Rating: PG-13 for language, violence
Run Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
Action heroes need to have edge. Michael Keaton had it as Batman, George Clooney did not. Tobey Maguire had it as Spiderman, Linda Carter as Wonder Woman did not. Ben Affleck, possibly most edge-less actor of his generation, is sorely miscast as blind humanitarian / Marvel comic book hero Daredevil, a contemporary Robin Hood wrapped in blood-red leather.
Matt Murdock (Affleck) is a public defender by day and the Man Without Fear at
night. Blinded in a tragic childhood
accident, Matt coped with his loss by virtue of a silent promise: Never Give
Up. Seeking to aid the downtrodden, Matt
relies on his superhuman hearing and smell to stalk the dark streets of the
on flimsy colored paper, but for a comic book adaptation to work onscreen there
has to be decent scripting and A-list production values (to offset the cartoonish-ness
of it all). “Daredevil” is a mixed bag
of both; cheesy dialogue combined with witty bon mots (mostly delivered by
Murdock’s self-deprecating partner
“Daredevil” should be Affleck’s show, but it’s not. Big Ben pales in comparison to his colorful co-stars Colin Farrell, as the malevolent Bullseye, and tricked-out gal pal Jennifer Garner as the ass-kicking Elektra Natchios. Farrell has edge in spades, and is startlingly evil as a hired Irish assassin who throws knives, broken glass, darts, and even paper clips with deadly accuracy. Garner brings a genuine humanity to her feminist love-interest role that spells showbiz future with a capital F.
Wooden criminal underground subplot and closer-than-close-cutting action sequences frustrate rather than enhance the viewing pleasure. “Daredevil” should have been the goods - instead it’s an almost-but-not-quite failure.