Science fiction and fantasy                                            


directed by Mark Steven Johnson

Daredevil poster  
Daredevil starts with a striking image of a man in a dark red suit, perched on the roof of a gothic church. The suit and the pose make him look almost supernatural, but Daredevil is perhaps the most human and vulnerable of all the Marvel heroes.

The story begins in Matt Murdock's childhood (Scott Terra plays the young Matt), growing up in Hell's Kitchen. It's a rough environment, where he has to contend with bullies and a father who is a washed-out boxer who drinks too much and struggles to make ends meet. When Matt is blinded in an accident it has the unexpected consequence of leaving his other senses super-acute, especially his hearing. Though blind, he can see with a sort of radar sense by detecting sound waves as they bounce off objects.

But New York is under the control of a crime lord, a man whose sinister influence is far-reaching. As Matt grows up he resolves to fight for justice by any means available to him, no matter what. By day he's a lawyer, taking on a lot of pro bono work for clients he knows are innocent but who may not have much money. By night he's a hooded vigilante, Daredevil, dispensing justice when the courts fail. Matt's double life leaves him little time for love, but that doesn't stop him from falling for Elektra (Jennifer Garner), a martial arts expert and the daughter of a billionaire. He charms her with dating techniques that would only ever work in fiction, and things move so swiftly between them that it seems as though a chunk of the plot has been cut out. Daredevil isn't the sort of movie that dwells on romance, especially when there's fighting to be done instead.

The Kingpin hires an assassin with a perfect aim to come after Elektra and her family. Colin Farrell plays Bullseye as a larger-than-life, utterly amoral killer with a dry wit. Bullseye has some impressive moves, which is just as well since Daredevil is based largely around its action scenes, which are plentiful. Where most people would argue, or have a conversation, or simply lie in wait, in this film they're leaping around and doing high-kicks at the slightest provocation.

It's a world that abounds with leather costumes, and considering the fact that Daredevil can't see in colour he does seem to have a very specific sense of style. We get to see the world as he views it, as a murky soundscape that gets clearer in the rain. There are also some interesting details about the way blind people get by in daily life, so in some ways this movie is at least a little educational.

However Daredevil is fairly short, and it tells the story at a fast pace, without pausing to include much detail. As a result a lot of the characters seem to be little more than stereotypes. The dialogue isn't bad, but overall this is a movie for people who appreciate stylish fighting more than any other aspect.

Film Details

Year: 2003

Categories: Films


Classification: 15

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson