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Daredevil Is Not Your Friendly Neighborhood Superhero

Daredevil may care, but do critics? Plus: Religious media reviewers examine The Jungle Book 2, The Man Without a Past, The Quiet American, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Shanghai Knights

Michael Steven Johnson's Daredevil is this year's first attempt to bring a comic book to the big screen, a few strides ahead of Hulk, X-Men 2, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He seems to have pleased fans of the comic, but few critics came away enthusiastic about what they saw.

Ben Affleck stars as a Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who dons a red leather costume at night and ventures out to fight crime with his enhanced senses. As he deals out violent judgment for getaway crooks, this not-so-handicapped hero is torn between the desire for revenge and justice.

In this episode—you can bet this is the beginning of another franchise—Murdock experiences love at first "sight" with a neighborhood girl named Elektra (Jennifer Garner). A rather hasty and athletic courtship, one that rushes from violent sparring on a playground to a quick tumble in the sheets, leads Murdock into participation in Elektra's personal quest for vengeance. They have two mutual targets. Kingpin is a Herculean crime boss played by Michael Clarke Duncan, master of that menacing bad guy chuckle. Kingpin's zany assassin Bullseye, giddily over-played by Colin Farrell, is an expert at throwing sharp pointy things into other people's necks and foreheads. A series of violent confrontations and a flurry of bad one-liners ensue.

So, is Daredevil a hero to admire or just another vengeful egomaniac in tights? Religious press critics lined up to offer a wide range of opinions this week.

Gerri Pare (Catholic News Service) says, "the message is mixed in that Matt agrees seeking vengeance is wrong, but ends up back in his red get-up, declaring he is the city's 'guardian devil.' His character is clearly well-intended but continues to rationalize taking the law into ...

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Daredevil Is Not Your Friendly Neighborhood Superhero
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