Daredevil: Director's Cut
Rated: R :: Released: 30 November 2004
Director: Mark Steven Johnson :: Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan
By Doran Murphy
02 February 2005 — After the abysmal failure of Daredevil, Marvel Studios decided to take a second crack at it. They chose to "redo" Daredevil by creating a "Director's Cut" using content that was omitted from the original theatrical version. And to a certain extent, they succeeded. The characters are closer to their comic book counterparts, though their origins seem utterly wrong at points. The plot is deeper and more complex and it tells a better version of the story we saw in the theatrical version. Characters are stronger, and in a lot of cases, a little more diverse.
Take Nelson — Matt Murdock's legal partner. In the original cut he seemed a bit of an idiot, trolling for tail. In the Director's Cut he's somewhat more intelligent, and cracks a case that both Daredevil and Matt Murdock could not solve.
The movie still retains some of its fundamental plot holes — Matt Murdock/Daredevil still has eye poppingly fancy gizmos that a poor lawyer should not be able to afford. It also kept some of its major source deviations, like Daredevil's accidental and unheroic origin. So while they haven't fixed the source deviations, they've made a better story out of them — when speaking of the original movie that is.
They've added an entire subplot to this film as well. A drughead (played by Coolio) has been framed for the murder of a prostitute (Lisa Tazio), and Matt Murdock (convinced of his innocence) takes on this despicable client. But when they get to the courtroom, the stories don't jive and Murdock's built in polygraph machine doesn't seem to think anyone is lying. So Murdock and Nelson and Daredevil go about trying to find who is innocent. With a little help from Karen Page, they find the culprit and it really makes some sense of the ending.
In Daredevil: Director's Cut almost every scene has been expanded upon. One of the additions I really liked was the expansion of the Kingpin character. They've added a scene where the Kingpin goes nuts and kills a pair of guards he suspects of talking to reporters. It shows early on that Kingpin is not just a fat man; he's pretty well solid muscle, even though he may not look it. Those of you who read my review of the original will recall that Michael Clarke Duncan is one of my favorite parts of this movie, and thus, more of him is obviously a good thing in my eyes.
The scene expansions really help flesh out the characters more. There's more time between Jack and Matt Murdock, to sort of strengthen your mental patriarchal bond between the two. The scenes between Matt and Elektra aren't so cheesy, and ergo, more powerful. The fight between Elektra and Bullseye is longer, and Bullseye becomes much scarier than a guy who can throw shit really well. (I mean, if Daredevil can't beat Elektra in hand to hand combat and Bullseye can, and an injured Daredevil has to fight a healthy Bullseye, well, it lends more drama to the whole proceedings.)
Also patched up is the ending. It provides more resolution and closure than the theatrical version. This is good as it is highly doubtful a sequel will ever be made. The subplot and the main story end at the same point due to the subplot being weaved into the overall story very well. I'm rather surprised it was cut from the original version, as it really works very well within the context of the movie.
Overall, Daredevil: Director's Cut is a dramatic improvement over the theatrical version. The DVD comes with a bonus "Making of the Director's Cut" featurette I haven't watched, but I'm sure it's just the usual. Either way, the Director's Cut is worth a watch for you fans of the character. Don't get me wrong, it's still a disappointment, but less so than the original theatrical version.
Comic Geek Score: 3
Movie Fan Score: 6.5
Averaged Score: 4.25