Reviewed by Ogre3000
Posted February 16, 2003
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Daredevil: The Man Without Fear
Marvel Comics brings another icon to the big screen, "Daredevil." Welp, as a long time comics fan, I enjoyed it & consider it very worth seeing, though it does have a flaw or two. But those aside, I enjoyed it as much as Spider-Man. Ben Affleck is a surprisingly good, tormented & haunted DD/Matt Murdock, but still has a nice touch of boyish charm...
The story begins in the midst of a lull in the battle between Daredevil & super assassin, Bullseye (Colin Farrell), with Matt's life flashing before his eyes. The story returns to his childhood in the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen & being raised by his boxing father, Jack "The Devil" Murdock. But one fateful day, Matt learns his father's secret & flees only to be blinded in an accident with toxic waste.
Soon, he discovers that he has a radar sense, that his remaining senses give him a kind of sight & powers above mortal men. He decides that he will become an instrument of justice & protect the helpless... (One of my complaints, in the original, Matt was saving an old man from being hit by a truck & a radioactive cylinder from it hits him across the eyes blinding him & giving him his powers.)
Then flash forward: Matt is an attorney by day, vigilante by night. One of my fave Sci-Fi vets plays a low-life gangster, Quesada ("The Invisible Man's" Paul Ben-Victor), who is acquitted by the courts but not by Daredevil. We also meet, after justice is served, a major player on the DD stage, Ben Urich (Joe Pantoliano, "The Matrix's" Cypher), who works for the Daily Bugle & ultimately figures out whom DD is...
Then, the next day, another fateful meeting; Matt meets Electra (Jennifer Garner from "Alias") by chance while having lunch with his partner Foggy Nelson. He pursues her & ends up in a martial-arts duel that has to be the most deadly-yet-sexy first meet. They become close & Matt learns that she is the daughter of a billionaire that happens to be an underboss of the secret criminal ruler of the East Coast, The Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan). Her father wishes to leave The Kingpin's criminal fiefdom but you don't leave it...................alive...
Later, Matt is invited to a big time society event (by Electra) where Foggy & he meet The Kingpin, very chilling, Duncan *is* The Kingpin to me now. And Electra's father is given his notice in the form of a rose, The Kingpin's calling card of death. They flee the scene with Matt as DD in pursuit but they are intercepted by the psychotic Bullseye, who not only kills Electra's father but frames Matt at the same time. Colin Farrell shines as Bullseye, nice wide wild eyes that bring out the bloodthirsty brutality of the character of the comic to the big screen...
Well, I don't want to give away everything, the battles leading to the blood & thunder finish, but Daredevil is worth your time. The only hole I could see in the entire plot was how Kingpin's crimes would lead to his arrest, you have to take on it on faith I guess that Bullseye or someone in his organization squealed, we never get a scene confirming a connection... (And don't leave as the credits run or you will miss a final funny scene with Bullseye!)
Oh yes, there are many comic book connections to this movie too. At the beginning look for Stan Lee to be saved by Matt (as a teen) from crossing the street in front of a bus. And the names "John Romita" (in the marquee at the boxing arena "Jack Murdock Vs. John Romita"), Frank Miller (who was actually in the movie as the guy killed before Bullseye got his motorcycle), Mack, Kirby the coroner (played by Kevin Smith of course), Quesada & on & on, are all Marvel folks that have worked on Daredevil at one time...
Welp, that's it for now, looking forward to "X-2" & "The Hulk" in a few months, stay frosty, True Believers!
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