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Daredevil Review

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by AVForums Mar 1, 2005 at 12:00 AM

    Daredevil Review
    Matt Murdock (Affleck), blind lawyer by day, leather-clad superhero by night, leads a one-man war on crime in his home village of “Hell's Kitchen” in New York City. Here's the twist - he's blind. As a child, he was involved in an accident with radioactive waste, which although taking his eyesight away, blessed him with heightened senses, in particular a form of Radar that enables him to see. As a lawyer, he soon comes to learn the fact that there is a kingpin running the town and his name is Wilson Fisk (Duncan). Fisk hires an assassin in the form of Bullseye (Farrell), so named as he never misses and always hits his target, to take out the 'Devil, thus enabling him to have a more dominant control that he is currently getting. Fisk is also aware that an investigation into the identity of the criminal kingpin is being carried out, sets up Nikolas Natchios, whom Bullseye kills and at the same time, he manages to implicate Daredevil in the assassination. This then drives Elektra (Garner), Natchios's daughter to avenge her fathers death, blissfully unaware that she's not only after the wrong person, but that Daredevil's alternate identity is the man she's fallen in love with.

    Well, this is the Director's Cut and that means it can obviously be superior (like Aliens) or inferior (Blade Runner) to the original cinematic release. While I do concur that it is in fact the superior version, there is a niggling part of me that says it's not truly the definitive cut of the movie. Sure, at nearly 30 minutes longer, it actually is more coherent as well as being more satisfying to view as the time really whizzes by. It fixes some of the problems that existed in the first cut; of particular note is the love scene, which thankfully is now exercised from the movie. However, this causes another problem which is that I found it harder to buy the bond between Murdock and Elektra, as they only visibly engaged in three scenes prior to their huge fight. One of these scenes is their first meeting, so they really didn't spend sufficient (on-screen) time together for a deep, loving bond to form, so while I appreciated the cut, emotionally speaking it left a void and a plot-hole. The plot line featuring Coolio as a defendant in a murder investigation was certainly a wise addition, as it helped tie up certain loose ends in the original cut, which as previously stated, made the storyline coherent and not just an exercise in action set-pieces, but maybe he should consider leaving the acting world altogether. Plenty has already been said about the cast, but Affleck isn't as dire as he has been in other movies (Pearl Harbour for instance), Farrell is rather amusing as Bullseye, in fact I'm not totally convinced it was too much of a stretch of his natural persona. Garner is not in this version of the movie as much, but that only acts as a bonus as the character is definitely more in line with the comic book character, for my money anyway. Duncan as Wilson Fisk is an unusual choice, and while he does work well in the movie, part of me is still not convinced that they should have changed the concept of the Kingpin, as he's not as “obese” looking as he should be. On the flipside, thankfully they didn't put Farrell in the Bullseye costume as seen in the comic books! I think on balance, I definitely prefer this version overall, but still think that it has one or two flaws that could be addressed to make it complete. I just have one question, why do they make Jennifer Garners' eye colour that green in some shots - it's unnatural!