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Still shot from the movie: Daredevil.

Daredevil

Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) was injured as a child when accidentally doused with biological chemicals. Left without sight, life became even worse when his prizefighter father was beaten to death by thugs in a back alley. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C-
Violence: D
Sexual Content: C
Language: C+
Drugs/Alcohol: B
Run Time: 103
Theater Release: 14 Feb 2003
Video Release:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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A live-action dark and broody work, Daredevil offers a typical comic book superhero premise: Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) was injured as a child when accidentally doused with biological chemicals. Left without sight, life became even worse when his prizefighter father was beaten to death by thugs in a back alley.

Now an adult, he's a lawyer by day, determined to represent the poor and downtrodden (a goal not appreciated by his partner who feels their office looks like a set from Sanford and Son). By night Matt metes out a different brand of justice. Donning a form-fitting outfit and facemask and a deadly modified white cane, he transforms into Daredevil, negotiating the skyline of NYC and scouring Hell's Kitchen (his neighborhood) for criminal activity. While his four remaining senses -- highly intensified since the chemical accident -- assist in the fight against crime, Daredevil's main goal is to find the evil man responsible for taking his father's life.

Usually the silver lining to violent byproducts created by action heroes is their desire to help create peace. Matt's original intent was to provide justice in circumstances where the innocent party couldn't afford big-time legal assistance, but Daredevil's innate desire for violent revenge seems to be a far greater motivating force. Concerned about the morality of his actions, he seeks advice from his priest, to whom he first reminds, "Justice isn't a sin." The priest counters: "But vengeance is."

Maybe this guy was asleep during Sunday School, because his visits with clergy do little to change his violent behavior. However, a chance meeting with the fast fighting Elektra (Jennifer Garner) ignites an instant romance, providing the vigilante with a needed distraction. Yet even this relationship is quickly sidetracked into conflict when Elektra's father is murdered and she mistakenly believes Daredevil is responsible.

Besides scene after scene of people being beaten, or shot with bullets, paper clips, pencils, and maimed by other objects, our ?hero? has no problems engaging in casual sexual encounters (as mentioned by another character earlier in the film) and we are privy to one of these moments, which shows bare backs and shoulders.

Based on the Marvel comic of the same name, Daredevil is violent enough to leave many parents questioning the suitability of this masked crusader and his confusing morals. In the closing minutes, Daredevil says (in Affleck's best melodramatic voice) at first he was out to save the city, but thanks to Elektra, he saved himself instead, and now has the faith that anything is possible. It sounds good, but I'm convinced this character is still blinded by his vengeful nature.

Daredevil is rated PG-13: for action, violence and some sensuality.

Cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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