Monday, August 31, 2015

Daredevil (2003)

I am only a little ways away from finally taking a look at the Daredevil TV series (yeah, yeah, I know. What the heck took me so long?), but before that, I would like to get this review that I've been holding off for months out of the way.

Plot: Matt Murdock is a lawyer from Hell's Kitchen who was blinded as a boy by a toxic waste spill that also enhanced his other senses giving him the ability to "see" through sonic vibrations. When his father is murdered by a mobster, he decides to use his abilities to become a crime-fighter called Daredevil.

Now before I go any further, I want you to keep in mind that I have not seen the director's cut. I've heard that it's a little better, and if it is, swell. But I'm unable to find a way to see it, so I'm just going to go off of the original cut. Anyways, the first time I saw this movie, I wasn't completely sure how to feel about it. I mean I thought it was bad, but I was taken aback to how some of the choices that they made were just...odd. My basic feeling was that it gave the very general gist of who Daredevil is, what his origin, who his allies and enemies are and the all around mood of the hero. But the deliverance was just bad in a really weird kind of way. And today, I think I still kind of feel that way in some respects. For one thing, Daredevil's sense of serving justice is mixed up. On one hand, he just beats up bad guys like any other hero, and yet in his first fight in the movie as Daredevil, he kills a criminal and then attempts to kill one of the antagonists during the third act. I'm not going to pretend that I have read Daredevil comics as devotedly as I have with Spider-Man comics. But I'm almost positive that he's as non-lethal as most superheroes. In fact, there's a part of the story that goes over whether or not he's a bad guy. Now that's not a bad idea for a story line, but there's so little focus to it that I think they only brought it up twice in the movie. And in both cases, all they establish is just him saying "I'm not the bad guy." So they could've spent more time in Daredevil realizing his errors and slowly learning to never kill. Instead, we have a so-called superhero who beats up most criminals but kills the main targets. Not the best way to represent Daredevil on a moral ground to say the least. Another example of how odd the film is, is its choice of music. I think the Nostalgia Critic review for this movie implied that the music is different in the director's cut. And again, if that's the case, swell. But with this version, *sigh* there are some songs that do not match with what is happening in the film. And we're talking The Transformers: The Movie kind of not match. The main examples are the introduction to Kingpin and when Elektra is training herself. We first see Kingpin with this pop or rap song playing in the beginning of his first scene. None of that fits with Kingpin, who is this very heavyset and socially high class kind of villain. But even that somehow made more sense then Elektra's training scene. Basically she's using sandbags to practice her assassin skills in a big, dark and empty room, planning to kill Daredevil. And what music do they decide to play for this moment? Wake me up by Evanescence. Just...why? That is probably one of the most ridiculous choices you could make in a really serious scene like that. But with all of that said, the action is alright in some cases, and the costumes look a little cool with the exception of Bullseye. And again, in a way, it does sort of capture the dark and brooding tone of the comics (though I say that out of what little amount of the comic that I've read.)

And that's my review for Daredevil. Like the first Fantastic Four movie, it does okay in giving us (to some small degree) the general gist of the superhero, his friends and enemies, and the all around tone for the world he lives in. But he also changes from beating up bad guys to killing, has a potential storyline about his moral that is wasted, and has a soundtrack that poorly sets the mood with some of its scenes. If you ever want to find out how far this hero has come from before the Netflix series, I guess you can give it a look, but otherwise this is a definite skip.

Rating: 35%   

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