Release Date: 14 February 2003
Runtime: 103 mins
Synopsis: A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero.
Rating: 2 Stars
Warning this Review may contain mild spoilers In Honer of the new Daredevil trailer being released, No.. I am not going to reveiw the trailer. Instead I’m going to review something much better. The Daredevil film from 2003. YAY!
You may have picked up the sarcasm in that last paragraph. which is a bit unjust, I was 13 when this film came out and enjoyed it. Now I’m older, wiser and can see through my rose tinted glasses to say, yeah…. this film just doesn’t doesn’t hold up.
I have to admit, although I am a fan of Marvel, Daredevil is not a character that I know well. So I’m not gonna pick apart deviations from the comics. But then with this film, it’s not like I need to. There is plenty to pick apart as it is.
Lets start with the plot. Lets be generous here and say the plot is…….. missing. What I mean is, it’s one of those films that’s made of subplot. there’s the Daredevil looking for revenge for his dads killer subplot. The ‘we swear it was necessary’ romance subplot. The Kingpin tying to hide his identity subplot, and the world trying to decide if daredevil is real subplot. But without a central theme to hold them together the film feels quite thin.
So characters then, the kindest thing I can say about the characters is I loved the scenes that didn’t have daredevil in them. Yeah if this film didn’t have Daredevil in it could have been great, Or Elektra, because my God she comes across as a sulking pre-teen. Both of them just mostly whined there way through the film in the way a poor misguided 13 year old might mistake as being deep.
As you might have guessed from that rather harsh bit of criticism, I somewhat dislike the acting from the leads, I mean neither Affleck or Garner are ‘bad’ actors, although Afflecks is noticeably better. But again maybe at 13 Jennifer Garners acting ability isn’t the part of Jennifer Garner that you focus on. That being said both Micheal Clarke Duncan as Kingpin and Colin Farrell as Bullseye, do own every scene they are in. Originally the film was intended to a more dark gritty R rated film, in the style of Blade. I would imagine Duncan and Farrells, roles were cut accordingly as required by censors and I would love to have seen them act the full roles.
The action scenes overall are well filmed and choreographed, although the fight between Affleck and Garner in the park was in dire need of being about 3 minutes shorter. It just wasn’t needed, is surprisingly boring and just just plane stupid, not in keeping with the tone of the rest of the film. Other than that I do enjoy the fights; fun, easy to watch dumb fun.
Also, and I do admit I am only give this ANY credit because I didn’t see it in the new trailer, I liked Daredevil’s costume. As I said at the beginning I know surprisingly little about Daredevil, relatively speaking, but the costume looks good. A little bit black rubber is the coolest look ever you find in early 00’s superhero movies, only you know in red. But it more or less looks like Daredevil’s outfit, it has the little horns and the logo and I will be sorely disappointed if in the new show Daredevil only wears a black ninja outfit.
Getting back to the film I’m actually reviewing however, since I’ve talked about Daredevil’s outfit, I suppose I HAVE to also talk about Elektra which, yes, is different to her iconic comic outfit, but come on it was 2003 what did you expect.
Overall I think the film feels a little rushed, like what audiences were shown was only the first draft. I’d like to have seen it when I was finished and with less teenage angst. It’s dumb and very forgettable. I only own the DVD because I have a large Marvel collection that wouldn’t be complete without it and even then I still feel the need to justify that fact by saying it was 25p second hand.
Honestly I don’t think I can give the film more than 2 Stars.