Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daredevil. C+

Daredevil is a bizarre superhero movie because it takes itself seriously, has reasonable intelligence, yet has the look and feel of a B-movie adventure from the fifties. Daredevil himself has never been the most popular superhero, sort of a lame version of Batman with a bland costume and a disability that diminishes his cool quality. He's played here by Ben Affleck, who gives a weak performance that's reminiscent of the kind you might find in the movies of old I mentioned. The film has a strange way of telling its story. It starts at the end, then flashes back to the beginning with a lengthy introduction to Murdock. When it jumps ahead to Murdock's adult life, he is already Daredevil. It seems almost obligatory that a superhero movie shows the origin of the suit, but that's just because it's how it's done today. In Tim Burton's Batman, the Knight has been donning his suit for who knows how long when he's first introduced. Daredevil asks the viewer to make the same assumptions. There's a story here, as well as a few villains and a girlfriend for Murdock. Yet the movie seems to be fulfilling a requirement instead of actually being good. But it has some qualities that make it better than Fantastic Four or Ghost Rider, the two superhero movies this one's often mentioned with. It's a serious movie, focused more on drama that humor and action. Daredevil is presented as a tragic character, and the movie gets the emotions across, allowing us to make a connection with Murdock. Yet the film is too superficial, like it was shot with an incomplete script. There's no style to go along with the substance. The action scenes are muddled, chaotic, and completely lacking the wow moves of other superhero films, while the special effects are, to speak kindly, dull. This could have been a good movie, even a great one, if it had stronger aspirations. As a result, it's difficult to recommend with any sincerity.

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