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Daredevil (2003)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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3.9
 / 10
23 votes
Movie Connections:
Elektra
> Daredevil (2003)
> Elektra (2005)
Genres / Traits:
Action, Fantasy, Superhero Film, Comics: Marvel
Director:
Mark Steven Johnson Mark Steven Johnson
Starring:
Ben Affleck Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner Jennifer Garner
Colin Farrell Colin Farrell
Michael Clarke Duncan Michael Clarke Duncan
Jon Favreau Jon Favreau
Avatar
Review by Griffinheart
Added: October 08, 2007
Daredevil is one of the greatest movies of all time. Let the flame war begin.

Starring Ben Affleck as Daredevil, Jennifer Garner as Elektra, Colin Farrell as Bullseye, and Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin, this movie has everything one could ever ask for out of a piece of cinema. It has action, suspense, drama, romance, comedy, and other genres my thesaurus cannot even begin to contain.

This movie is the story of Matt Murdock, son of washed up prize fighter Jack "The Devil" Murdock. The two live alone in a ratty apartment with empty beer bottles serving as decoration. Matt's father promises him that he's not working for the mob, but the truth comes out and leads to an accident where Matt is splashed in the eyes with hazardous chemicals. He wakes up in the hospital with patches over his eyes but finds his hearing is now so acute that he can "see" traffic drive by outside his room. That Jack was indirectly the cause of his son's blindness causes him to renounce the mob and return to the squared circle. "The Devil" starts racking up wins, but it isn't long before he's called on by the mob to throw a fight in order to "do what's best for your boy, Jack." He lets himself get knocked to the mat but finds himself unable to stay there while his son is cheering for him. "The Devil" wins the fight and, shortly thereafter, is beaten to death. The loss of his father drives the Matt to pursue a law degree to fight injustice during the day and assume the mantle of Daredevil to take care of those outside the reach of the law. This puts both sides of his persona into conflict with Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, and his hired assassin, Bullseye.

Nearly every actor and actress in this film gives an excellent performance. Ben Affleck delivers his lines with a reserved deadpan that matches up well with his character that has given up nearly everything to keep his city safe. Duncan actually surprised me with his performance. Going into the movie, I was irritated they had deviated from the source material by changing the race of this character, but, after seeing his portrayal, I realize that Michael Clarke Duncan IS the Kingpin; no other actor would have fit the role as well. (We'll save for another time the discussion of how everyone but whites got shafted/Shafted in getting decent characters in the comics of earlier decades.) Despite these and other unmentioned actors, the movie is absolutely stolen by the acting prowess of Colin Farrell. He brings levels of depth and sadism to the role that cannot be written into a script. From the frustration of when Bullseye missed with a shuriken ("I missed...I never miss!") to the triumph of when he figured out Daredevil's weakness ("Let's bring on the noise--let's bring on the pain.") to the overall awesomeness of his last scene in the movie proper (No quote for you!), Colin Farrell as Bullseye brings more goodness to this movie than Tim Story could bring in a dozen attempts at making a decent Fantastic Four movie.

The script itself is excellent. It uses very little time to introduce the characters and get onto the main story (actually, I never timed how long the "intro" is. Regardless, it flies by). Almost every character gets a moment to shine, and the film is filled to the brim with quotable quotes (which are distinctly different than visible visuals, which the movie also has). The only problem I noticed was a few plot points do not get fully explained. If this is a problem for you, check out the Director's Cut version; you'll understand more, but you'll also be disappointed. The scenes that were cut are gone for a reason: they either went on far too long or were just plain stupid (please, please, no one ever cast Coolio in a movie again...don't worry though, he doesn't show up in the theatrical version that I am reviewing here). The Director's Cut gets docked 2-3 points for being an unnecessary waste of $20 (though it is cheaper now than when I bought it).

Overall, I can't praise this movie enough. It is excellent and exists on multiple layers that only yield their treasures after multiple viewings. Not everyone will rate this as high as I do, but their are very few that will not enjoy this movie. I give it a 10/10.
Recommended Movies
Elektra Ghost Rider X-Men X2 X-Men: The Last Stand Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Ginose #1: Ginose - added 10/08/2007, 04:20 AM
Flame wars has begun.
Shit sucked.
I talk from a raging Marvel nerd point of view and a film-junkie point of view. I got nothing out of this movie.
The acting wasn't anything special, you could have dropped Elecktra from the entire film and be left with the same movie. Affleck is just Affleck. He's never been a marvel to watch in a film and I feel he never realy tries. But, whatever. Bullseye has always been a pathetic villan. Why they thought he'd sell this movie is beyond me. Duncan as Kingpin was terrible on one account: He looks like a good guy. Everytime I see the man I think "The Green Mile", he's just never been any good at playing a cynical fellow, shame really.
The movie has a very akward pacing, atleast 4 throw-away charecters and a pathetic villian. Even by a comic-nerd's standards, I'd say this is in the top five worst comicbook movies ever.
1.8/10 for the mildly amusing scene on the airplane and the honest effort to make Elektra seem like a truly interesting heroine... even if it did fail miserably.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 10/08/2007, 10:01 AM
10/10?
Reviewer status = revoked.
Chad #3: Chad - added 10/08/2007, 10:15 AM
I tried to warn him that he was going to catch hell for this review. Hate to say I told you so, but... oh, screw it, I love to say I told you so.
Griffinheart #4: Griffinheart - added 10/08/2007, 10:49 AM
I don't know why, but there is something about this movie that speaks to me. Perhaps I'm seeing beauty in its absence, but I love this movie. I'm sure there for each person there is a movie that he loves above all else. If not, let your inner child out; it needs to breathe.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 10/08/2007, 10:57 AM
This has to be a joke, right? This is comedy? This is humor? "Daredevil" is one of the worst comic book movies ever made. Ben Affleck has the personality and charm of a wet moth. Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin is such a painful miscast. And Jennifer Garner? Please. She couldn't act her way out of a wool sock. I am just assuming this 10/10 garbage is a joke -- some sort of attention garnering ploy because "Daredevil" is just dreadful. 2/10.
Ginose #6: Ginose - added 10/08/2007, 02:21 PM
Inner-child? What is all this new-age mumbo-jumbo?
But, seriously, my inner-child kicked me for not turning this off half-way through. My inner-child will stick to his juvenille love of martial-arts, gore and kaiju... and he will continue to run my life... that prick...
Honestlly, I didn't watch this movie with any preconcived notions. Understand that Daredevil was always one of my favorite comic heroes (infact I'd say he's in my top 5) but even I've come to terms with the fact that there is never any complete consitency in adapting a comicbook to film, and I just don't look for that anymore... I just want an entertaining movie, "Daredevil" didn't even offer that! And just what the fuck were they thinking when they made an "Elektra" movie?
God help us when they decide Deadpool needs a movie... My brains may be on the floor...
385 #7: 385 - added 10/08/2007, 03:04 PM
I think Jason Statham would be a perfect Deadpool. I have high hopes for a DP movie.
Tristan #8: Tristan - added 10/08/2007, 03:14 PM
Jason Statham wouldn't be a perfect anything.
He's had the same part in every movie for the last 8 years.
Fuck Jason Statham.
TakuBiru #9: TakuBiru - added 10/08/2007, 03:36 PM
Too much dancing. 0.42/10.
ThunderStruck5a #10: ThunderStruck5a - added 10/08/2007, 03:38 PM
ive never wasted my time on this but i will say

1) duncan was a good villian in sin city and will be in sin city 2 & 3 (if they ever make them)
2) i think deadpool is such a badass hero after playing the marvel ultimate alliance game
Ginose #11: Ginose - added 10/08/2007, 03:45 PM
Didn't care much for his voice in "Ultimate Alliance*, but the charecter was there.
Read his comics for further proof of his greatness.
Edd #12: Edd - added 10/10/2007, 07:21 PM
Griffenheart is by far the best film reviewer on this site. He tells it like it is maaaaaaan. Seriously though, I really liked this movie. 10/10.
Mr. Mistoffelees #13: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 10/11/2007, 04:34 PM
If Griffinheart is the best reviewer on this site, then bluemeanie, MVMMDI and Tristan have me fooled. This movie is full of B-rate actors for the most part who simply are physically fitting of the roles but otherwise have such "deadpan" performance that I was hoping it would end soon. Very little about this movie said "whole-hearted;" they seemed to have taken today's bandwagon of superhero movies and said "hey, I can do this too." Unfortunately for most people, they were wrong.
Ginose #14: Ginose - added 10/11/2007, 04:44 PM
Sarcasm not your friend, Mr. Mistoffelees?
Yes, Edd agreed with Griff's review, but he knows damn good and well who the big dogs are around here, thus the "Seriously though".
bluemeanie #15: bluemeanie - added 10/11/2007, 05:55 PM
My choice for Deadpool: Guy Pearce. He could rock it. Absolutely.
Griffinheart #16: Griffinheart - added 10/11/2007, 06:09 PM
I am certainly not the finest reviewer here. The other reviewers have both a greater knowledge of the silver screen and more room in their hearts set aside for their love of the art form (I like to picture a small, bearded man holding a tub of popcorn living in the left ventricle). I toss MyMMDI the occasional review to provide an opinion for movies that don't yet have one. I respect the other reviewers, except for Crispy when he has a non-Muppet avatar, and hope they do the same for me.

Long days and pleasant nights.
385 #17: 385 - added 10/11/2007, 08:46 PM
I know you're not dissing Layne.
Griffinheart #18: Griffinheart - added 10/11/2007, 09:46 PM
But I'm talkin' about Shaft!
Mr. Mistoffelees #19: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 10/12/2007, 12:27 PM
I apologize about the way I went about the last comment. Yesterday wasn't a good day I guess, so sarcasm wasn't breaching. However I am a fan both of sarcasm and a Deadpool movie, he rocks the shit in Ultimate Alliance.
Kezia Vadimas #20: Kezia Vadimas - added 07/15/2008, 07:02 PM
NO NO NO! Who the hell let Assfleck play Daredevil? That person ought to be flame-broiled slowly! Matt Murdock should have been played by a man. I couldn't watch it all the way through and I will never try to again, it gathers dust in my crap pile.
Why aren't there negative ratings on this site?
Rik #21: Rik - added 07/27/2008, 09:31 AM
I actually loved this movie, and you're right, Colin Farrell is awesome. He is my newest favourite actor.l
Rik #22: Rik - added 07/27/2008, 09:35 AM
Strangely enough, Jon Favreau had the best character.

And yes, they should make a Deadpool movie. He is such a character. Deadpool and Cable is my favourite superhero tag team ever.
Greg Follender #23: Greg Follender - added 10/18/2009, 11:56 PM
Not to beat a dead horse... but when I read the shoutbox strand about Griffinheart's review of this film... I HAD to check it out.

Sure enough... he gave this colossal shit-storm a 10/10... thus proving the age-old adage that states that a man can "have a wordsmith head on his shoulders and even be able to turn a clever phrase yet still have fuck-all taste in film."

All silliness aside... I do have to say that this film was such utter shite that I actually had to watch it again immediately to convince myself that I hadn't missed something valid within the accursed thing. Somebody actually thought this was a good idea at some point... and that, in itself, is terrifying to me.
You're a good man, Griffinheart... but I've got to side with the majority here, kiddo.

The costume designer is the only fellow who needn't hang his head in shame... and that douche-nozzle director should be forced to compose Wendy's employee orientation filmstrips for the rest of his career for punishment for this film.
Lucid Dreams #24: Lucid Dreams - added 05/25/2010, 01:41 AM
Words can not describe how horrible this movie is and Ben Affleck, guess what, you are not an action star. 2/10
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