Daredevil (2003)

daredevil poster 2003 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

Ok story, Bullseye

Ben Affleck, Daredevil's costume

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Daredevil

Studio:  Marvel Films

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  February 14, 2003

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Everybody was kung fu fighting! Their kicks were fast as lightning!

Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) is a successful attorney. When a woman named Elektra (Jennifer Garner) enters his life, his chances to bring down the Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) come into fruition when he realizes her father’s dealings with him could be the evidence he needs. Murdock is hiding a secret, when he was young he was blinded by a chemical which enhanced his other senses. When Daredevil is framed for Elektra’s father’s death by the Kingpin’s assassin Bullseye (Colin Farrell), Elektra sets out to avenge her father.

Directed by Mark Steven Johnson, Daredevil was met with mixed to negative reviews and destroyed by fans of the comic. The movie was successful however and did spawn a spin off in Elektra (2005) starring Jennifer Garner.


I’m a card-carrying killer!

Daredevil’s biggest problem is Ben Affleck. He bumbles his way through a so-so plot that a better actor might be able to carry. Affleck’s “blindness” involves him just looking off in a different direction than the person looking and a dead look in his eyes (which I’ll he has mastered over years of acting).  There were a lot of other contenders for the role including Affleck’s best-buddy Matt Damon, Guy Pierce, and Vin Diesel…I do think Affleck would have done a bit better than him however.

The next problem is Daredevil’s costume, but I can’t necessarily blame the filmmakers. Superhero costumes are always tricky because in real world situations, they aren’t really functional. If it had been bright spandex (a la Spider-Man), it might have looked a bit strange and unrealistic also. The movie went for a leather and more durable look…which didn’t really work and also meant Bullseye and Elektra had to follow suit in leathery costumes.


Ok, left hand yellow! I love Twister!

The story borrowed a lot from the Daredevil mythos and is ok. There were appearances by Ben Urich (Joe Pantoliano), Franklin “Foggy” Nelson (Jon Favreau who also got to play Iron Man’s back-up buddy Happy Hogan), and Karen Page (Ellen Pompeo), and cameos by Daredevil writers Stan Lee, Frank Miller, and Kevin Smith.  It simplified the Elektra’s origin plot and made more of a reason for her to hate Daredevil and Ferrell was a fun Bullseye who is kind of an obnoxious character to begin with (I always saw him as the first Deadpool…a psychotic who won’t shut up). Garner is fine as Elektra (who is supposed to be a Greek girl…the movie missed the bus there also), but as seen by her solo movie couldn’t carry a film alone. Michael Clarke Duncan is an imposing but rather forgettable Kingpin.

Daredevil is one of those films that almost works. A director’s cut which was released on DVD and Blu-Ray is surprisingly better and helps expand the storylines that seem collapsed in the original film (it also has a sideline story that was completely cut involving Coolio). The failure of the film (and Elektra) damned the franchise, but Daredevil (and Elektra in Season 2) were resurrected on Netflix when the rejoined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2015.

Related Links:

Elektra (2005)

Daredevil—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Daredevil—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989) 

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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