There was a time when superheroes ruled on the big screen before fading out. With the millions
of dollars that “Spiderman” generated last year, every studio is
looking to capitalize on that and start their own superhero franchise.
“Superman” led the way over twenty years ago, and “Batman” did very
well in the late 80s before the franchise self-destructed with many
actors playing the role of the Caped Crusader. This summer will
mark the return of the “X-Men” and “The Hulk” will make his presence
on the big screen. In the meantime, another hero is ready to make
his entrance. In Mark Steven Johnson’s film DAREDEVIL, Ben Affleck
may have the look to play the character but lacks the charm and
the strength to carry the film.
Every superhero film has to have a beginning so we get to know the basis for the character's alter ego.
We first meet Matt Murdock (Affleck) in a state of shock
recalling how he came to be "Daredevil". Growing up in the neighborhood of Hell’s
Kitchen wasn’t easy for young Matt (Terra). Constantly being bullied
by the other boys in his area, he had to run home to his drunken
father, Jack (Keith). Jack was a boxer who at times did work for
the local mob. When Matt catches his father doing his “job”, he’s
runs off upset and has an accident with some hazardous chemical.
The incident leaves him blind, but his four senses have been refined
to another level. Being able to feel, smell, and “see” things
from a dark view has given Matt a new path to life. After his father
is murdered by an unseen figure from the mob, Matt seeks justice
on both sides of his ego. By day, he’s a lawyer, and by night he’s
Aided by his law partner (Favreau), Matt helps out the poor seeking
justice. When he senses beauty, he goes after it, or shall we say,
her. Electra (Garner) is the daughter of a billionaire and her encounter
with Matt is action-packed. Romance develops between the two, but gets interrupted
with the entrance of mob boss Kingpin (Clarke Duncan) in their lives.
At 6’7 and 430 pounds, Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin rules over New York
City. Determined to stop him and his henchman, Bullseye, Daredevil
has to muster his strength to save the city from tyranny.
Daredevil leaves the audience hanging because there is so much
that could have been done for this film to be spectacular. Scenes
where the character development begins is a good start, but it goes
downhill from there when Ben Affleck comes into the picture. He
doesn’t mess it up, blame the editors. His entrance in the film
as an adult was so quick as if scenes were cut. For a guy who
supposed to be blind, he sure does a lot to make people think otherwise.
Jennifer Garner is amazing in this film. She brings her athletlic
skills she displays on TV’s Alias and makes the film worth watching.
As the “sidekick”, Favreau is good for laughs. Farrell is appealing
as Bullseye but his character has no development. When did he get
superhero skills like Daredevil? Michael Clarke Duncan is probably
the best actor who can play the role of Kingpin, and he too is underused.
With the exception of the look, because Kingpin is white in the
comic book, Duncan does everything the character is supposed to
do. The screenplay is what did the film in. If you ever read the
comic book growing up and still do, you know what to expect from
the characters and it wasn’t displayed on screen. Overall, Daredevil
is kinetic mess that serves no justice.