Evan's Eyes


A great comic-book hero makes adults secretly relive their mind-reeling, pre-pubescent wish for a life of fantastic, testosterone-driven, hair-raising adventure. In film, this requires a compelling protagonist, an interesting antagonist, and great action sequences. When I went to see "Daredevil," the best part was the preview for "X-Men 2." This explains the lack of Oscar nominations.

The protagonist, Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, blinded as a pre-adolescent, wears sunglasses or a mask covering the top part of his face. When Ben Affleck's eyes are seen, he does a respectable job of not looking directly at objects in front of him (aided by cloudy contact lenses), so we can believe he's blind. However, Affleck's successful "I'm not looking" act doesn't reveal character. A powerful actor could communicate the tortured soul housed in the damaged body and give nuance to the desires and anguish roiling beneath his sightless surface. Ben is only a movie star. He can play himself, or brash, self-amused or self-absorbed average guys (not much different from playing "himself"). So rather than being caught up in his internal struggle, when he appears on the screen, one thinks, "Hey, there's Ben Affleck!"

The producers must have spent so much money on Ben Affleck's salary that they could only pay Michael Clarke Duncan half of what he wanted, so he only appears on screen half as much as he should. He plays the villainous King Pin, but we hardly have a chance to be interested in him. So most of the fight scenes are between Daredevil and Bullseye, a hired assassin, whose specialty is throwing lethal things like darts, throwing stars, pencils, and paper clips (no, really). This lends some interest to the fight scenes, like the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" combat ON a church organ (no, really!), but what points this film would gain from that are lost by the excessive use of "super-monkey-cam" during all fighting (i.e. violent camera shaking which supposedly enhances action and tension, but is mostly done to cover the star's inability to perform martial-arts moves with any speed or accuracy).

And finally, there's Jennifer Garner, who plays the fighting love interest. She's attractive and can actually do her own stunts, but is given a character name that sounds like "Electric Nachos," which made me miss a fair bit of dialog from laughing so hard. She does as well as Michael Clarke Duncan, but we don't see enough of her, either.

If you're a die-hard fan of the "Daredevil" comics or Ben Affleck you'll probably want to see this film. For others, it's an adequate 103-minute diversion that may leave you secretly wishing for a movie that makes you feel the way the heroes of your childhood did.

Non-Ben-Affleck fans may be happier just watching one of these:

  • X-Men
  • Spiderman
  • Mystery Men
Overall Rating: 4 (where 1=Worthless, 10=Fabulous)

Eight-Facet Info Rating, rated on a scale of 0 (None) to 4 (Lots!)):

Humor: 0
Nudity: 0
Sexual Reference: 1
Sexual Activity: 1
Action: 3
Gore: 1
Violence: 2
Profanity: 0


© 2002 Evan M. Nichols