Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo from 20th Century Fox

The reason superhero movies are popular is because they speak to a vital part of our beings that wants to right the wrongs in the world and to insure that good overcomes evil. Of course we realize that superheroes need an edge, some special powers that enable them to survive long enough to save the world against devastating odds. Indeed, devastation is part of the hero’s strength. It’s through near death experiences that he learns and becomes stronger.

In Daredevil, Ben Affleck plays Matt Murdock who, while still a sensitive boy, was blinded by a toxic waste spill. While his sight was lost, something in that toxic mix, and his own self-determination, heightened his other four senses and gave him superhuman abilities. But the beauty of this film is that Murdock, alias Daredevil, remains very human and vulnerable. His superhuman powers merely give him a slight edge over the bad guys. He still feels pain, bleeds and constantly struggles with the rightness of his superhero mission.

The other beauty in this film is Jennifer Garner who plays Elektra, Daredevil’s soul mate. She can match him blow for blow in any fight. As a matter of fact one of the best parts of this film is not the first time they make love, but their first fight. A carefully choreographed martial arts battle in a city playground, they fly through the air off seesaws learning as much about each other as they ever could during a sexual encounter. “Are you holding back?” he asks while restraining her briefly in an arm hold. She nods yes and the audience knows that his blindness is the reason why. “Don’t,” he says and she proceeds to kick his butt.

All and all they are pretty evenly matched and the audience delights in the fact that they just witnessed love at first fight. This man/woman synergism and their mutual dedication to fighting evil in the world is what really gives this superhero film a special one two punch that will knock out audiences of all ages. (Parents should be aware of the PG-13 rating for action/violence and some sensuality.)

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