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Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

At The Movies

At Daredevil — **Warning, this review has spoilers galore. If you haven't seen it yet and don't want to lose any impact from it, skip this review!

Like most of you, I've been waiting for the release of DareDevil with more than a "wonder how it'll be" attitude. I liked that Ben Affleck was to be in the title role but I wasn't sure how Jennifer Garner would be as Elektra. The previews looked good but the excitement wasn't mounting as the release date approached. Maybe I was too pre-occupied with real life. Maybe I didn't want to bring up my hopes too high. Whichever the reason, one thing was certain: Chantale and I were going to watch it with Francisco and Line :)

We did get to see it, but I'm still debating my feelings on it. The obvious comparisons to Spider-Man have to be made (yet, strangely enough, none to X-Men) of which I have only two. Daredevil was a lot more violent; and Daredevil was made to be too "Spider-y" in a number of scenes (but, then again, so was Elektra and Bullseye). There was plenty of action (happily none so blatantly in-your-face and dizzying like Blade 2) and, overall, it's a good, adult, superhero movie.

There were a number of things I did not like, though. For example, Daredevil having a Priest as a confidante (as opposed to it being a Nun eventually revealed to be his mother), or Matt sleeping in a "Water Coffin" (regardless of how "logical" this can be made to seem (ie; drowns out his senses)).

There were a number of character elements I also didn't enjoy. Francisco, however, explained these, to me as being part of Miller's "revisionist" version of Daredevil. What can I say? I didn't feel the way Elektra was introduced or Daredevil's origin required "re-designing". Having a sweet girl like Elektra fall "down" so deeply that she becomes a heartless assassin is a bigger "shock" than having a semi-angry streetwise woman do so.

Along with that, here are the other points I didn't enjoy: Matt's father being a hood; Matt not losing his eyesight doing something brave; Kingpin being the one who actually killed Matt's father (Holy Batman-Movie Jokerism!); Jack Murdock being "The Devil" instead of "Battling"; Daredevil actually taking lives (regardless of how they used that to show how much he changed as a hero when he later refused to kill Kingpin).

Bullseye, looking like a rabid, homicidal Andre Agassi, was so over the top that it helped distract from the fact that he was a brutal murderer. Well-played, if different from the cool, arrogant, and self-assured character in the books I remember.

I should say, by the way, that I liked the way the credits flowed from braille into written. I thought that was clever. Also, Jennifer Garner did put in a great performance. I enjoyed it.

So, did I like the movie? Obviously all the little problems I had with it stem from my comic background. Yet, that selfsame background allowed me to better enjoy Spider-Man (and didn't bother me with X-Men) where it conflicted with Daredevil. If I were to take that away, does the movie stand on its own? That I'm still not sure of. I never felt Daredevil as portrayed in the movie had a "legitimate" reason for donning the costume.

On first viewing, I would have to give it a 6. However, I do know that on subsequent viewings (of which there will be!) that number will be higher :)

Before I close, let me add one more note, this time about the comic adaptation of the movie: garbage. Save your money. Bad art, choppy story, bad editing… forget it. Or, if you truly want to purchase a copy, let me know and I'll sell you mine! :)

(At The Movies (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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