Pretentious and (nearly) Pointless

I suspect there were a lot of good intentions behind Daredevil. In transforming the comic to film, a lot of effort was made in setting tone and giving the audience an idea of what it's like for a blind man to "see" using his hearing, a kind of sonar. There's also a kind of spiritual journey here - a character that embraces darkness (literally!) having to find the line between his passions for vengeance and justice.

It's a good setup, but it isn't long before it's clear it's not going anywhere. As Ben Affleck's voiceovers drip with gravelly seriousness, we find the only thing the movie illuminates is itself. The plot unfolds in masterbatory scenes like someone who desperately wants to be cool. The stock themes have been pulled directly off the shelf and inserted piecemeal into the projector.

The moral message of the film is likewise uninspiring. The film resolves itself around the concept of right and wrong. Yet there's never any real danger of the villains doing evil, and the heroes coming around to good in the end. They go through the motions of vengeance but the attempt is hollow. It's a problem of character. Our hero hits the same two notes in almost every scene - a cool distance from people, and a gritty determination of doing things his own way. These are fine qualities if you can fall back on some hint of humanity, but otherwise people suspect you think you're better than they are. And few people are interested in a film that talks down to them.

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