Daredevil (2003)

(In theaters, February 2003) Marvel Comics’ recent run of decent movie adaptations continues, though Daredevil isn’t much more than decent. The problem isn’t to be found in the built-by-numbers story or the lead cast: While Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Michael Clarke Duncan are a touch bland but okay, Colin Farrell steals the show with one of the most delightfully over-the-top villains in recent history. Nope, the problems are concentrated in the choppy editing, the nervous direction and the lack of oomph. Resemblances are easy to see with Spider-Man, up to a point where it’s possible to worry that comic superheroes movies will all pretty much have the same trauma/story setup. Still, this is darker than usual, though the film chickens out near the end when comes the time to seal some characters’ fate. I was very disappointed at some of the so-called action sequences, which were often over-edited in a choppy mess. (The bar fight is a prime example of this). Some of the operational details of Daredevil’s lifestyle are also sadly unexamined, though some of it may be left in the rumoured 25 minutes of cut footage. What can’t be fixed though more footage, though, is the soundtrack which is already dated “Summer 2002” by its overuse of RIAA-approved rock bands cloned from Creed genes. Still, I’m not complaining too much; as comic book movies go, this is still one of the good ones, and even if it’s lacking, it’s not completely awful. It’ll do.

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