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A faithful adaptation? - You decide
by Anhoni Patel on Aug 20, 2004
Books are always better than the movie. The same seems to apply to comic books. I have yet to meet a fan of the medium to say they enjoyed the big screen adaptation better than the real thing - even if the flick is fantastic. One of the biggest Marvel Comics' cult classics, Daredevil, has inevitably been made into a movie in spite of rumblings from its die-hard followers.
At first glance, Matt Murdock (Ben "white bread" Affleck) is your typical super-hero: tortured, dresses like a gay leather daddy, mysterious, athletic etc. The twist is that he's blind. After a childhood accident leaves him sightless, Matt's other senses become a hundred million trillion times more heightened than the average human being. He can smell that which you cannot smell. He can hear that which you cannot hear. He can feel that which you cannot feel. He becomes the man without fear.
He works as a lawyer by day and by night he puts into action his own brand of vigilante justice, much to the ire of the Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan who seems to be working out quite a lot) who runs the city. The big boss hires a psychotic Irish sociopath, dubbed Bullseye (Colin Farrell) for the creative ways he kills, to deal with Daredevil as well as take out a few enemies. Of course what would a comic book be without the quintessential hot chick love interest? Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner)- whose name Matt's hilarious best friend and partner Foggy (Jon Favreau) rightly says sounds like "some kind of Mexican appetizer" - is the perfect match. She smells good and she knows how to kick some serious ass.
Daredevil is the workingman's superhero. He's not mainstream; he's a subculture within a subculture. Which is why so many fans were shocked when the powers that be cast Ben Affleck in the lead. He's not exactly whom you would picture being blind, living in Hell's Kitchen in New York City and specializing in Asian martial arts. However, Mr. Affleck does a good job - I would say 75% believable. On the other hand, his stunt double was 100% believable.
The action scenes are fierce and fantastic. A highlight is the climax in which Bullseye and Daredevil go head to head. After he runs out of Chinese stars to chuck at the superhero, Bullseye shatters a stained-glass window and throws the bits and pieces like daggers, which Daredevil then fearlessly dodges. Another, somehow romantic, scene is that in which Elektra and Matt first meet and he flirtatiously asks for her name. The lady plays hard to get and puts up quite a fight as the two spar in a playground.
Directed and written (screenplay) by Mark Steven Johnson, Daredevil is an entertaining action movie that has nearly all the components of a satisfying comic book adaptation. The scenes are set-up like backdrops, the characters are all tormented and dysfunctional, and the fighting scenes are engaging, plus the movie comes with an excellent and titillating trailer for X-Men 2. What more could you ask from Hollywood?
1 hour 45 minutes
Michael Clarke Duncan
by Anhoni Patel on Aug 20, 2004