Review Date: February 11, 2003
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Writer: Mark Steven Johnson
Producers: Avi Arad, Gary Foster, Arnon Milchan
But if there's one major element that truly sets this pic apart from any other standard "solid" comic book movie (and at this point, they should all concentrate on greater diversity), it is the way through which the director communicates the lead character's blindness to the audience, especially in terms of how his other senses work inside his mind. This visual imagery is presented throughout the movie and provides the viewer with greater insight into what the masked vigilante "sees" through his accentuated senses (the scenes under the rain are particularly sweet). Acting-wise, everyone comes to play with Affleck toning down his Affleck-ness to absorb himself inside the scarred tissue of our loner lead, Garner, looking as gorgeous as ever, kicks butt as the feisty Elektra and Michael Clarke Duncan, leaves no doubt about his casting as the Kingpin (the original comic book Kingpin was white). But the standout is definitely Farrell who plays his character as over-the-top and psychotic as you can get and who doesn't leave one piece of his scenes unchewed. I loved this guy! A few cameos are also tossed into the mix including fanboy faves like Kevin Smith, Stan Lee and Frank Miller, while the requisite "comic relief" character, Jon Favreau, does a great job of giving the film a little bit of "light"...amidst all of the darkness. As for the action sequences and CGI, I had a good time with most of them, especially the ones featuring Elektra and that nutty ol' Irish chap, Bullseye. The computer generated images are pretty obvious when the characters are bouncing around from roof to roof, but they didn't bother me at all, in fact, I thought they worked just fine within the premise of this comic book flick (i.e. don't take it all too seriously, and you'll have a blast).
Overall, I can't say that there were many things that I didn't like about this movie, other than a couple of corny one-liners and the story's arc, which I thought was cool for an introductory chapter as such, but certainly not a deep investigation or anything. Let's just hope this film "holds up" after a few years, unlike the original BATMAN (Prince music? C'mon!!). In the end, DAREDEVIL does what many other comic book movies haven't really done much and that's to give us an inside peek at the sucky nature of being a lonely masked man kicking ass for a living. This guy doesn't "get off" on this shite...he's tortured by it and we feel his pain, night in and night out. Solid intro.