OK, so as Mich3lle is a HUGE fan of Jennifer Garner from Alias and also reads the Elektra comics series from Marvel, I was one of the lucky men who got to take their lady out to an action picture for Valentine’s Day. (Yeah me!) Needless to say, even without high expectations of the film, we were disappointed.
First let me say that I am not a fan of the new cinematography style in action pictures, primarily the fight sequences. All the action is shot up close, from odd angles so you never really get a good look at what is going on. Through the clanging & whooshing sound effects the camera changes rapidly pausing only to give you a taste of the action. I guess the technical appeal is that a rather mediocre fight scene becomes something of legend, but I don’t want to see MTV style footage when watching an action picture. Daredevil is burdened even more as all the fights took place at night or in dark lighting. It could have very well been The Musketeer.
Another problem is the action sequences were too short and too few. Given the fact that the primary characters were all of the same skill level, I expected each confrontation to build upon the previous. No such luck. The only sequence that was entertaining was the playground courtship between Elektra & Matt (DD’s plain clothes guise). Later on in the film when Elektra confronts Daredevil, she disposes of him pretty quickly and yet is overwhelmingly outmatched against the assassin Bullseye. Daredevil puts up a better fight injured which is a little odd considering how Elektra cleaned his clock.
The storyline showed promise, but there was too much information to truly develop the characters in under two hours. Daredevil’s alter ego Matt Murdock falls flat, mainly because of the writing and I didn’t feel Ben Afleck brought as much to the character as Toby Maguire did to Peter Parker in Spiderman. I thought the backstory in Spiderman and the characters outside their costumes were very well done compared to the storyline in Daredevil. Anyone familiar with the Daredevil comic series knows that the movie tried to compact several years worth of character development & history. The love story between Elektra & Daredevil alone could have been one movie. I thought Spiderman, even though it deviated from the comic somewhat, took more time to truly develop the characters.
A few positives from the film include Collin Farrell as Bullseye. He could have used some better lines, but the look & the edge were definitely there. Also there are two scenes where Matt uses his “radar sense” to see Elektra. The first scene shot in the rain on a rooftop is well done, the special effects worked out very well, but a scene later in the movie is even more compelling. It’s raining once again and just as Matt can begin to see the outline of Elektra’s face she steps underneath an umbrella and disappears. I thought that was a great moment in the film.
I’m not sure if a sequel is slated for DD, but I’m hoping they opt for less special effects and more story next time around.