Minor spoilers follow. Sorry ’bout that. They’re spoiler-protected and
everything, unless you use Lynx or a Braille reader.

Premise


Matt Murdock, blinded in his youth, finds his other senses supremely
heightened, such that his hearing acts as a sort of radar, and his
hyper-sensitive sense of touch gives him superlative balance. By day, he’s
a lawyer, doing lots of pro-bono work in the rough Hell’s Kitchen
neighborhood; by night, he metes out justice when the legal system fails,
as masked vigilante Daredevil.

Cast and Crew




Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock/Daredevil

Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios

Michael Clarke Duncan as Wilson Fisk

Colin Farrell as Bullseye

Joe Pantoliano as Ben Urich




Written by Bill Everett (characters), Brian Helgeland (screenplay)


Directed by Mark Steven Johnson



Full cast and crew info available from this IMDB page.


High Point


Radar-vision. Yes, somehow, they managed to make Jennifer Garner even
prettier through the use of abstract art.


No, really.

Low Point


Beware: this is the spoiler mentioned above. (Swipe if you really want to
see it.)


The untimely death of Elektra. Granted, I’m a serious
mark for Jennifer Garner, but this goes beyond that. They could have just
really injured her or something and gotten the same effect, without
driving a sai through their sequel possibilities.

The Scores

It’s hard to decide whether a movie based on a comic book that’s older
than I am counts as original. At the time, though, the concept
was quite novel, and I’m feeling a bit generous. I’ll give this one 4 out
of 6.

The special effects were, sadly, lackluster. The “Daredevil’s
radar-vision” shots were nifty-looking, but not all that complex. The
“sweeping panoramic views of the city” shots were obviously
computer-generated. While there were a few interesting uses of existing
techniques (the “Bullsye’s Hands” shot – you’ll know it when you see it –
was nifty), "Daredevil" doesn’t break any new ground. 3 out of
6.

The story of "Daredevil" is your basic “radiation
accident” superhero origin, an old-school love story, and a villain who
obviously never read the Evil Overlord
list
. Nothing shocking or even terribly innovative here. 3 out of 6,
the number of mediocrity.

Acting? From Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner? They’re both
attractive to members of the appropriate genders, and (with the help of
lots of stunt players) both can put on a reasonable simulation of a fight,
but nobody’s likely to win any Oscars here. Only Joe Pantoliano’s deadpan
newspaper reporter saves this score from the gutter. 3 out of 6.

Surprisingly, the emotional response score is slightly above
average – mostly because of the spoiler scene above. I’m not sure whether
it was genuine shock, or just me being cranky at the writers for doing
something so silly, but it earned them 4 out of 6.

Production values were pretty much what you’d expect from a
modern Hollywood action flick. Again, nothing really spectacular or
innovative. Just standard stuff, so a standard score. The fight scene in
the church (and they telegraph this from literally the first scene, so no
spoiler here) is somewhat original, but that’s about it. 4 out of 6.

Overall, I wanted to like "Daredevil." I really did.
But watching a movie is like a relationship – it won’t work unless both
parties involved make an effort. Average effort, average score. (Gosh, I’m
running out of good synonyms for that.) 3 out of 6.


That gives "Daredevil" a total of 24 out of 42. Catch a matinee,
or you could probably afford to wait for the DVD.