Plot: What’s it about?
Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) is a lawyer by day, but at night, he becomes the crime fighting Daredevil. This would be remarkable for any man, but especially for Murdock, who happens to be blind. As a child, Murdock lost his sight during a chemical spill, but he refused to give in to the darkness. While his sight was gone, his other senses evolved and soon enough, he had developed them to the point of superhuman levels. His eyes didn’t work, but his enhanced hearing allowed him to have vision of sorts, based on the patterns of the sound waves around him. He was able to use his skills to help fight crime, both in the courtroom and in the streets. He might not have the kind of powers some heroes possess, but Daredevil knows no fear. But when threats arrive from multiple villains, can even the man without fear save the day?
I found Daredevil to be a total disappointment. As a fan of the comic book, I was let down by the movie, which was rushed and focused on action over substance. A director’s cut was released, but could Mark Steven Johnson’s revamped version correct the mistakes made before? As it turns out, this new version of Daredevil is much improved, with additional time devoted to development of characters. At the same time, the pace remains fluid and there is still ample action, but this director’s cut helps keep a proper balance with the elements. I still don’t think Daredevil is a great movie, but it holds up much better in this new director’s cut and does deserve a second chance. This Blu-ray version looks and sounds excellent, plus has a slew of supplements, so this is the Daredevil you’ll want to check out.
Video: How does it look?
Daredevil is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is one impressive transfer, with a clean, clear image that puts the previous incarnations to shame. The visuals don’t always have that pop, but clarity is strong and most scenes show off a great level of detail. In other words, you will know this is a high definition presentation. Also upped are the colors, which seem brighter and more vivid, while contrast is sharp and on the mark. A handful of darker scenes came off as a little too dark, but these were rare and black levels are tip top the rest of the duration. So not an elite level visual effort, but an above average one and a transfer that should more than satisfy fans.
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD 5.1 option is even better than the visuals, a dynamic and memorable soundtrack. I can recall a few scenes that stand out, but the entire movie sounds great in this track. The action scenes deliver the most punch, with surround use that puts you in the thick of things. The impact from blows is palpable, while more creative moments prove to be highly effective, such as the scene with the church organ. The more reserved scenes aren’t as memorable, but still sound solid. I found dialogue to be clean, with no errors to mention. This disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, French and Spanish language tracks, and subtitles in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Back from the director’s cut DVD are a brief featurette about the new cut, as well as audio comments from director Mark Steven Johnson and producer Avi Arad. The rest return from the original DVD release, from the enhanced viewing mode to Beyond Hell’s Kitchen, a well crafted look behind the scenes that runs for about an hour. Another hour long piece is here also, as Men Without Fear: Creating Daredevil is an in depth look at the comic book that inspired the movie. You’ll also find Jennifer Garner’s screen tests, some additional brief featurettes, music videos, and three of the film’s theatrical trailers. So all the goodies from both standard releases, not too bad.