The movie that Dared!

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Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Writer: Mark Steven Johnson

 

This is a movie I never got round to going to the cinema for its general release years ago, due to a couple of reasons. I wasn’t into comics when this came out, only big titles such as X-Men and Spider-Man peeked my interest, as I was familiar with the characters and general struggles, Daredevil just wasn’t one of the characters that was on my radar (pun intended)

"Is that a brown stain still on your laundry?"

“Is that a brown stain still on your laundry?”

Also reading a few bad reviews slamming the movie didn’t really help me make my mind on seeing the movie, but then again so many comic book movies at that time got slammed. Looking back I usually tend to steer clear of movie reviews due to some god awful stupid reviews on several movies and base how good a movie is on by watching it. It was only after the Director’s Cut of Daredevil that was released that I decided to give the movie a chance, as most Director’s Cut version of bad movies are usually saved with them, albeit not fully (see Alien 3).

One thing that stood out from the entire film is that Matt Murdock allowed a criminal to die, which is different from the majority of superhero movies, least of all a Marvel character. Not being a fan of Daredevil until Mark Waid’s run, I can’t say if this was a regular occurrence in Daredevil comics. I know you do have superheroes that kill, but in this movie it fits perfectly with the character. Take a step back and look who Matt Murdock is, he’s a lawyer, he has super powered hearing which he can use to the same effect of a lie detector. So what is he actually going to do to anyone who slips through the judicial system, beat them up? As comic fans have seen throughout the history of any character, that simply doesn’t work on 99% of the villains heroes come up against. He’s almost a spandex wearing version of Dexter Morgan. So for Daredevil to turn a blind eye (again, pun intended) to a criminal getting what they deserve may seem a bit hard to watch, but he really has no other option in the matter.

"Go on, I DARE you!"

“Go on, I DARE you!”

When it comes to a superhero movie, costumes are the without a doubt one of the first details in the movie that will get picked apart by fans, as I’ve said I had watched this movie before I ever read a Daredevil comic, so the outfit never really bothered me, I did like. I thought the leather was actually a good touch, what is a costume to do for a character? Not only to protect their identity or to distinguish themselves from everyone else, it’s to protect them in fights. And there in lies another point, it’s not really doing him a lot of good from all the scars I imagine he’s accumulated from years of being Daredevil. Which in itself is also unique with comic book movies, you never see superheroes with any scars. It also shows that his uniform is not suited to the criminals that he comes up against.Now I’m all for transforming costumes, however small the idea to something more usable on-screen, such as Batman’s Cowl becoming separated from the rest of the upper body armour to allow more movement, this is done here. The separation from cowl/mask to the body of the suit just doesn’t look all that great, the mask looks like it could fall off Ben Affleck head if he were to sneeze, just my personal preference that the mask should be connecting to the body to help conceal his identity, which would be hard to do with leather.
Although I feel the casting for all major roles were down to perfection, specifically Michael Clarke Duncan, I did not take well to basically having every major Daredevil character used in one movie, as with most movie franchises, I feel that less is more. Take Spider-Man 3 as the example of too much is bad, not only are we finally introduced to Gwen Stacy and Eddie Brock, but now here is a new villain, and wait, the symbiote suit which will eventually be Venom, too much new to take in and it ended up ruining the movie.The story was actually one of the better first takes on a superhero, it was unfortunately over saturated with big named characters, it really felt like Fox weren’t interested in making a sequel to this. Maybe Wilson Fish should have been the only lead villain, for a sequel have him continue his operations in prison and getting Bullseye to kill Daredevil. I do not think that Michael Clarke Duncan did not get enough screen time, the guy was perfect for the role, there’s nobody his size that could have pulled that off. His voice only helps to exsentuate how bad ass he is, he’s more menacing than a Colin Farrell’s perverted looking eyes when he kills someone!
"Look into my eyes, not around the eyes, look into my eyes."

“Look into my eyes, not around the eyes, look into my eyes.”

 Overall I felt the movie was not the worst comic book to movie adaptation, but cutting some elements of the film out (such as the stupidly awkward scene in the kids playground) would have refined the parts that were good to become great, for it’s time the CGI was incredibly poor, almost looking like animation taken from an old Command and Conquer game. Besides a couple of terrible scenes and too many big named characters over saturating a good story, the movie did do what the title said, it dared to be the best it could.

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