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YMMV / Daredevil

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  • Broken Base:
    • Soule's run.
      • Many fans were overjoyed at the announcement that in the new series Matt was reinstated as a lawyer in New York, Foggy's cancer was seemingly cured, and his civilian identity was a secret once more, but thanks to it being a consequence of Secret Wars, some fans felt it reeked a bit of the Reset Button being used.
      • Not to mention fans of Mark Waid's run may go down as the Lighter and Softer run of the series were disappointed to see a return to a Darker and Edgier tone, uprooting a relatively stable life for Matt in exchange for more tragedy, brooding and darkness.
      • Some, while happy for a return to Daredevil's more gritty roots, find Soule's writing to be mediocre. His original characters (Muse, Tenfingers, Blindspot) have mostly failed to catch on with the fanbase, in stark contrast to previous writers who managed to make a lasting mark on the franchise with their additions (Elektra, Echo, Kirsten Mcduffy).
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The Marvel Universe prides itself on making its heroes' lives hell, but Matt Murdock's life goes above and beyond the call of duty in terms of Yank the Dog's Chain and Wangst (to make a long story short: there are very powerful people that wish Matt and Kingpin to kill each other, and are willing to do anything to make it happen), and the times when it becomes Lighter and Softer are short-lived and marked with a very brutal return to "normal". It takes some die-hard fanaticism to keep watching after a while.
  • Dork Age: The title has arguably suffered through a few of these.
    • The tail end of the Silver Age is particularly hard to defend. Daredevil, a character known for being a more down to earth and grittier superhero, was the biggest quipster in the Marvel Universe behind Spidey during this period, and the charmingly-cute irreverence of a teenager felt grossly inappropriate coming from a grown man. The weakness of his rogue's gallery and the recurrence of absurd plots (like Matt's impersonation of his swingin' hep cat brother Mike to conceal his secret identity) also made it difficult to respect the book.
    • The early '90's is another widely panned period. Matt gets a new ridiculously Darker and Edgier costume, complete with metal shoulder pads and arm spikes, grows a five-o'clock shadow, and generally acts like a jerk to everyone for little to no reason. Throw in some terrible story arcs, like "The Iron Devil", and you get a period that most Daredevil fans would rather forget.
  • Evil Is Cool: Kingpin, Bullseye and Ikari.
  • Growing the Beard: Under Frank Miller. Brian Michael Bendis is seen as being behind the beard re-growing during the Turn of the Millennium, following a string of bad stories in The '90s.
  • Ho Yay: Between Matt and Foggy on occasion. Matt isn't generally comfortable with anyone touching him unless it's a girlfriend, or Foggy.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • The Kingpin, Depending on the Writer.
    • Also Stilt Man, who's such a Butt-Monkey it's impossible to not pity him.
    • Gladiator. No matter how hard he tries he just can't escape the supervillain lifestyle.
    • Typhoid is manipulative, psychotic, and bloodthirsty on par with Wolverine. However, her other personalities only emerged as a coping mechanism for her horrible upbringing; and as a way to protect herself from the seemingly endless abuse. Furthermore, she cannot control the actions of her Typhoid, or Blood Mary, personas; and is often forced to take responsibility for them. More than a few times "Mary" has reemerged to find herself cover in blood, or forcibly institutionalized.
    • Matt. He can have some seriously nasty bouts of "I Work Alone" Wangst, but after all the hell that has happened to anybody who so much as gives him the time of day, it's hard not to blame him.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk is Marvel's greatest gangster and a consummate survivor. Having outfought, outwitted, and outlasted everyone who has ever tried to take his place, Fisk has secured his position as both New York's reigning mobster and a fixture in the supervillain community. With the capital to dominate the city and a reach that frequently spans continents, Fisk has developed the psychological torment of heroes like Matt Murdock and Peter Parker into an art form, and has left Matt's life in particular in ruins several times over. Always too stubborn to call it quits, Fisk rolls with or shrugs off everything that Marvel's heroes and villains can throw at him, while repeatedly demonstrating that only the most capable of opponents can do the same when he brings all his resources to bear on them. Having risen, fallen, and risen again, Fisk is never out of the game for long, and is always ready to show off the criminal skill and personal gravitas that made him Kingpin of Crime in the first place.
    • From Guardian Devil, by Kevin Smith: Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, is presented as a genius, theatrical puppet master seeking to cement himself in history as a "legitimate" supervillain after a career of being nothing more than a B-lister. Upon being diagnosed with cancer, Mysterio makes it his mission to drive the hero Daredevil to insanity, playing on the man's religious faith by using a combination of manipulation, disguises, and hallucinogenic drugs to make him believe a baby under his care is The Antichrist and needs to be killed. Convincing Daredevil's lover Karen Page she has AIDS, framing his best friend Foggy Nelson for murder, and hiring Bullseye to kidnap the baby and kill anyone in his path (leading to Page's death in Daredevil's arms), Mysterio locks the child in a chamber that will soon suffocate her if Daredevil doesn't go along with the villain's devised "final act" of his grand plan. In the end, upon realizing he hasn't broken Daredevil, Mysterio gives him the baby back and proceeds to blow his own brains out in a final act of defiance towards both the hero and his own cancer, refusing to be taken down by anyone but his own hand. Despite his otherwise goofy or ineffectual outings, Mysterio here is a brilliant strategist, excellent manipulator, and holds all the charm that a Large Ham skilled in film and theater would possess.
  • Memetic Loser: Matt. Look down on "Memetic Mutation" to see why.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Matt's crappy life. It is very well-known among the comic book community that Matt has the crappiest life ever. Ever. Even the writers know this, with Charles Soule noting that he wants to end his run with Matt's life as ruined as possible because that's tradition.
    • The "dating Matt" joke, which states that any woman who dates Matt not called Black Widow or Typhoid will meet a horrible fate.
  • My Real Daddy: Frank Miller more or less rebuilt Daredevil from the ground up, introducing most of the elements that readers associate with the character. Acclaimed runs like Brian Michael Bendis' and Ed Brubaker's all build on the foundation that Miller laid, rather than Stan Lee's original version.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Believe it or not, the Spot, as rendered in the first issue of Waid's run by Paolo Rivera. When you see him the way Matt does, you see a creature with chunks bitten out of him.
    • When the Spot shows up again around issue 20 when it's revealed that he's powering the Coyote, it gets even worse.
  • Newer Than They Think: Mister Fear is often compared to the Batman villain Scarecrow as both characters use fear-inducing chemicals as a weapon. However, while Scarecrow was created twenty-four years before Mister Fear, Mister Fear was using fear-inducing chemicals six years before Scarecrow started to.
  • Recycled Premise: The story in Mark Waid's run where Matt thinks a villain is trying to kill Kirsten to get to him, only to find out the villain is targeting Kirsten to kill Kirsten! Waid used the same story in his Flash run with Wally West/The Flash and Linda Park in place of Daredevil and Kirsten, respectively.
    • Similarly, the scene where Matt and Kristen first say 'I love you' to one-another plays out very similarly to how Wally and Linda first did so, with the hero accidentally saying it, only to decide instantly they mean it and exchange flirty banter with their girlfriend until they admit it as well.
  • Stoic Woobie: Matt. As mentioned, his life is hell but he'll pretty much never wangst about it (publicly).
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Denny O'Neil's run. O'Neil was Frank Miller's direct successor and he just didn't connect with readers the way Miller did. To be fair, Miller had, at that point, basically defined the book, so whoever followed him was probably going to come up short.
    • Ann Nocenti's run. She was the second person to succeed Miller and Miller had basically stripped Daredevil of many of his defining elements, such as his licence to practice law. Fortunately she was able to work wonders by pushing the book in a drastically different and unique direction with atypical villains for the series and exploring different themes. Her handling of Typhoid Mary in particular is seen as a highlight of the run.
      • DG Chichester's run, following Nocenti. While he wrote a good story in "The Fall of the Kingpin", after that the book sort of began to deteriorate, ultimately leading to the Iron Devil arc.
  • The Woobie:
    • Matt's crappy life is memetic among comic fans. His mother abandoned him, his father was murdered by the mob, his life is a complete mess from his superheroics, he's had his identity exposed and his life destroyed by the Kingpin, the women he's loved always meet a brutal end if they don't betray him first, and if he ever does find happiness, it will almost certainly be taken away in the most vicious manner possible very quickly.
    • Milla Donovan, Matt's wife for a time. She was driven to insanity by Mister Fear just to spite Matt.

  • Awesome Music: Fittingly for a film about a superhero with enhanced hearing, the music is hugely prominent in the film. The soundtrack is also arguably one of the best collections of Nu Metal ever assembled:
    • Bullseye being introduced with House of Pain's "Top o' the Morning To Ya."
    • Drowning Pool & Rob Zombie's "Man Without Fear," written especially for the film (Although the title being Daredevil's Red Baron probably gave it away) & was Drowning Pool's first song to be released following the death of original frontman Dave Williams in 2002.
    • Fuel's "Won't Back Down"
    • The Calling's "For You," which was written especially for the Daredevil/Elektra ship.
    • Seether's "Hang On."
    • Evanescence's "My Immortal" and "Bring Me To Life" featuring Paul McCoy.
    • "Right Before Your Eyes" by Hoobastank playing as a young blinded Matt is comforted by his father, later he explores his superpowers in the city and defeats the bullies tormenting him from earlier.
  • Better on DVD: The film's reception markedly improved with the release of the Director's Cut, which restored 30 minutes of footage, including an entire missing subplot, and placed emphasis on aspects of Daredevil's character that went underrepresented in theaters, particularly his Catholicism and his skills as a lawyer. As a result, the movie gained far more defenders than it did the first time around, and has effectively replaced the theatrical cut as the definitive version, with Fox not even bothering to bring the original to Blu-ray.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Bullseye is a swaggering Psycho for Hire who prides himself on his unerring aim and his total lack of regard for human life. Retained by Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk as a troubleshooter, Bullseye is a mess of barely contained violence who regularly murders in his off time. Over the course of the film he kills a man for insulting him in a bar; chokes an elderly woman to death for talking too much on a plane; murders another man in order to steal his motorcycle; and stabs one of Fisk's guards to death with pencils after deciding he'd rather not go through security. That's in addition to killing Nikolas and Elektra Natchios, and two of their bodyguards, on Fisk's orders, and trying to hunt down an already wounded Daredevil for the heinous crime of making him miss.
    • The aforementioned Wilson Fisk in the director's cut is worse than in the theatrical version. Fisk started out a hitman who killed Jack Murdoch, before rising into a powerful businessman and The Kingpin of crime in New York, controlling the criminal element in the city and helping criminals avoid jail time. Introduced killing two of his bodyguards for no discernible reason, when the public becomes suspicious, Fisk orders the murder of his former business partner Nikolas Natchios, intending to have him framed as the Kingpin, calling in the aforementioned Bullseye to do the deed. Fisk also has a prostitute murdered when she was leaking information she got from what of his associates. When Matt Murdoch interrogates a Dirty Cop on Fisk's payroll, he learns that when Fisk calls a hit on someone, he has the target's whole family killed as well, with Fisk ordering Bullseye to go after Nikolas's daughter Elektra. When Daredevil finally confronts Fisk, Fisk unmasks him as Matt, telling him that his killings were "just business" and, when beaten, threatens to get his revenge on Matt by revealing his identity.
  • Critical Backlash: Thanks to the director's cut.
  • Cult Classic: Thanks to the director's cut, this movie now has a cult fanbase who see this as one of Marvel's most underrated movies and that should have received a sequel.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: There was fanfiction set in the film's world (after Elektra) that ships Elektra with Bullseye despite the fact, or because, he murdered her father and her.
  • Genius Bonus: At the end of the movie, Bullseye hits a fly. In Brazil, the expression "na mosca", which roughly translates into "at the fly", is used for the same meaning Americans say "bullseye".
  • Ham and Cheese: Colin Farrell as Bullseye. Bullseye really enjoys killing people, and it shows in how much Colin's enjoying this role.
    Bullseye: *after being shot in the hands* 'You took me hands! You took away me haaaaands!!!!
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Elektra words to Matt during the rain sequence, "stay, stay with me", will later be used in Avengers: Infinity War. Both involve similar deaths, with Gamora dying at the hand of Thanos only for Starlord to snap.
    • Daredevil's Arc Words for this movie are, "I'm not the bad guy". Come the Netflix series, we see the corrupt FBI agent Dex take the mantle of the Daredevil and starts committing crimes with it.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The scene with Matt and Elektra on the rooftop, and Matt's monologue near the end, about how positively Elektra's love has affected him, seems a lot more meaningful now that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are married in Real Life. The fact that they met each other while filming this movie just makes it sweeter. The note about how his life has improved is also given further enforcement with the Career Resurrection that Affleck managed following his decision to go into directing.
    • Harsher in Hindsight: They have divorced now, following multiple allegations of Affleck's cheating, gambling and other assorted problems.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The psychopathic and cartoonish criminal that Matt faces down in the film's first act is named Jose Quesada. At the time of the film's release, it was merely one of several ShoutOuts that referenced the names of creators who'd worked on Daredevil's comic book, but in hindsight, after the massive fan revolt against Editor Joe Quesada's ill-received "Civil War" and "One More Day" storylines, many of the fans who who were left unamused by Quesada's antics tend to find this sequence hilarious. The fact that Daredevil hunts him down definitely works as a Moment of Awesome for them as well.
    • Kingpin's Race Lift from white in the comics to black in the film, thanks to the little known fact that the character was originally supposed to be black in the comics but was changed to white to avoid accusations of racism.
    • During Daredevil and Bullseye's fight inside the church, a number of bats interrupt after they pull down a pipe in the organ. In 2013, it was announced that Ben Affleck was going to be the new Batman, starting with the film ultimately titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
    • Affleck's adamance after the film's release (and backlash) that he wouldn't play another superhero.
      Affleck: "By playing a superhero in Daredevil, I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero... Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn't want to do again soon."
    • The mere fact that Ben Affleck can now boast having played Batman and his Marvel counterpart Daredevil.
    • In fact, both this movie and Batman v Superman have improved versions on DVD.
      Honest Trailers: So, settle in, for what's basically Ben Affleck's really disappointing audition to be the next Batman!
    • At a party, Matt is confronted by reporter Ben Urich about Daredevil. A similar scene happens in Batman v Superman with Clark Kent confronting Bruce Wayne about Batman.
    • The film has often been mentioned on This Very Wiki as being similar to and a pioneer for Nolan's Batman films. (Look on this page under "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny.) Given their adherence to a sense of realism about vigilantism, maybe Zack Snyder is a troper.
    • Jon Favreau acting in a movie based on a Marvel comic, years before he would go on to direct two Iron Man films and play Harold "Happy" Hogan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • Early on, Bullseye jokingly states "I want a bloody/fucking costume." Characters not visually resembling their comic book counterparts would become a prevalent complaint throughout later Marvel films.
    • The Color Wash feels pretty Zack Snyder-y too, doesn't it?
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Matt lost his father as a child, runs a failing law firm due to his refusal to support guilty clients and failed to save his girlfriend. Yet he still goes on to protect New York City, unaware of what happened to Elektra.
    • Elektra lost her mother as a child, saw her father murdered in front of her, wrongfully assaulted her boyfriend and, when she tries to get revenge, is humiliated and is given a "Take That!" Kiss when Bullseye kills her. Her spin-off never lets her get the retribution she deserves.
  • Love to Hate: Colin Farrell's portrayal as Bullseye is a murderous, perverted and gleefully destructive Irish Ham... one many enjoy in both the Theatrical and Director's Cuts.
  • Memetic Mutation: Quoting "Bring Me to Life" in Daredevil discussions, even if they're not about the movie.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Murdering Matt's father was already low, and framing his former friend and having him killed made it worse, but the Kingpin crosses when he admits to Matt he had Bullseye kill Elektra simply because of his rule to kill off an entire family, or as he puts it: "in the wrong family in the wrong time".
    • Bullseye killing off an old lady and murdering Elektra's father, framing Daredevil in the process, was bad enough, but he crosses it further when he kills Elektra, all the while taking her down with few hits received, mocking her by hitting on her during the fight and kissing her to add insult to injury while gutting her (the latter is in the Director's Cut.)
  • Narm:
    • A big complaint is that the acrobatics are hard to take seriously due to the obvious special effects, the most cited being Daredevil somehow leaping off the top of a skyscraper, falling several floors, and landing on a window cleaner's platform... somehow not breaking his legs in the process.
    • Most of Jennifer Garner's fight scenes fall into this, especially her practice session against a dozen helpless sandbags. That one of them even has a childish doodle of Daredevil's mask doesn't help.
    • Matt and Elektra happily having a martial arts spar in a park in front of many people. Secret identity issues aside, it sounds more like the scene of a musical than a contextualized scene of a film.
    • Elektra's breathless delivery of "Liar!" like she's in a shampoo commercial.
    • The young Matt fighting back against a bully by lightly slapping his face with his cane.
    • Matt and Elektra's first kiss is set in the rain, the logic being that even though Daredevil is blind, his super hearing lets him "see" everything when it rains thanks to the acoustics of the raindrops bouncing off. The concept is nice, but in the screen, through Matt's "echolocation", Elektra looks like a Na'vi.
    • Not so much when the movie first came out, but nowadays the "Bring Me To Life" scene is likely to induce giggles after the song became extremely overused in fan videos. Plus, the line "All this time I can't believe I couldn't see" syncs up exactly with a shot of Matt's face with his blind eyes in full view.
  • Narm Charm: Many of Bullseye's awkward lines, particularly "He... made me... miss."
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • Whatever the film's faults, it does do something rare for a comic book film in that, unlike the Spider-Man and X-Men films, it can make you forget you're watching a comic book adaptation. Some scenes feel like they're from a different film (in the best possible sense). It's only when Bullseye shows up that it starts to slip (it's not easy to make a realistic film involving a man who can go on killing sprees with paper clips and peanuts). Since other films, most notably Christopher Nolan's Batman films and the eventual Daredevil (2015) Netflix series, have done this more successfully, Daredevil is unlikely to get credit for trying it first.
    • The "Bring Me To Life" scene can be this to modern viewers due to the songs notorious use in numerous FanVids over the years since the movie came out.
  • Signature Scene: The aforementioned "Bring Me To Life" training sequence.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Was regarded as such during its original release, though the director's cut improved its standing among fans.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Matt and Elektra's romance feels rushed and shallow in the theatrical cut. The director's cut thankfully removed a sex scene from their first night out together so it's more believable.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Kingpin being black is a notable aversion; most feel that, regardless of race, Michael Clarke Duncan turned in such a great performance that it wasn't a problem.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Foggy Nelson was Demoted to Extra in the theatrical version. Averted with the director's cut which has a lot of scenes developing his and Matt's friendship.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Elektra thinking Daredevil killed her father could have been stretched out for longer. She could've gone to Fisk to get his help, working for him in the process along with working with Bullseye, the man who killed her father. Instead, it's resolved within 10 minutes and she gets killed.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Ben Affleck took great care to provide a respectful portrayal of a blind person, including wearing blinding contact lenses for all the scenes that didn't require complex physicality from him. All the little things we see him doing to get ready for his regular day at the beginning of the film, such as braille tags on clothing, dollar bills in braille-labeled boxes, folding the bills in different ways to be able to tell the denominations apart, are all Truth in Television.
  • Tough Act to Follow: With the death of Michael Clarke Duncan, the producers of the Netflix show likely decided that there was no point trying to find other qualified actor as big as him to be the next version of Wilson Fisk and decided to cast Vincent D'Onofrio in the part. Thankfully, D'Onofrio turned in a performance that, while not as charismatic, was even more layered and complex than the film's version.
  • Values Dissonance: Now that we have Action Girls aplenty in all kinds of entertainment, it's pretty weird to see Matt be so utterly mystified at the concept of a woman who knows martial arts when he meets Elektra. Though, it's very likely that Matt wasn't so much amazed that a girl could fight so much as he was that anyone could fight as well as she did, given how well she did during their fight.
  • Vindicated by History: Many fans and critics left cold by the theatrical cut were far more receptive to the Director's Cut which reinstated a lot of the classic elements of the comics (Matt's Catholic faith and his legal skills). It is now considered a decent film, and the 2008 Blu-Ray release conspicuously lacks the theatrical cut of the film, with the director's cut in its place — and notably, nowhere on the case is it stated that it's the director's cut of the film. As a whole, time has been fairly kind to the film; while certain elements (the gratuitous and unnecessary overuse of nu metal and post-grunge, some of the campier action scenes and dialogue) date it, its relative faithfulness to the source material, deconstruction of what life for a lower-level street hero with a day job and super senses would be like (making no bones about Matt's poor financial circumstances, strained and usually transient relationships with others, continually deteriorating physical condition, and the constant sensory overload that he needs to work around), and generally less bombastic or faux-gritty and more grounded approach are now held to have been way ahead of their time and still hold up surprisingly well.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Why would Matt, who is trying to keep his superhero abilities identity secret, show his superhuman martial arts senses to a girl whom he just met, particularly in front of many people in bright sunlight? He only saves himself from having his secret identity busted on the spot because Elektra and everybody in the park are even more idiotic, given that they seem to find perfectly uninteresting that a supposed blind man has the awareness and kung fu skills of Jet Li.
    • Elektra after unmasking Daredevil and seeing he's Matt. Instead of thinking "oh god, the guy I'm flirting with is my father's murderer" and trying to find out what's happening, as it would be more intuitive and credible, she prefers to go "oh well, he cannot be my father's murderer because he's a guy I'm flirting with" and stop thinking about it. Even although in this case she happens to be right, it makes her come across as incredibly naive for somebody so preoccupied with her safety than she took up martial arts.
    • Probably wanting to show off she can do it as well, Elektra attempts to catch the sai Bullseye throws at her just like he did a minute before instead of simply getting out of the way. The result? She gets her hand pierced.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • All-American Jennifer Garner as a Greek? Indian-American Erick Avari as her father? Huh? At least Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin makes sense: regardless of skin color, he's huge and intimidating, and that's what's important.
    • In Erick Avari's case, it leads to many What the Hell Is That Accent? moments. Very jarring, considering Elektra is a second/third generation immigrant, therefore her accent, not to mention her command of the Greek language, should be worse than his.

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