Bloody Hell

Daredevil is a grown-up adaptation, but still too two-dimensional

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Written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, based on characters created by Stan Lee, Bill Everett and Frank Miller. Starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan. Opens Friday.

Rated PG-13

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Daredevil Fans of comic-book writer-artist Frank Miller will be satisfied, for the most part; writer-director Mark Steven Johnson's adaptation of Miller's seminal story arc -- which (re)introduced blind hero Daredevil (here, played by the buff, bland Ben Affleck) to the bountiful bounty hunter Elektra (Jennifer Garner), psycho killer Bullseye (crazed Colin Farrell) and muscle-bound fatman Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) -- has been stripped to the barest of bone and made palatable if all one craves is brawl after skirmish after fight after bloody murder. But Johnson has also made a dark, dingy, shambling story about people in costumes who beat hell out of each other because that's what people in costumes do. It's grittier than your average comic adaptation -- people curse, villains die, heroes kill -- but just as silly. Criticisms will be dismissed by fanboys who will smirk themselves silly at mentions of the artists and writers who worked on Daredevil over the years, while everyone else in the theater will wonder just what the hell's so funny.

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