Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentaries with director and
producer; Enhanced viewing mode on 8 key scenes; 'The Men Without
Fear: The Art of Daredevil' (59 mins); 'Beyond Hell's Kitchen:
Making Of Daredevil' (58 mins); HBO First Look Special (24 mins);
'Moving Through Space: A Day With Tom Sullivan' featurette (8
mins); Jennifer Garner - Elektra; Multi angle scenes (9 mins);
Music videos: Evanescence - Bring Me To Life, The Calling - For
You, Fuel - Won't Back Down; Easter Egg gag reel (5 mins); Behind
the scenes (20 mins); Multi angle behind the scenes segments (22
SUPERHERO movies can stand or fall on the success of their predecessors,
so Daredevil was always going to face an uphill task, given the
phenomenal success of last years Spider-Man.
The surprising thing, however, is just how well it does compare;
coming across as a darker, more violent masked crusader than his
web-slinging counterpart; albeit with a weaker line in characterisation.
Ben Affleck stars as the hero in question - a blind lawyer by
day, who is transformed into the man without fear
by night, helping to bring justice to those the courts cannot
For although attorney, Matt Murdock, was blinded at an early age,
following a chemical accident, his other four senses function
with superhuman sharpness, giving him the power to wage a one-man
war against the citys criminal element.
In truth, there isnt much difference between Spider-Man
and Daredevil - both exist in New York, both lost father figures
at an early age, both tread a fine line between being idolised
and hated by a sceptical public, both like to wear ridiculously
tight outfits which border on the camp and both like to kiss their
heroines in the rain.
But while Peter Parker and co managed to appeal to all ages,
Murdocks battle is geared towards a much older audience,
with the set pieces far more violent than usual and the plot arcs
far more twisted and complex.
Murdocks principal nemesis is Michael Clarke Duncans
Kingpin, a crime overlord responsible for the death of his father
years earlier, but he is also pitted against Colin Farrells
wickedly psychotic Bullseye, and - on occasion - even his love
interest, Jennifer Garners Elektra.
All of which should make for an emotionally complex action adventure,
capable of pulling you this way and that. Yet while writer-director,
Mark Steven Johnsons film certainly delivers on the set
piece front, its script feels somewhat lightweight by comparison.
As a result, the villains feel under-used (with the charismatic
Farrell, in particular, deserving of more attention), and the
emotional pay-offs nowhere near as effective as they ought to
To give credit where it is due, however, the love-hate relationship
between Murdock and Elektra is suitably spiky (Affleck and Garner
work well together), while several of the support players, including
Jon Favreau and Joe Pantoliano, rise above their limited material
to lend proceedings a far more weightier feel than they actually
Johnsons film also contains at least one decent surprise,
a nice line in black humour, and looks very stylish throughout,
while being laden with religious imagery - referring to the crucifixion
and the stigmata on several occasions.
If the finale feels designed purely to set up the franchise, then
this is no bad thing either, for on the strength of this curtain-raiser,
future adventures with Murdock and co could well prove to be devilishly