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Daredevil

USA 2003
produced by
Avi Arad, Gary Foster, Arnon Milchan, Stan Lee (executive), Bernard Williams (executive) for Regency Enterprises, Horseshoe Bay Productions, Marvel Comics, Epsilon Motion Pictures, 20th Century Fox
directed by Mark Steven Johnson
starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Favreau, Scott Terra, Ellen Pompeo, Joe Pantoliano, Leland Orser, Lennie Loftin, Erick Avari, Derrick O'Connor, Paul Ben-Victor, David Keith, Frankie J.Allison, Joe J.Garcia, John Rothman, Jim FitzGerald, Casey McCarthy, Louis Bernstein
screenplay by Mark Steven Johnson based on the Marvel Comics-comicbook created by Stan Lee, Bill Everett, Elektra created by Frank Miller, music by Graeme Revell

Daredevil, Elektra

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Of all the heroes that came out of the Marvel comics fold, Daredevil, who first saw the light of day back in 1964, is quite probably the silliest:

His origin story is pretty much identical with the one of DC-Comics' Batman: Here like there, the parents of our hero (though in Daredevil's case only the father) are violently killed by some villains, and here like tehre this left our respective hero emotionally scarred, so that, once grown up, he dons a costume with stupid looking pointy ears every night to jump down some skyscrapers, swing through the streets of a megalopolis, fight crime and take revenge on wrong-doers. What sets Daredevil apart from Batman is ... he is blind - now how come nobody noticed what a silly idea that was ?

Anyways, in 2003, when this film was produced, Marvel Comics, or rather big screen adaptations of their comicbooks, were coming back into vogue, and so, after the successes of Blade, X-Men and Spider-Man someone thought it a good idea to do Daredevil as well ... ouch !

 

The story: As a kid, Matt Murdock (Scott Terra) is blinded by some toxic waste ... but that makes his other senses especially acute and even gives him a new sense: radar.Shortly afterwards, he witnesses his dad (Davkid Keith), a run down boxer, being brutally killed by some gangsters.

Flash forward to present day: Matt Murdock is now played (though played is too big a word) by Ben Affleck, and he is a lawyer by day. However, he must have slept through most of law school, because at night he dresses up in a silly outfit and brutally takes his revenge on those he didn't get convicted by day. He even doesn't refrain from killing. Still, this little psycho thinks he is one of the good guys, and the movie wants to make us believe just that.

Eventually, Matt meets lovely millionair's daughter Elektra (Jennifer Garner), to whom he immediately feels drawn because her fighting skills match his own. Of course the two fall in love, but soon enough her dad (Erick Avari) is killed by a dart-throwing psychokiller named Bulls Eye (Colin Farrell), but for some reason, Elektra thinks Daredevil did it (sorry, wrong psycho), and she trains herself to perfection to track him down ... which she does, and she even defeats him in a fight, but then she tears off his mask, realizes he is her one true love, and breaks out in tears ... she couldn't have picked a worse moment, because Bulls Eye is already after her, and he brutally kills her - then he goes after Daredevil too, but when the two fight in a church, Daredevil can kill Bulls Eye, but not before learning that actually the gangster Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) is the brains behind it all, so he pays Kingpin a visit and defeats him in a fight. But him, he doesn't kill, because only now he remembers his days in the lawschool and wants to see Kingpin convicted.

 

So far for the underwhelming plot of the film, which still could have been saved by great action. But don't forget, this wasn't made in Hong Kong but in Hollywood, so instead of breathtaking stunts we are presented with lame CGI-effects (though some wireworks, imported from Hong Kong, have been used). And then there's Ben Affleck in the lead, who couldn't act if his life depended on it. And Jennifer Garner is lovely to look at and is cute when she almost breaks out in tears, but she just can't handle action scenes. There is actually one scene that shows the dilemma of the two leads best: when Matt and Elektra first meet, they get into a martial arts duel that sparks their romance. Now this could really have been an inspired (if not all that new) sequence, if only the two of them were better martial artists - or better actors.

However, it's not just those two, the two main baddies, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan also show remarkably little interest in bringing their characters to life, not at all helped by the weak script and stupid dialogue.

But it would be unfair to pin the failure of this film down to its bad actors, its second-rate action scenes, its weak, cliché riddled and reactionary script, silly source material or even its conveyor-belt direction - it's the whole package that stinks. Don't watch it !!!

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD