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Daredevil

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan and Jon Favreau
Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
Rated: PG-13

 

 

Daredevil, in the immortal slang of Ben Affleck's hometown, is FRIGGIN' RATAHDED! Okay you know you're heading into a comic book adaptation right? So you don't expect too much. You tend to forgive a bad plot, complete lack of character development and even allow a few telegraphed scenes, you hope have been placed for the younger audience members. But what you do expect is good action.

The action in this piece of celluloid poop was so lame-o-rama it made a Japanese 1983 Atari knockoff of a superhero game like say, "Superiorman," look state of the art. In fact so cheaply drawn were some of the graphics that Daredevil often looked as graceful as a tidily wink hitting the side of a building. And the choreography was like an arts funding deprived elementary school production of "Morphoses." Just awful.

Shame on all involved. The ridiculous perfection of Jennifer "It Girl" Garner's "Elektra" was out-loud laughable. The kid has so many bad scenes but one really stands out. Elektra was actually in pouring rain -doing her grating pout - and she manages to stay bone dry. Hello? Hello? Script supervisor? Editor?? DIRECTOR???

Ben Affleck, sorry, but ya sucked.

I originally was going to rip Colin Farrell a new arseway, but then I remembered the over-the-top villains Jim Carrey, Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito brought us…I was calmed, briefly. See, truth is we will buy an over dramatic bad guy in a campy comic clip. We love them! But when the actor playing the villain is up against a cardboard cutout actor like Affleck, it simply makes any energy the bad guy expels cartoonish. Which of course shouldn't be a bad thing in a COMIC BOOK FILM. Argh.

The story goes a sad little boy, Matt Murdock (Scott Terra), catches his washed up boxer dad (David Keith) strong-arming for extra cash. As the kid freaks and takes off in distraught from the awful scene, he has a horrible chemical accident which leaves him blind. Before he and his father can really rebond...daddyo gets bumped off for not throwing a fight.

Cut ahead and through all the sappy crappy over dramatic music farting and the blind boy now has superhero powers. He grows into a nice looking fella (Ben Affleck) with emotional baggage resembling a set of monogrammed steamer chests. Determined to fight evil he dons a flamboyant devil suit that looks like Stonewall he-devil-sex-kitten leather gear (if you know what I mean and I think that you do) and becomes -dada dada - Dorkdevil, err, Daredevil.

He's going along fighting crime and living in the shadows till he meets (shocker) a girl. She's one tough chickbabe. Haha. In fact she proves it by kungfuing his ass in the kiddy park when he asks for her name. He's blind but that doesn't stop her. Gosh, aint she sweet? He's smitten. Her name is Elektra ( Jennifer Garner) and she also happens to be the head bad guy's daughter - or is she - dada dada!

Again we're not here for Charlie Kaufman plots, but please please this is so badly acted, and scripted the brain starts to hurt…nay…yearn for an escape from the head that makes it sit and stay.

Didn't anyone involved ever actually read a comic? Or even perhaps it would have behooved the ensemble to rent a successful comic book film like say, Spiderman, Batman or Superman? Geeze. Hmm, but then again they must have since they STOLE about a hundred scenes from them. The weirdest part is that even with all the (let's even be nice here) " homages" to comic films before it, how then did this stink worse than the leftover omelet you stashed in the third fridge door only to discover it three months later?

A huge part of the sea of goop they served us was the failed action fight scenes. They edited the bits so kinetically you're either blinded by odd flashing lights or simply watching human mish mosh thrash about to a putrid soundtrack. Who exactly watched the dailies of the film and said, "Yeah, we gotta drop another million for the roof scenes man"? Don't even make me conjour up images of the multiple congruency errors - we'll be here all day.

And as if the wanker action and the horrific audio wasn't bad enough, Daredevil had by far the boringest bad guys eva! Kingpin - who in the comic is practically a giant, was absolutely not scary in the least. The role was attempted by Michael Clarke Duncan. He may be large but he just doesn't give off good bad. He seemed a tad stockbrokerish. Oh, but Kingpin did have the super cheesy cane of power. Ha. It looked like a magic kit wand with a plexiglass ball on the top that had an uncanny resemblance to a miniature snow globe from the holiday discount bin at Hallmark™.

Bullseye, played by Colin Farrell, was just a bald Irish guy that had a really bad temper, a great throw and a MadMax fixation. Of course part ah dat wasn't all actin' now twas it? Na fair reader it wadn't. Colin Farrell who's usually a real hot slice of raisin filled soda bread worthy of a wee toasting and slathering in full cream butter…is simply crusty looking here and frankly just off. Again, it could be because he thought the rest of the cast was going to actually read the wafer thin script and heighten the characters a pinch. Instead it appears they chose to nosh on valiums and Quaaludes for their speaking bits and leave the movement up to the animators. He almost looks as if he's on the wrong set.

Daredevil as interpreted by Ben Affleck? Don't get me friggin' stahhted! Ben sucked in that horrid Sum of All Fears aka the world's most erroneous nuclear disaster film ever made and this movie just cements my distaste for the guy. It's a good thing his personal life is going so well. Because hopefully now he'll quit showbiz and start a family. Cruel? You didn't just sit through two plus hours of tedious torture with his patented one expression is all expressions performance! So judge me not fair reader. Besides, he'd make a good dad…

And sorry for the minions that adore this Jennifer Garner here she was not all that. Sure, the gal is the hottest TV star de Jour with the hit show Alias, but here she had brought nothing to the big screen but bright white teeth, big boobs and an annoying pout. Maybe it was the director? I hope so. The production was so cheesy it actually had her in some dress that looked as if the costume department grabbed an industrial box of Reynolds's Foil and whipped up an evening gown. Hideous.

Poor Jon Favreau. He was saddled as Daredevil's "quirky" comic relief partner, "Froggy." The sport did would he could with the drivel they gave him. Such a talent…. such a waste.

Joe Pantoliano plays the journalist with a heart under all his smarm just fine. He gives good smarmy.

Comicbook and Jersey Film fans will shrill with delight as normally talented Kevin Smith has a brief cameo.

The press notes claim director/writer Mark Steven Johnson wrote Grumpier Old Men back in 93. I want to dig up his back yard I tell you! I suspect there's a skeleton of the real author of that character friendly flick rotting beneath the topsoil. Either that or dub him the "Ed Wood of Comicbook Films!"

Do yourself a favor - don't see this.

Snack Recommendation: Take out Thai and a rental; perhaps The Bourne Identity?

 

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