, Jennifer Garner
, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell
, Jon Favreau
Remember how Mom always used to say that if you find something you really like, buy it in multiples? Daredevil
must have received the same advice, because when we peek inside this crimebuster's closet, hanging neatly side by side are a handful of identical crimson-colored, leather superhero costumes and silver-tipped canes.
The closet tour is a rare moment of humor in Daredevil
, a dour, vaporthin action thriller that takes both itself and its hero, first introduced in a Marvel comic book in 1964, far too seriously. By day Daredevil
is Matt Murdock (Affleck), a blind attorney in Manhattan. By night, dressed in red and armed with a blade-concealing cane, he stalks the city's rooftops and streets, using his close-to-super remaining senses to root out evildoers. He can hear bullets and sniff bad guys from afar, swoop down the sides of tall buildings and otherwise make like Superman minus the cape. But Daredevil
, a brooder, is conflicted, particularly after he falls for a rich beauty (Garner). Can he still be a good guy if he's a vigilante? This is a moral debate to keep 15-year-old boys up nights—exactly the audience to whom this movie, with its lack of character development and pell-mell rush to get to the next choreographed crunch-and-punch fight, is pitched.
isn't egregiously bad; it's just ever less involving once it becomes clear that the film has no other purpose besides wrapping up what passes for a plot—a crime kingpin (Duncan) hires an assassin (Farrell) to whack both Daredevil
and his sweetie—and setting up a sequel. Only in his scenes with glamorpuss Garner, who certainly brightens up the screen, does a slumberingly dull Affleck seem even half awake. Duncan and Farrell's villain roles are written so sketchily that neither actor can do more than mug fiendishly. (PG-13)
BOTTOM LINE: Far from red hot