For the most part, Batman has always been my favorite super-hero. True, there was a time when Wolverine was, because he’s such bad-ass. But Bats is still da man though.
Was a time though, way back in the day, before I knew what a trade paperback was, that I managed to get my hands on a what I thought was just a really thick comic book called Son Of Marvel Origins. Well, turns out a trade paperback, at least in the comic book world, is a collection of previously released comics. I don’t remember exactly what the book had, but one thing always stood out…the origin of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear. Little Matt Murdock, doused by toxic fluid during a truck accident, loses his sight, only to have his other senses heightened preternaturally. When he gets older, extreme circumstances force him to don a bright yellow and red costume and become Daredevil.
Ah comics…the stuff of legend.
You gotta love them.
I know I do. I know I’m an old man, but Hell, comics?
Yep, I still love them.
For almost 40 years Daredevil’s been one of the heroes of the Marvel Universe. Never quite the star that SPIDER-MAN or the X-MEN became, “Ol’ Hornhead” still has his fair share of hardcore fans.
He even made it onto the small screen once, in a Incredible Hulk TV movie, The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk, albeit in a plain black boring outfit. Still, it was kinda nifty, and even had the Kingpin, as portrayed by Jon Rhys Davies, long before his heralded role of the fierce dwarf in the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. Oh, and just for fun, Mr. Marvel himself, Stan “The Man” Lee had a cameo too…something like “Frightened Juror #2”.
But I digress…
Finally, in the wake of quality comic book films like Spider-Man, X-Men, and BLADE II, and in anticipation of hopeful future classics such as Hulk and X 2, here comes Daredevil.
Well, my hat goes off to writer-director Mark Steven Johnson. His creation is flawed and far from perfect, but it feels like a comic book, and that feels good!
And I love the fact that he’s a comic book fan because it allowed for all sorts of tributes. Keep an ear out for some of names in this flick. A lot of them are the names of previous Daredevil writers and artists, including Jose (Joe) Quesada. In fact the very first shot we see of DD is an exact recreation from one of Quesada’s comics. Good stuff.
The cast of Daredevil is excellent. Michael Clarke Duncan is the Kingpin, and he’s perfect in the role, even if it’s not as big a role as the character merits. Jon Favreau is really good as Foggy Nelson, Matt Murdock's funny and optimistic partner. Joe Pantoliano is always good, and as reporter Ben Ulrich he’s great.
Colin Farrell goes way, way over the top as the hitman Bullseye. Sure he doesn’t wear the masked, spandex outfit from the comics, but that’s OK. Oh, and by the way, stick around during the end credits…
OK, I’m busy eating crow as I tap away on this review. I have to admit I was literally insulted when I heard that Jennifer Garner had won the role of Elektra Natchios. Sure she’s pretty and on a hit show (Alias), but she’s like an all American girl. Why the hell would they pick her to play a Greek woman! In the comics, Elektra was always an olive skinned beauty…
But oh how my closed, simple mind has been blown wide open. Ms. Garner absolutely rocks!
Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, but she plays the part perfectly. She’s really tough, yet also very compassionate. And WOW, did I mention she’s gorgeous? Because, man oh man she is gorgeous!
And good old Ben Affleck. I’m so glad he’s a comic book geek because he wanted this role. It’s a character he loves, and I think it showed. He does a really great job here, and I hope he dons the red leather again.
OK, that was not supposed to sound nearly as gay as it did.
Daredevil is not a classically great movie, but as a comic book movie it guarantees a smile.
And I’m thinking, a sequel as well…