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January 26, 2010

Film Fatale: Daredevil

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Written by: The Movie Lady
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I’m just going to come out and say, I don’t like this movie. It has moments here and there that are semi-cool but over all it’s pretty forgettable and in some parts down right bad. Released in 2003 it actually did very well at the box office even “garnering” a spin-off (Elektra in 2005), a movie which proved to be worse than this one! After the film was released Ben Affleck essentially said he would play Daredevil again if the next movie was darker. However a couple years later he said this, “by playing a superhero in Daredevil, I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero… Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn’t want to do again soon.” That’s my biggest gripe right off the bat. Ben Affleck is not a superhero. What I mean is he is not suited to play a superhero. Give me Ben Affleck with a Boston accent in Good Will Hunting making quips about bad guys, not fighting them with super human senses.

-Start spoilers

Admittedly though the film has an awesome cameo with Stan Lee where a young Matt Murdock is standing at a crosswalk next to Stan who’s reading a newspaper. Stan starts blindly walking into the street almost getting hit by a car but doesn’t, because young Matt blocks Stan’s path with his pole.

Matt’s relationship with Elektra is not very cool. When they meet, there is resistance from Elektra to Matt’s advances. This culminates in a face off between the two. It’s like in nature when the male has to fight the female and conquer her before mounting her. During their fight Matt asks “So does every guy have to go through all this just to get your name?” Elektra replies, “Try asking for my number.” It just makes me cringe a little. There’s a good piece of dialogue between Matt and his friend/legal partner Franklin. Matt says “She’s outta my league and I’d rather just end it before it starts.” Franklin says “That’s gotta be some kind of record Matt. You just completely bypassed the whole relationship phase you went right straight into the break up.” Who can’t relate to giving up on something without even trying because you don’t have faith?

That’s what the movie’s kind of about. Matt regains his lost faith and hope through Elektra to realize that one man can make a difference and then keeps on dispensing justice. Well that’s kind of cool, but then after they do get together they have this really cheesy love scene. And I mean cheesy. I can’t play the music but if you haven’t heard it, it’s bad. They sit facing each other holding and caressing one another. It even comes complete with a close up shot of Elektra making a point of touching his scars with her finger tips. It’s forced, it’s fake, it doesn’t suspend my belief that I’m watching two young lovers and not two actors. There’s lots of that in the whole film. A lot of the acting is cartoony, the stunts look fabricated. You can see the awkward movements and see that they’re being pulled by a harness or some other unnatural contraption. Their reaction times also seem slow in fight scenes so there’s no suspense; you can basically tell where their blow is going to land.

-End spoilers

The music in this film is also really bad. I prefer a score to modern music for most movies. It slips into the back of your mind and melds with what is currently going on in the movie. Watching a film with lots of drama or action is strange when you remove the music. A score would have been much better suited for this film, or at least a better selection of music. Evanescence? Hoobastank? Uhhhh, another cringe moment. The one redeeming factor for this movie is the graphics for Daredevil’s bat-like sonar sight which became referred to by the animators as the “shadow world.” It’s cool getting to see the waves of sound travel or smell turned into sight. And the appearance of rain hitting objects is pretty neat as well. But that’s about it. There’s nothing really memorable or thoroughly enjoyable about this movie. It’s mostly bad acting, badly chosen music, and bad stunt work… followed by an even worse spin off. But don’t let me deter you from watching it. There are people out there who like it, so you might too.

The Movie Lady



  1. InfiniteSpeech

    You forgot about the awsome Frank Miller cameo as well, nothing like getting “killed” by your own character lol. That pic at the bottom of the flaming DD is one of the things that made me want to throw my drink at the screen. That effect was great in The Crow but it got abused more than the martial arts wire work more and more. It didn’t even fit DD’s style/character to do that.

    I’m still on the fence about Michael Clark Duncan as Kingpin but maybe if the character was written better he would have pulled it off better as well.

    The fight scene in the playground was one of the most horrible wire work fight scenes ever to be put on film.

    What I did like about the movie was Matt’s scene when arriving home and taking pain killers and the “realism” of what he does with the scars and spitting out loose teeth. And that scene you mentioned with him and Foggy was one of my favs as well

  2. Eli

    I’m definitely in the group of people who don’t like this movie.

    Ben Affleck = bad choice for Daredevil, I hated that from the first I learned of it.

    I like Jon Favreau, and he was a nice, albeit small, bit of brightness in this movie. As you said, the acting, stunts, music, all of it was just bad. Perhaps the worst was Bullseye, I think I actually cringed every time he was on screen, just horrible. It’s really too bad, with everything in Daredevil’s past this could have been a phenomenal movie.

  3. If you saw the theatrical version, I recommend you rent the Director’s Cut version. While it doesn’t address most of the criticisms in your review, it is a much better movie than the theatrical – there are more explanations and the movie has a bit of time to breathe.

  4. Well, I’m definitely in the minority here, but I liked this movie. I saw it in the theatre and was very entertained.

    …although a re-watch may alter this opinion.

  5. InfiniteSpeech

    You may want to take Gary’s advice and watch the director’s cut..it does make the movie a little easier to take

  6. DecapitatedDan

    This movie was so bad. I actually made it 5 years without watching it. The choice on Kingpin made me wonder, but Ben as Matt Murdock was horrible and Garner as Elektra was worse. Just bad actors all around in this one.

  7. billy

    I hate Ben Affleck…but I liked this movie(and Elektra to). **cue rock throwing**

  8. InfiniteSpeech

    Billy you have a soft spot for a woman in tight leather pants…we understand lol

  9. I remember thinking this movie was terrible as well…but strangely, I was really glad with the choice of Colin Farrell to play Bullseye…he has a great intensity and it works well with the character. I do like Afleck…but this was just not for him. Garner was a great choice for Elektra as well…but that didn’t work either. Oy.

  10. I don’t see how anyone can defend this movie. It’s soo bad.

  11. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by manwithoutfear.com, John Mulder, ComicAttack.net, ComicAttack.net, Brian and Ian! and others. Brian and Ian! said: Kinda makes me want to rent it RT @ComicAttack Film Fatale: Daredevil https://comicattack.net/2010/01/ffdaredevil/ #comics #movies #daredevil […]

  12. I really like this movie, and I’ve actually seen it numerous times. Granted, I’m not a huge fan of the DD comics. So,I wasn’t critical on the specifics, and I didn’t go into it with any expectations.

    (“garnering” a spin-off)-LOL…. On the other hand, I sat through the entire Directors Cut of the Elekra movie, and words cannot express how bad of an experience that was for me.

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