March, 2003, Thriller

Directed by:Mark Steven Johnson

Starring:Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Colin Farrell

If comic book heroes are your cuppa tea, you could do worse than this latest entry in the conversion of that genre to the big screen. Ben Affleck, actor of the hour, stars in this first effort at depicting the exploits of blind lawyer Matt Murdock, aka Marvel Comics’ Daredevil, who spends his days in a struggling law practice and his evenings in a set of maroon tights fighting evil-doers. Blinded in a childhood accident caused by an incident which led to estrangement from his father, Murdock develops acute powers of hearing and touch to compensate for his lack of sight and a blinding rage to go along with them. 

In the course of his day job, he meets and falls for Elektra, the lollypop-delectable daughter of a wealthy (and possibly corrupt) businessman. Elektra, (who's expert in more kinds of karate than exist in the real world) spurns her overly ardent suitor during the first reel, but soon the two of them are making plans for the future which run afoul of crime boss Kingpin and his sadistic hit man Bull's-eye, played with gleeful aplomb by Colin Farrell. Much mayhem ensues, amazing feats of derring-do occur, and plenty of room is left in the storyline to assure that, pending box-office success, Daredevil won't have to give up his day job or worry about whether a sequel will be made.

The screenwriters build an interesting menace into Affleck's character and the chemistry between Affleck and Jennifer Garner's Electra makes for some interesting moments, especially during an initial display of their respective skills on a school playground's teeter-totter. Director Mark Steven Johnson also does a clever and visually interesting job of conveying Daredevil's auditory prowess, while sneaking in enough of Ms. Garner's cleavage to interest those boys in the audience old enough to appreciate it.

 The result is a worthy competitor to the Spiderman series, but that’s damning with faint praise…. 

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