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Daredevil

Year: 2003
Production Co: Marvel Enterprises
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Producer: Avi Arad
Writer: Mark Steven Johnson
Cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garmer, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Favreau, joe Pantoliano

What can they possibly bring to the comic strip hero on screen that hasn't been done before? As it turns out, not much apart from another exciting popcorn movie. Especially when it's a comic strip hero that nobody except hard core geekboy fans have heard of.

We meet Daredevil (aka blind humanitarian lawyer Matt Murdock) in the midst of his climactic fight with nemesis Bullseye (Farrell) in a New York church. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn how he acquired his superpowers, how he grew up to become the daredevil, the dark demons he's exorcising doing what he does, the love and loss he found in local tycoon's daughter Elektra (Garner), and the battle against New York crime lord kingpin (Clarke Duncan) that's led him to where he is.

Great graphics - especially the scenes that show you how he 'reads' his environment through his four remaining super senses - and a charismatic villain (more Bullseye than Kingpin) make it an enjoyable cinematic experience. But the villain who killed his parents, the dark, miserable life he leads, struggling for the underdog, and a dozen other cliches have been borrowed from every other comic book character ever devised.

Also - and I wonder what native New Yorkers think about this (and Americans generally) ; here's another superhero/one man/army/hope for all mankind type hanging around New York City that Americans spent the postwar years creating and the last half century believing in. Where were they all when hijacked passenger jets turned for their final approach towards the World Trade Centre?

Stan Lee appears as the old man young Matt saves from crossing the street into the path of an oncoming truck.

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