Bewildering Stories

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Daredevil: Not your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman

by Eric S. Brown

Daredevil opened on February 14th all around the country to a shockingly small amount of hype. Normally comic book movies of this nature are released as huge films in the summer at the peak of the market, but Daredevil was not. Daredevil has always been a “second string” Marvel character and indeed one must wonder how a film about him made it even into production ahead of such Marvel icons as Captain America and the Fantastic Four. While Daredevil has not been a “flop” in terms of success, it certainly has not shown the magic of Spiderman. Part of this is due to the fact that Daredevil is far from a family movie containing (shudder) a sex scene and hero who kills. Also, Daredevil is just a guy with radar sense so there are scenes of the character popping some high-powered drugs to deal with the pain of getting beat up every night. Despite all this the studio backing the project did what they could to make the film great and attempt to milk the Spiderman/Marvel market.

Ben Affleck portrays the blind lawyer hero and carries him off to perfection but it is really Colin Farrell who brings the film its energy. After Farrell’s recent role as prissy, good guy in “Hart’s War”, it is rather shocking to see him portray, Bullseye, a serial killer so deranged and so powerful he has branded a target into the flesh of his forehead. The battles between these two characters are mind-blowing, non-stop action as Bullseye possesses the power to never miss and Daredevil’s radar sense is so keen he can dodge almost anything. Some of the action scenes in the movie even put the ground-breaking “Matrix” to shame despite DD’s low production costs.

Daredevil’s love interest, Elektra (a popular comic character in her own right) is played by the relatively unknown Jennifer Garner. Don’t go into this film expecting to see the Elektra of the comic books however. In the film, the Elektra character is very much down played and shown as the innocent daughter of a rival crime lord (who is murdered by the Kingpin) instead of living up to her comic name: Elektra the assassin.

Some of the high points of the film include Scott Terra, who plays the younger, kid version of Daredevil, saving Stan Lee himself from being run over by a bus, Michael Clark Duncan of The Green Mile as the Kingpin of crime wrestling a wounded Daredevil in his office at the climax of the film, and even a cameo by writer/director Kevin Smith who recently has been scripting the DD comic book. Smith’s character is named Jack Kirby after the late, great Marvel comic artist and there are tons of things like this in the film that only the comic book educated will catch.

All things considered, Daredevil is a good film, just not a great one and is sure to outdone by the summer releases of X-men and The Hulk. In fact, one wonders if Daredevil the movie will even be remembered by anyone other than the loyal fans of the comic by the time it ends up on the video store shelves to gather dust in-between the titles surrounding it like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the ever popular mutants known as the X-men.

Copyright © 2003 by Eric S. Brown