A colossal misfire, DAREDEVIL is the BATTLEFIELD EARTH of superhero films,
which isn't surprising given its pairing of charisma-free actor Ben Affleck
(PEARL HARBOR) with saccharine writer/director Mark Steven Johnson (SIMON
BIRCH). DAREDEVIL wants badly to be the next SPIDERMAN but fails miserably
at every turn
Ben Affleck plays a comic book character who was blinded in childhood in an
accident which so heightened all of the rest of his senses and skills that
he can do anything a sighted person could do and much, much more. Affleck's
character is known as a lawyer named Matt Murdock by day and as the masked
Daredevil by night. Since his father (David Keith) was murdered when Matt
was young, Matt, as the Daredevil, lives to deliver vigilante justice and to
The sappy and silly script has Matt sharing little messages with us.
Typical of these trite little thoughts for the day are: "Revenge won't make
the pain go away," "There are days I believe, and other days that I've lost
faith," and "Justice isn't a sin."
Filmed darkly and edited confusingly, the movie is quite uninviting. The
director doesn't have a clue on how to direct an action picture so that it
has the requisite energy and proper pacing. Only a good supporting cast
makes the movie sometimes watchable. Jennifer Garner plays Matt's sexy,
superhero girlfriend, Elektra Natchios. Michael Clarke Duncan is the
sneeringly suave, big bad guy named Kingpin. Colin Farrell plays Bullseye,
Daredevil's cocksure opponent. And Jon Favreau turns in a fun little
performance as Franklin 'Foggy' Nelson, Matt's law partner. Foggy's main
interest is getting someone to admit that the alligators-in-the-sewer urban
legend is true.
Now for the big question. Will there be a DAREDEVIL 2? I'm afraid so.
DAREDEVIL runs 1:43. It is rated PG-13 for "action/violence and some
sensuality" and would be acceptable for teenagers.
My son Jeffrey, almost 14, gave it *** 1/2. He found it entertaining, and
he liked the action.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes