Daredevil (2003)

Film and Plot Synopsis

“Daredevil” is a superhero film released in 2003, directed by Mark Steven Johnson, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The film follows the journey of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights crime as the vigilante Daredevil, seeking justice for the innocent and vengeance for the murder of his father. Set in the gritty streets of Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, “Daredevil” explores themes of justice, redemption, and the struggle between good and evil.

‘Daredevil’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Daredevil (2003)The film opens with a young Matt Murdock (Scott Terra) being accidentally blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from the truck after witnessing his washed-up boxer father, Jack “The Devil” Murdock (David Keith), extorting money for local mob boss Eddie Fallon (Mark Margolis). While he loses his sight, his other senses are heightened to superhuman levels, granting him extraordinary abilities. Jack feels guilty for his son’s accident and gives up his life of crime and returns to boxing where he makes a dramatic comeback. Later, Jack learns that Eddie fixed all the fights that led to Jack’s comeback. Eddie tries to bribe Jack into throwing his next fight. When Jack refuses, Eddie has him killed.

Years later, Matt (Ben Affleck) is now a successful lawyer by day, working alongside his friend and legal partner, Franklin “Foggy” Nelson (Jon Favreau). They provide pro bono legal representation to clients that they believe are innocent, although Matt’s abilities allow him to tell when someone is lying. However, by night, he dons a red costume and takes to the streets as Daredevil, using his heightened senses and martial arts skills to combat crime in Hell’s Kitchen. Daredevil’s activities are chronicled by New York Post writer Ben Urich (Joe Pantoliano) who is also working on a story about a mysterious figure, known as the Kingpin, who controls all of New York’s organized crime. Unbeknownst to Urich, the Kingpin is actually Wilson Fisk (Michael Clarke Duncan), a successful New York businessman.

Daredevil’s crusade for justice brings him into conflict with Fisk and his enforcer, Bullseye (Colin Farrell). Fisk controls much of the criminal underworld in Hell’s Kitchen, and Daredevil sees him as the source of much of the city’s suffering. Meanwhile, Bullseye is a deadly assassin with a perfect aim, hired by Fisk to eliminate anyone who stands in his way. As Daredevil continues his fight against crime, he encounters Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner), the daughter of a wealthy businessman and Fisk’s lieutenant Nikolas Natchios (Erick Avari). Elektra is skilled in martial arts and has her own reasons for seeking justice. She and Matt develop a complicated romantic relationship, unaware of each other’s secret identities.

Nikolas attempts to end his relationship with Fisk, and the Kingpin dispatches Bullseye to kill him. Daredevil tries to stop Bullseye, but the assassin uses Daredevil’s baton to impale and kill Nikolas. Elektra mistakenly believes that Daredevil is responsible for her father’s murder, and she attempts to take revenge by killing him. Urich examines the baton that killed Nikolas and realizes that it expands into a white cane. Urich correctly deduces that Matt is Daredevil and begins preparing a story that will expose him.
Meanwhile, the Kingpin dispatches Bullseye to kill Elektra. Elektra successfully tracks down Daredevil and tries to kill him despite his protests that he didn’t kill her father. She stabs Daredevil in his shoulder which incapacitates him. When she unmasks the vigilante, she is shocked to learn that the man she loves, Matt, is also Daredevil. Moments later, Bullseye arrives and starts to fight Elektra. Daredevil is forced to watch helplessly nearby as Bullseye kills Elektra.

Hell’s Kitchen is my neighborhood. I prowl the rooftops and alleyways at night, watching from the darkness. Forever in darkness. A guardian devil. Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Ben Affleck)

The wounded Daredevil flees from the scene pursued by Bullseye. Daredevil attempts to take refuge in a church, but Bullseye ambushes the Man Without Fear by exploiting Daredevil’s weakness to loud noises which throws off his superhuman radar abilities. As police surround the church, Daredevil and Bullseye continue to fight each other. Bullseye reveals that the Kingpin killed Matt’s father. A New York Police sniper shoots Bullseye through both hands, depriving him of his perfect aim. Daredevil gets the upper hand and throws Bullseye from the church’s bell tower, severely injuring the assassin.

Daredevil goes to Fisk’s business tower to seek revenge for his father and Elektra. The two men fight. Fisk gets the upper hand and unmasks Daredevil, immediately recognizing Matt from a previous encounter between the two men earlier in the film. However, Daredevil regains the advantage after the office window is broken out and rain begins to pour into the office and onto Fisk. Daredevil uses his sonar hearing to “see” Fisk after he is drenched in rain. During the fight, Fisk admits to killing Jack on Fallon’s orders and states that Elektra’s death was a casualty. As police arrive at the building to arrest a beaten Fisk, he threatens to reveal Daredevil’s identity to the world. However, Daredevil points out that no one will ever believe that Daredevil is a blind man, and Fisk would also have to admit that he was beaten by a blind man, a fact that will lessen the crime world’s opinion of him.

In the aftermath, Matt visits the rooftop of his apartment where he first kissed Elektra. He finds Elektra’s necklace with her name engraved in braille hanging on a weathervane. Matt correctly assumes that Elektra survived her death, although they can’t be together quite yet. At the same time, Urich prepares to publish his expose about the identity of Daredevil but decides against it. He realizes that Daredevil has improved the city and to expose him would put more people in danger. As he leaves his office building, Urich sees Daredevil watching him before he runs off to fight crime. Elsewhere, Bullseye lies in a hospital bed in a full body cast. He hears a fly buzzing around and uses a syringe needle to kill it.

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Our Rating

20th Century Fox released Daredevil on February 14, 2003. Mark Steven Johnson directed the film starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, and Colin Farrell.

User Rating: 3.08 ( 2 votes)
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