Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, where he runs a firm with best friend Franklin “Foggy” Nelson. As a child, Matt was blinded by a toxic waste spill. The accident enhanced Matt’s other senses and gave him sonar to “see” via sonic vibrations. Matt’s father, boxer Jack “The Devil”, was killed after refusing to turn in a fixed fight for the mobster who had employed him earlier. After his father’s death, Matt promised to stop all crime that controlled Hell’s Kitchen, New York as the vigilante crime-fighter “Daredevil”.
Matt meets Elektra Natchios, daughter of Nikolas Natchios, a businessman who has dealings with Wilson Fisk, a rich executive who is also the criminal leader known as the Kingpin. When Nikolas tries to end his relationship with Fisk, the mobster hires the Irish hitman Bullseye, who has preternatural aim, to kill him. Matt tries to stop Bullseye, but Bullseye ultimately succeeds in killing Nikolas and framing Matt in the process. Elektra vows to exact revenge, while reporter Ben Urich discovers his secret identity. Believing Matt to have done good things for Hell’s Kitchen, Urich tells Matt that Bullseye is going after Elektra next.
Matt tracks Bullseye, but is attacked by Elektra, who plans to use her own training in martial arts to avenge her father’s death. She defeats and injures Matt; when she manages to remove his mask, she discovers Matt’s secret identity and innocence. Forced to fight Bullseye alone, Elektra is overpowered and killed by the hitman. A wounded Matt makes his way to a church, where he is looked after by his confidante, Father Everett, who knows his secret identity. After recovering slightly, Matt fights Bullseye, who had followed him to the church. Bullseye discovers that loud noise is Matt’s weakness and prepares to kill him with a spiked piece of wood after incapacitating him. Matt blocks the attack and hears an FBI sniper stationed on the neighboring building preparing to fire. As the bullet is fired, Matt moves out of the bullet’s path and pulls Bullseye’s hands into it. When Bullseye pleads for mercy, Matt throws him from the church’s steeple. Bullseye lands on the hood of Urich’s car, severely injured but alive.
Upon discovering Fisk is the Kingpin and Bullseye’s employer, Matt makes his way to Fisk’s office. There, Matt and Fisk begin a fierce fight; however, Fisk proves to be a surprisingly powerful combatant due to his size and brute strength, and he dominates Matt for most of the fight. Lying on the floor, Matt questions Fisk as to why he killed the people Murdock loved, including Jack Murdock years before: Fisk replies it was just business, for he had worked under Fallon at the time he killed Jack, and Elektra was “at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Angered, Matt regains his strength and breaks Fisk’s legs, but refrains from killing him, instead allowing him to be arrested by the police, who have discovered his criminal connections. Before being taken away, Fisk (who had also discovered Matt’s secret identity after overpowering him), swears revenge on Matt, who points out that Fisk cannot reveal Matt’s secret identity because the humiliation of having been beaten by a blind man will cause him to be perceived as weak by other prison inmates. Having gained closure over his father’s murder, Matt returns to his day-to-day routine, and meets Urich one last time, in which Urich assures him he will not publish his article about Matt’s true identity.
Some time later, we see Bullseye, having been moved to a prison hospital and severely bandaged after his confrontation with Matt, is shown to still have his perfect aim after he impales a fly with a syringe needle and says “Bullseye.”
While I enjoyed it when I was young, as an adult, I can’t say it’s aged very well. The CG is very obvious, the acting is terrible, though Michael Clarke Duncan was great as Kingpin, and the movie’s filed with so many cliches. However, it does have it’s merits, as mentioned before Michael Clarke Duncan was great as Kingpin, Colin Ferrell was also great as Bullseye, but in a hilarious way, the movie has a few visual cues from Frank Miller’s run on the comics (including Elektra’s death), and the score by Graeme Revell was also enjoyable. Overall, the movie hasn’t aged as well as the movies that came before it, but it’s still watchable, and it still has its charm. Having said all of that, I also recommend checking out the director’s cut version of the movie, while the acting and CG remain the same, 30 minutes were restored to the movie, including a subplot involving rapper Coolio.
RANK: 2 out of 5 (Theatrical Cut)/4 out of 5 (Director’s Cut)
This won’t be the last time we’ll see a character from this movie, and this won’t be the last we’ll see of the director of this film, but that’s a long way’s away. In the meantime, let’s look at another Avenger who had his own disastrous box office bomb.