Daredevil: Zade Rosenthal
Ken Tucker
August 01, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Daredevil (film)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
96 minutes
Wide Release Date
02/14/03
performer
Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Coolio, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jon Favreau, David Keith, Joe Pantoliano, Kevin Smith
director
Mark Steven Johnson
Producer
Avi Arad
distributor
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
author
Mark Steven Johnson
genre
ActionAdventure

We gave it a C+

Was Ben Affleck blind? Didn’t he notice that the script for this comic-book adaptation of ”the man without fear” — sightless superhero Daredevil — was little more than a hodgepodge of Spider-Man-derivative skyscraper swinging, corny dialogue, and villains (like Colin Farrell’s Bullseye and Michael Clarke Duncan’s Kingpin) who are all too easily vanquished? Sure, there’s Jennifer Garner as fan-fave martial-arty ”assassin” Elektra, but she’s just as sexy and much more articulate in any given ”Alias.”

Writer-director Mark Steven Johnson obviously loved Daredevil‘s source material…too much. He’s made a tentative action film, as though he’d never decided whether he was aiming it at geeks, a mass audience, or both. The commentary track, by Johnson and producer Gary Foster, is bland self-hype (”You really feel you’re in Hell’s Kitchen!”), and the two discs are stuffed with filler. Exceptions to the fluff: the interviews with comics writer-artists Frank Miller, who speaks eloquently of the operatic drama he achieved during his Daredevil run, and Brian Michael Bendis, whose rhapsodic description of Miller’s death-of-Elektra issue No. 181 makes you want to run to a comic shop, not the DVD store.

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