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Friday, January 24 12:00 AM EST

Trailer Review: Daredevil

By Brian Briggs

Reviewinator

Starring

Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner

Director Mark Steven Johnson
Official Site Link
US Opening February 14, 2003
Rated PG-13
Genre Action/Fantasy
Dead Bodies 0
Explosions 2
Weapons Toxic waste, fists of fury, handguns, kung-fu fighting, swords, shuriken, flying pencil, grappling hook, night sticks, Colin Farrell's Eyebrow of Power.
Voice Over Yes
"In a world where..." "In a city ruled by fear. "
Spoilage Factor 20%
Geek Factor 75% (comic book superhero, special effects, butt kicking babe)
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? If you can't wait for Spider-Man 2 then yes.

Hollywood trailer producers love to borrow musical scores from recent movies and use them in new releases, so they can induce a positive feeling about the current film by leeching off the good will of the old. Like using the score from Requiem for a Dream in The Two Towers trailer, or the Driving Miss Daisy theme for Boogie Knights. But, unless it's a parody not many trailers borrow direct imagery - then comes Daredevil. A trailer without fear when it comes to paying homage to the favorites of cinema. The P-Diddy, if you will, of the preview genre.

First, I forgive the similarities to Spider-Man. Daredevil and Spider-Man occupy the same universe. Both are based on Marvel comics from Stan Lee. But, did they really need a to borrow the Tobey Maguire-Kirsten Dunst "kiss in the rain" scene like the Spider-Man trailer? I guess we can be thankful that they didn't have Daredevil hanging upside-down.

Next, I looked at the credits and they don't mention Jack Nicholson anywhere, so I can only guess that Affleck is doing a great impersonation of Jack as the Joker in Batman when he says, "Time to give the devil his due." Affleck's voice had to be digitally altered - "Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight" Ben?

Every action movie these days draws from the fantastic special effects work in The Matrix. I would die happy if I never saw another "multiple-mid-air-kicks-with-panning-camera" shot. Thankfully, Daredevil only uses the "lunging-away-from-slow-motion-bullets" sequence. Those who want to scream "Daredevil is avoiding shurikens not bullets! It's completely different fuzzlebrain!" rest assured that they are both avoiding digitally created pixels on the screen and thus the stunts are identical.

Falling, FallingNow at last, the masterstroke, Colin Farrell and the Eyebrow of Power do a great impression of Alan Rickman and the Goatee of Power falling off a building. Alan's face while he's falling is one of my favorite movie images. If I ever fall off a building that's what I want my face to look like.

Borrowing from other creative works is not necessarily a bad thing. Each artist builds on the work of others in some way. It is an unavoidable aspect of the creative process. Unfortunately, in this trailer it was done to the point of distraction..

Not all is lost, or stolen, in this trailer. Joe Pantoliano, who has had roles in some of my favorite movies (The Fugitive, Bound, The Matrix, Memento), has only a small role in this trailer, but makes the most with a cool toss of his cigarette.

Nice Pair
Nice Pair
of
Images From Daredevil
Nice Pair

The rest supporting cast of Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan and Colin Farrell do an ample job. They provide lots of action and laughs including Farrell's hilarious "I want a costume" line.

Finally, we arrive at Daredevil played by Ben Affleck. Who can blame Affleck for wanting to have sight when the heaving bosom of Jennifer Garner is in your face, but there were many scenes where it just didn't seem like he was blind - another distraction this trailer could've done without.

Conclusion on Trailer: In the end, all trailers should be graded on how much they make you want to see the movie. This trailer did an above average job, but barely. It played too much like Spider-Man 1.5: Batman Dies Hardest in The Matrix, but not as well done. This trailer does receive some spots for using "In a city..." sure it's not "In a world..." but what the heck it's the closest we've gotten in the trailers we've reviewed so far. Five and a half spots out of eleven.

Conclusion on Movie: The movie has definite potential, but Ben Affleck seems about as heroic as Gomer Pyle.

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