2 Disc Special Edition

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan
20th Century Fox
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available now

When young Matt Murdock is blinded in a accident his other senses become enhanced allowing him to treat the rooftops of Hell's Kitchen as his playground. Years later Murdock is seeking justice by day as a lawyer and fighting criminals by night as a leather-bound vigilante...

Another Marvel comic adaptation hits the big screen. Daredevil is a ruthless vigilante and the movie tackles Murdock's inner turmoil as he come to terms with the fact that, like his late father before him, he is spiralling down a long and dangerous path towards evil.

When we first see him lose a court case, against a man who is accused of raping one of his employees, it is a little surprising to see him hunt down this man and kill him in cold blood. Does the punishment fit the crime? I think not. Seems like our costumed freak is a poor loser. Are we to believe that if he can't prove the accused are guilty then he will hunt them down and kill them all? Maybe if he was a better lawyer he wouldn't need to dress up so much as an S&M fetishist. Or is he deliberately losing his cases so he can leather-up?

The origins of the character, while not 100 percent true to the comics, are close enough to keep most serious fans happy. There is no mention of Stick, Daredevil's trainer. Nor do they explain where the name Daredevil came from (although I assume most people are smart enough to work out that as Murdock's father's boxing name is The Devil that this is why he calls himself Daredevil). In the comics Murdock is a swot at school but disguises himself to pull off pranks, like pinching a policeman's truncheon, to work out his frustration at not being able to hit back at the the school bullies.

But it is when Murdock falls for the beautiful Electra Natchios (Jennifer Garner) that things really fall apart. Couldn't the writers have found a more convincing way of introducing her than have the two of them fight it out in a children's playground? In the original stories they meet while at university and it is while starting to date girls that Murdock begins to fall for the dangerous charms of Electra.

I also found it a little strange that Murdock could leap from building to building with precision accuracy, as well as dodging projectiles, yet he couldn't manage to comb his hair properly. But then that could be part of his clever disguise - who would ever suspect a blind man?

Michael Clarke Duncan is convincingly scary as the Kingpin and Colin Farrell adds some much needed light relief as the menacing, if amusing, hitman Bullseye. This thug for hire can kill anyone with any object by turning it into a projectile (darts, paper-clips, pencils and even peanuts). I actually found myself routing for Bullseye over the bland Daredevil. There are also two great cameo appearances, one from Marvel's Stan Lee and the other from director Kevin Smith.

If you liked this movie when it was released then you'll be impressed by the amount of extras crammed onto this 2-disc set. There is DTS soundtrack (which we couldn't get to work all of the time), a fantastic making of feature and a very frank, and honest audio commentary by the director and producer. There are other extras - including music video's and screen tests - but these are only ever going to be watched once.

While not up to the standards of X-Men or Spiderman, this comic adaptation is still pretty good fun. Just don't expect too much and don't take it too seriously and you'll come away entertained.

Darren Rea

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