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Daredevil (2003): 10 Ways It's Not As Bad As People Think

After 20th Century Fox bought the rights to X-Men and made an incredibly financially successful movie, many other movie studios followed suit. However, Daredevil underperformed at the box office and was despised by fans and critics. Even Ben Affleck himself called the movie “kinda silly.”

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Daredevil has been criticized for being unconvincing and having a lazy origins story, but there’s still a lot to love about the 2003 movie. Between the way it influenced future superhero movies and the great cast of character actors, Daredevil gets more hate than it deserves.

10 It Has One Of The Best Stan Lee Cameos Outside Of The MCU

There are loads of great Stan Lee cameos outside of Marvel, but it has always been his appearance in comic book movies that get fans excited. Daredevil features one of the earliest Stan Lee cameos. The comic book writer acts as a typical old man, just as he does in many of the cameos, as he tries to cross the road despite an oncoming car driving towards him. Daredevil stops him from crossing with his cane, and it works on so many levels.

Not only is it funny, but it’s also a great example of showing the character’s heightened senses. But best of all is that the cameo is subtle, as opposed to Lee being framed front and center in the MCU movies. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it cameo.

9 Jon Favreau Is Great As Foggy

Jon Favreau is clearly a big fan of Marvel movies, as he has had increasingly substantial roles with each superhero movie he has worked on. He had a huge hand in creating the MCU, being the director of the first Iron Man movie, and he has played Happy, Tony Stark’s right-hand man, for an almost countless amount of movies. But his tenure with Marvel movies began with playing Foggy in Daredevil.

There isn’t much complexity to the character, and Favreau plays him in a typically goofy way just as he does with Happy, but it’s such an accurate portrayal. Elden Henson played Foggy well in the Netflix series, but it’s still imitative of Favreau’s performance, and the actor’s depiction of the character is the heart of the movie.

8 There’s A Cast Full Of Great Character Actors

Not only is Favreau great in the role, but every actor who surrounds the main cast brings their hammy best too. It comes off as if the casting director had so much fun casting all these recognizable but not well-known character-actors in one movie together.

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Joe Pantoliano generally plays seedy characters with morally debatable intentions, such as Cypher in The Matrix. In Daredevil, he acts as exactly that, as he plays a writer for the New York Post who constantly hounds detectives and interferes with crime scenes. Paul Ben-Victor plays an overly angry thug as per usual. And Mark Margolis, who is best known for playing Hector in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, plays a manipulative and vindictive scumbag who fixes boxing matches.

7 It’s Camp In The Best Way

Between an expansive cast of character actors and Jon Favreau hamming it up as Foggy, it’s more than campy enough. But it’s almost as if the studio didn’t learn from the box-office bomb that was Batman & Robin. Just like what happens in that movie, there are some overly cinematic shots of Daredevil getting suited and booted in the dark, though the suit is still free of any nipples.

The campiest scene in the film comes when Matt and Elektra prove their skills in a children’s playground on see-saws while the kids chant “Fight! Fight! Fight!” over and over. And the cherry on top is all of the 2000s rock music that soundtracks almost every fight scene, as there’s seemingly Evanescence’s whole discography playing throughout the film.

6 Hell’s Kitchen Looks Great

Just as Spider-Man painted New York in a fascinatingly bright look, Daredevil does the opposite, as Hell’s Kitchen is built to look like exactly that. It’s always raining, the hero is always hanging off gargoyle statues, and it’s just as visually dark as it is tonally.

Hell’s Kitchen is perfectly depicted in just the same way as it is in the comic books. Even the New York Post building looks completely rundown compared to the modernness of the newspaper building found in Spider-Man.

5 There Are Great Little Moments In The Action Scenes

The action scenes in the 2003 movie aren’t that well-choreographed, especially not compared to today’s standards. However, there are little moments that happen within those fights that catch audiences off guard.

When Daredevil enters a snooker club full of thugs, he sits atop a fan light as one of the thugs tries to shoot him. The bullet ricochets off the swinging fan and is sent straight back to the thug. These moments are a good example of why the Marvel hero deserves his own video game, along with the incredible hand-to-hand combat seen in Netflix’s Daredevil.

4 Daredevil Was A Savage Way Before Audiences Got Deadpool Or The Suicide Squad

Daredevil shows no mercy when it comes to protecting Hell’s Kitchen. He sets fire to entire clubhouses and is completely cavalier about people's lives. Not just that, but he literally throws a man onto a subway line and watches him beg for his life as an oncoming train nears.

RELATED: 10 Ways Daredevil Could Be Brought Back Into The MCU

For a movie that’s PG-13, it gets away with a lot and is surprisingly violent. As audiences and critics are praising Deadpool and the newly released The Suicide Squad for its unapologetic violence, Daredevil achieved exactly that more than a decade beforehand.

3 It Influenced The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan is on record as being hugely influenced by the likes of Stanley Kubrick and many other celebrated filmmakers, but he also claims to love The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. For a guy with such eclectic taste, it isn’t that surprising that he may have been influenced by Daredevil.

There’s a lot that makes no sense about The Dark Knight Rises, and one of them is when Batman leaves a calling card on a Skyscraper, which happens to be a giant burning bat signal. Daredevil also left a calling card in the subway in a very similar theatrical manner. When inspecting the crime scene, Ben throws a match on the floor, which leads to Daredevil’s logo being set alight. That match could have also struck an idea in Nolan’s head.

2 The Chemistry Between Affleck And Jennifer Garner Feels Real

Many fans want Charlie Cox to return as Daredevil, but there is still a lot of merit to Ben Affleck’s first attempt at playing a superhero. Before he went on to play Batman in the DCEU, Affleck gave it his best at playing Matt Murdock, but he’s always best on-screen when he’s acting alongside Jennifer Garner, who plays Elektra.

It could have been largely down to the fact that the two actors had also starred in Pearl Harbor together two years beforehand. There was a clear connection there, especially considering that they started dating the following year, and it paid off brilliantly.

1 It Was The First Superhero To Have A Non-Linear Narrative

Though many films start with a scene from the final act only to cut back to the very beginning of the narrative, Daredevil was the first superhero movie to do it. It might seem like the easiest possible way to create a “non-linear” narrative, but it still paved the way for writers to get more creative with superhero movies.

Even before Pulp Fiction, the idea of a non-linear narrative was like a different language to Hollywood. Before the Tarantino movie, the filmmaking technique was only used in European movies. Films like Watchmen and even Captain Marvel might not have had their unnatural structures if it wasn’t for Daredevil.

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