Daredevil

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By Mark Ramsey | 2003/02/13

I don’t really know the Daredevil comic book. I’ve never been able to appreciate books where dialogue bubbles hang over heads like piñatas and where pictures aren’t just worth a thousand words, they also contain a thousand words.

I’m told by those in the know that this movie Daredevil is faithful to the comic book – although that’s like saying Easter is faithful to the Easter Bunny.

It’s no wonder I always got confused between Daredevil and The Flash. They were both trivial, monochromatic players in the pantheon of cartoon superheroes. But now I get the difference: The Flash moves really fast, and Daredevil moves with a really fast woman.

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He’s in red, she’s in black, and they fold together like a Marlboro box with high cheekbones and extraordinarily full lips.

Technically speaking, Daredevil’s now in maroon, since red is more difficult to accessorize. And he’s got itsy-bitsy horns on his hood just in case he encounters any evil bullfighters. “Even without pockets,” bragged Affleck, “there’s always a spot to hang my keys. And one horn serves as a spindle for my grocery list when I go shopping.”

Whether it’s maroon or red, if I want to watch a guy in a skin-tight suit, I’ll summer on the beach in Rio.

As a child, Daredevil is blinded when he is accidentally splashed in the face with biohazard in front of what seems to be world’s largest producer of biohazard. It’s stacked in hundreds of clearly labeled barrels right there on the sidewalk like some toxic farmer’s market.

Since that moment, Ben explains without cracking up, “My remaining four senses functioned with super-human sharpness!”

“I would keep my promise,” he continued, washing down the giggles with a multi-million dollar cocktail. “I would help those that others didn’t.” He would become a sightless vigilante in eternal pursuit of justice for the powerless. He would be the blind leading the kind.

Despite his keen powers of crime-stopping, Daredevil is a very sensitive guy – like a finalist on The Bachelorette. That was appealing to Jennifer Garner. She’s Ben’s lover-girl who can twirl knives with promiscuous abandon – and don’t think I don’t love using “Jennifer Garner” and “promiscuous” in the same sentence.

Garner doesn’t just have range, she has free range. She wasn’t raised in a cage, but from the looks of her some handcuffs and a blindfold would not be out of the question.

daredevil_bullseye.jpgI don’t get Jennifer Garner. Yeah, she’s hot. But hot babes in L.A. are as abundant as plankton in the Gulf. Besides, why does the blind guy need someone this hot? If anyone could resist the seductive superficiality of appearance, you’d think it would be the blind guy. Let those of us with sight judge books by their covers!

And I don’t get Colin Farrell either. Here’s a guy who has been anointed “the next big thing” by everybody but the audience. If being foretold as a star would make it so, then we would all be bowing at the feet of Gretchen Mol. Hollywood is so convinced this guy has the goods they are foisting him on us in a desperate effort to make us love him. He’s the Angelyne of the Silver Screen.

Colin is “Bullseye” – so named because a bull’s-eye is stamped on his forehead. Is it just me, or is this asking for trouble? He looks like he just celebrated the assassin’s version of Ash Wednesday.

As his name implies, Bullseye’s aim is dead on. Who knew one could be killed with paperclips to the throat? Can you also be suffocated with Post-It notes? Weapons of mass destruction are available at an Office Depot near you.

Michael Clarke Duncan is the “Mr. Big” of crime bosses whose job is evidently to stare out the window of his high-rise while smoking a stogie. You have to give it up for Mr. Clarke Duncan. There aren’t too many good roles for guys built like they tuck themselves into a garage every night.

Compared to Spider-Man, Daredevil is a lot darker. I mean, here’s a hero that pops Vicodin and Percodan. Try explaining that one to your rug-rats!

But all in all, this is a well made piece of bubble-gum. It lacks the heart, the light touch, and the boy-charm of Spider-Man, but its cheese isn’t quite as ripe and the animation doesn’t suck as much, either. Just make sure you look the other way when Ben and Jennifer do that richly ridiculous acrobatic mating dance.


Photos Copyright ©2003 20th Century Fox

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