Review: Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by writer/director
Mark Steven Johnson and producer Avi Arad. Giving the Devil His
Due: The Making of Daredevil - The Director's Cut.
THERE'S a lot to be said for director's cuts, given that most
seem to fare better (once released) than the 'audience-friendly'
versions that are frequently placed into cinemas.
Blade Runner is one of the most obvious examples of a film that
got better for resorting to the director's original version, while
even the likes of King
Arthur and Exorcist:
The Beginning have benefited from reverting back to their
So it comes as little surprise to find that Daredevil: Director's
Cut marks something of an improvement on the theatrical release
of Marvel's blind crime-fighting superhero.
Not that I found the original
Daredevil to be that bad a film in the first place, merely
one which hinted at being able to offer a great deal more.
I always liked the dark tone of the film which, at the time,
marked a darker direction for superhero movies.
What's notable about Mark Steven Jackson’s director's
cut, however, is that it makes things even darker, placing less
emphasis on Daredevil’s relationship with Elektra and giving
viewers a greater insight into the character of Matt Murdock (Ben
As such, the film takes more time
to explore his upbringing and relationship with his father, as
well as his work as a lawyer defending the underdog, thereby providing
an interesting contrast to the dingy, dark world he inhabits.
As a result, audiences are introduced to a brand new character,
Dante Jackson (played by Coolio), a former drug dealer/addict
framed for a murder he didn’t commit.
And given more time to enjoy the supporting performances of Jon
Favreau (as Daredevil's best friend and legal aid) and Joe Pantoliano
(as a reporter), who are given much more to do.
Those who found the love-story between Daredevil and Elektra
(Jennifer Garner) to be diverting will be relieved to hear that
it's also given less time, so as not to remove the focus from
This is, as Jackson explains in one of the featurettes, a story
about one man's attempt to find justice for the murder of his
father, more than a revenge story driven by a lost love.
As such it provokes many obvious comparisons with the likes of
Spider-Man (and even
Batman) but manages
to maintain an identity more of its own.
The use of religious imagery, in particular, is a highlight,
as is the longer screen-time afforded to Colin Farrell's wickedly
OTT villain, Bullseye.
All of which serves to ensure that Daredevil: Director's Cut
rights the supposed wrongs of the theatrical release and serves
to provide die-hard devotees with the film they might have been
hoping for in the first place.
It's well worth checking out to decide for yourself.