An awful lot of people spit blood. Even the hero wrenches a bloody loose tooth from his mouth after one bout of fisticuffs. Daredevil is an orthodontist's dream.
But for fans of the comic book, Daredevil is more of a nightmare. Conceived initially as an adult flick, the R rating was trimmed to PG-13 before hitting theaters -- but still, the movie that remains is darker and more brutal than I expected from the optimistic Marvel hero.
As is expected whenever Hollywood borrows a page from the comics, Daredevil is very different than his four-color counterpart. Filmmakers got the hypersenses right, but they also gave the hero the inexplicable agility, strength and acrobatic tendencies of last year's superhero blockbuster, Spider-Man. And, unlike the comic-book Daredevil, this one has fewer compunctions when it comes to killing bad guys. His moral code is shaky, his outlook cheerless. Director Mark Steven Johnson's take on Daredevil is meaner and moodier than Tim Burton's Batman.
by Tom Knapp, Rambles.NET editor
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Tom Knapp (Tom_Knapp)
I founded the online review site, Rambles.NET, in 1999 and continue to operate the site with more than 200 contributors and more than 14,000 reviews in our permanent online archives. A fraction of my … more
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Darker than its popular comic-book predecessorSpider-Man, the $80 million extravaganzaDaredevilwas packaged for maximum global appeal, its juvenile plot beginning when 12-year-old Matt Murdock is accidentally blinded shortly before his father is murdered. Later an adult attorney in New York's Hell's Kitchen, Murdock (Ben Affleck) uses his remaining, superenhanced senses to battle crime as Daredevil, the masked and vengeful "man without fear," pitted against dominant criminal Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and the psychotic Bullseye (Colin Farrell), who can turn almost anything into a deadly projectile. Daredevil is well matched with the dynamic Elektra (Jennifer Garner), but their teaming is as shallow as the movie itself, which is peppered with Marvel trivia and cameo appearances (creator Stan Lee,Clerksdirector andDaredevildevotee Kevin Smith) and enough computer-assisted stuntwork to give Spidey a run for his money. This is Hollywood product at its most lavishly vacuous; die-hard fans will argue its merits while its red-leathered hero swoops and zooms toward a sequel.--Jeff Shannon