life when it has no CG effects to show off. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have good chemistry and Michael Clarke Duncan seems to be having a lot of fun. The movie does get a lot right. The final confrontation has a nice simplicity about it because it brings to mind the idea that these are, after all, just human beings.
Yet, one can almost sense where that extra money went and it may have done the movie some damage.

The problem with “Daredevil” reminds me of a scene in “Modern Romance.” In it, Albert Brooks plays a movie editor who is working on a terrible sci-fi movie. The director feels the movie will be saved if Brooks adds in louder footsteps to one of the chase scenes. It’s a ridiculous argument, but only the director is convinced otherwise. Naturally, Brooks indulges him. It still doesn’t make a difference. Sometimes, movies suffer from being too slick, and “Daredevil” is one of them. The movie tries for an emotional payoff, but when the director and producers seem convinced that the rose at the end must be CGI enhanced or it won’t look real, you know a movie is in trouble. Again, what’s wrong with a real rose?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7012&reviewer=233
originally posted: 02/16/03 17:26:49
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell lame superhero flick 1 stars
3/29/16 Aj wales Movie is uneven but not a bad movie. Feels like a tv pilot though. 4 stars
5/21/11 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
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting storyline. 4 stars
5/16/08 PAUL SHORTT GAUNT AND JOYLESS 1 stars
7/23/07 johnnyfog Actually, the parts with Elektra were garbage. Not QUITE enough action. 4 stars
7/17/07 MaDmAN Jennifer Garner was the only good thing in this movie 2 stars
4/23/07 David Risser One of the best action movies I've seen! 5 stars
3/20/07 dude it was okay 3 stars
2/17/07 AJ Muller Better than you'd think; dark, exciting, and asskicking. And Garner is HOT. 4 stars
2/10/07 Donald Martwick Directors cut=Awesome 5 stars
2/08/07 Andre urbani biggest pile of shit i've ever seen 1 stars
1/13/07 del Instantly forgettable. 2 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini were they dancing or fighting? 2 stars
12/26/06 johnnyfog Only liked the last scene with DD & Kindpin. And what's his weakness, NOISE?! ..LAME 2 stars
12/05/06 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
5/20/06 Kcaj Bestest action and great effects with lot's inside. What the hell is wrong with this movie 5 stars
5/19/06 drydock54321 love it 5 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer "I WANT A BLOODY COSTUME" endulge the man. Save the sequel. 2 words: Frank Miller! 4 stars
1/11/06 Michael Not Much There ... Passes the time, not much else 1 stars
8/25/05 Anthony G bend assflack sucks the shit out of this movie. 1 stars
8/13/05 ES Finally a movie that connects to how many of my romances began= with a bad fight scene 2 stars
7/23/05 Duffyboy666 Starts with a bang, but finishes with a whimper. 3 stars
7/20/05 Chris What a waste of money! 1 stars
6/11/05 Rock-Steady A fucking riot! non stop laughter...... 1 stars
12/13/04 sbpat21 not very good at all 2 stars
11/16/04 Dunce One of the funniest things I've ever seen. Oh wait… 1 stars
10/31/04 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
8/12/04 McGraw Pointless, poorly made hero flick. Throw it away. 1 stars
8/02/04 Anthony G garner is hot, ben affleck fucks matt damon, this movie sucks ballc like ben 1 stars
7/25/04 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
5/13/04 Yasu Lacks everything. Unoriginal, same old same old. 2 stars
5/13/04 Whatevr A 1 million megaton bomb 1 stars
4/20/04 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
3/21/04 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
3/01/04 Samuel This shit sucks 1 stars
2/27/04 Sir Spam-a-Lot anyone afraid of pointy things should stay away 2 stars
2/20/04 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
2/09/04 Whatevr Took one year off my life 1 stars
1/26/04 American Slasher Goddess Silly and bland. 1 stars
1/12/04 The Ramuh Justice is bland. 2 stars
1/06/04 I Would Oh no! NO! This is wrong, this is all wrong! 1 stars
12/22/03 john how not to do a super hero movie 1 stars
12/17/03 tatum Good direction, but this superhero stuff is getting moldy 4 stars
11/30/03 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
10/17/03 Josh Standlee Daredevil could kick Spider-Man's ass! 5 stars
10/16/03 B. Fresh This had pretty bad acting editing fx and story. worst comic movei out now 2 stars
10/04/03 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
9/24/03 JesseL For this genre, very good. The kids loved it. 4 stars
9/22/03 Jacques nothing like the comics, a screw up but still okay. 3 stars
9/20/03 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
9/18/03 Samuel Justus The best Comic Book-Movie i've ever seen!! 5 stars
9/16/03 bobby da squid Bad script with horrific editing; music picked by a 15-year-old boy 2 stars
8/28/03 anna So close to greatness.... and fails in the final editing. 2 stars
8/28/03 Chris It's dark and gritty tone make it mean spirted and too seroius. A horrible ending. 2 stars
8/26/03 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
8/03/03 Brodieman Not Spiderman, but a worthy comic flick none the less. 4 stars
8/01/03 Walter Horrible Script, Horrible Acting, Horrible Movie 1 stars
7/31/03 Daddy Plaid Anything MARVEL gets my vote! 4 stars
7/14/03 Gary This is total garbage 1 stars
7/13/03 nick g its stank like hell 1 stars
7/10/03 Niko Ben Affleck is a talentless piece of sh@*t 1 stars
6/23/03 Johnny Affleck cant act. Things just happen in this film. Stupid wannabe Batman waste of time. 1 stars
6/22/03 Alex Prue An Amazing superhero movie with awsome action and story. 5 stars
6/22/03 Ashley An xcellent movie 5 stars
6/09/03 Christian Harding DareDevil Rules! Whoever didn't like It must be nuts (not that they are). It's really good 4 stars
5/16/03 The Lurchprong Splitter Beyond loathesome and depraved. "Heroes" were worst villains most of way through. 1 stars
5/05/03 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
4/24/03 GWB great flick 5 stars
4/11/03 ZIP Love at first fight with super blind man vs. nature girl. 1 stars
4/09/03 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
3/31/03 spacecowboy i wasn't particularly impressed 'a la spiderman' 3 stars
3/31/03 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
3/26/03 Spiderfan729 Some compare it to Spiderman but I compare it too Batman; Dark, Brooding, and Entertaining! 5 stars
3/24/03 adele the callings song is beautiful. 3 stars
3/21/03 Darren This was complete CRAP !!! 1 stars
3/20/03 Cameron Slick Passable entertainment even if it is a little derivative. 4 stars
3/19/03 rue the whirl i'm $8 poorer and horny for horse-faced women 1 stars
3/19/03 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
3/12/03 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
3/04/03 Clint I have to say this is the worst movie I've ever seen. 1 stars
3/02/03 !! A GREAT FILM 5 stars
3/01/03 Me You Americans are gay and so are your movies...go visit the WTC 1 stars
2/28/03 G Worst Movie EVER! 1 stars
2/28/03 Uncle Salty I would have been better if it was performed with muppets. 1 stars
2/26/03 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
2/24/03 bullseye loved it-the grit of the 1st 'batman',flair of 'spider-man',and the action of 'blade'. 5 stars
2/24/03 Titus Not great, but worth a matinee price admission for Colin Ferrell's performance + a few gags 4 stars
2/23/03 RAFMAL1 This movie had potential, and anyone with any talent would see that. It sucked as is. 2 stars
2/22/03 bob leather jacket Yawn...had it not been for Affleck, Garner, or Farrell...I would have fallen asleep 3 stars
2/22/03 Swirlyrainbow Better than i thought it would be 4 stars
2/22/03 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
2/21/03 TheBomb69 very average 3 stars
2/21/03 malcolm as good as Spiderman,Duncan was the weakest of the film 5 stars
2/21/03 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
2/20/03 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
2/19/03 Public Opinion A movie this bad hasn't been released since Tomb Raider 2 stars
2/19/03 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
2/19/03 Mikek If you love the comic book, you'll love this movie. 5 stars
2/19/03 Kirk This is by far my favorite adaptation of a mainstream comics character. 5 stars
2/19/03 Mister Bigglesworth Too bad Matt Murdock is blind. No, wait, otherwise he would see this pile of shit! 2 stars
2/19/03 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
2/18/03 Mk Not better than Spider-Man but still good. 4 stars
2/18/03 spaceworm You'd be better off in a sensory deprivation tank... 2 stars
2/18/03 aly wane Best film adaptation of a comic book since the original Batman. 5 stars
2/18/03 Uncle Salty What a waste, such a mess. Lame character, horrible acting. Forget it. 1 stars
2/18/03 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
2/17/03 Bob Jones Not bad at matinee price 4 stars
2/17/03 Jean Allen no story, horrible acting, misused cgi, don't waste your money 1 stars
2/17/03 Darren Shea CG is bad, and Affleck is bland, but otherwise decent. Nice comic book in-jokes. 4 stars
2/17/03 STEVE WAY BETTER THEN SPIDER-MAN!RANKS WITH CROW,FIRST TWO BATMANS,AND FROM HELL. 5 stars
2/17/03 Dev Ben Asslick sucks. Daredevil is better as a comic book. 1 stars
2/17/03 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
2/16/03 Deano Great first movie to set the stage for sequels 5 stars
2/16/03 whatever this movie kicked major ass. garner is hot 5 stars
2/16/03 savagegiraffe you losers! anyone who even kinda liked this movie is a moron. the comic was rad though.... 2 stars
2/16/03 syrius indeed, not enough garner at all 2 stars
2/16/03 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Feb-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Nov-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Mar-2003




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