To call this film underwhelming would imply that I had expectations for it. I had hopes, but not expectations. Daredevil follows the story of Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck). As a child he was in an accident involving biochemical waste, causing him to loose his sight. It wasn't a major loss though, as his other senses increased, allowing him to live as close to normal a life as possible. This doesn't end up being the case, however. Matt Murdock, as it turns out, secretly lives a double life, a life in which he patrols the city as the masked hero Daredevil, fighting evil and bringing criminals to justice. Things soon change for Matt when he meets Elektra (Jennifer Garner), a skilled warrior who plays as a love interest to the title character.
Daredevil is one of my favourite superheroes, aside from Howard the Duck of course, but it's questionable as to whether or not old Howie counts as a "superhero." As some of you may be aware, I read comic books, admittedly more Marvel than DC, but that's best left unmentioned. Daredevil is up there as one of my all-time favourite superheroes, right alongside the more popular choices of Batman or Iron Man etc. This movie could have been a whole lot better than it was, given the material it's based on. I'm not just saying this from the perspective of someone watching it for the first time during the peak of superhero films, it's just not a good movie. Yes, it does lack in comparison to newer Marvel movies, but it even lacks when compared to the ones that came before this. In fact, when you compare this to Spider-Man, which was released before Daredevil, you'll find a lot more than just a staggering difference in quality. They're practically the same movie.
With all its flaws, Daredevil does have the privilege of getting a decent performance from Ben Affleck. He's not the number one choice for the role, but he undeniably does a brilliant job as both Matt Murdock and Daredevil. He's believable. Although the alterations in some of his character details, particularly the origin, make absolutely no sense, Affleck does his best to bring us into his world and get us believing that this guy can exist. It's ludicrous, but believably so. Except, you know, the fact that going blind allows you to jump hundreds of feet in a single leap.
Speaking of ludicrous, this film can be absolutely ridiculous. Yes, some of it is made believable, but then there's moments such as Bullseye killing an elderly woman on an airplane and the flight attendant, who saw the incident, coming over and saying "aww, she's sleeping!" Bullseye is this film's most ridiculous attribute. He's over the top, obnoxious and completely ignored when he commits the most obvious of crimes. Yep, the plane scene isn't the only one.
I'm going to read to you what it says on the back cover of the DVD for this movie, and this is the exact quote. "Featuring spectacular special effects, sizzling fight sequences and nonstop action, Daredevil is an extraordinary thrill-ride." This, ladies and gentlemen, is quite possibly the most misleading advert you'll read all day. No no, all year. Daredevil lacks in fight sequences, nonstop action, thrills and spectacular special effects. It even lacks in decent special effects. They're horrible, boasting with computerisation.
In both the first fight sequence and the final one, neither of which are remotely enjoyable, there's a bunch of audio distortion. Why is there audio distortion I hear you ask? Not a freaking clue. For god's sake people, Daredevil is blind, not deaf. There's no logical reason for him to be hearing things worse than regular people do, which is what the filmmakers appear to be going for. He's quite the opposite actually. Hey, at least we had Daredevil-vision, which was an underused gem.
And finally, what the hell is the plot of this film? You may have noticed from the brief synopsis I gave way back in the opening paragraph that it's very vague. That's because there's no real plot. There's a love story between Daredevil and Elektra, there's a revenge story thrown in during the final half hour, there's no bad guy that's maintained for the entire film, the characters don't have any emotional investment and there's no real structure of any sorts. F**k you movie.
To sum up, Daredevil lacks in everything coherent and believable, despite efforts by Ben Affleck to make them so. It's over the top, stupid, lacking any thrills, boring and illogical. This film just sucks, despite Affleck's best efforts.