Daredevil: The Man Without Fear
- NTSC DVD-9
Opening credits for "Nelson & Murdock".
Opening credits for "Law & Order: Hell's Kitchen".
Stan Lee cameo compilation.
"Dinner For Five" excerpts.
Two teaser trailers.
This fan edit is dedicated to Michael Clarke Duncan.
Marvel Logo replaced with Marvel Knights version. (I also added Daredevil to the images that flash by.)
Removed the opening credits, the framing story/flashback structure, and all voice-overs throughout the film. Also removed the over-the-top bullies shoving Matt around. We start with young Matt Murdock coming home with a split-lip…
Added a contemporary song being played down at the docks. There are no dates indicated in the edit, so the songs in the first section give a subtle idea of the time period.
When Matt is blinded by the radioactive waste, the camera pulls back inside his optic nerve as it is bombarded with unknown energies…the energy now glows redder as we get deeper within Matt’s head.
Matt awakes with a start, the tiniest of sounds booming loudly in his ears. His hearing and touch are greatly magnified (so too his sense of taste and smell, but he doesn’t know that yet.) And on top of that, every sound forms an odd halo of perception within him…not sight, not just hearing. A complex, 360 degree view of the world. The POV shots of Matt’s “radar sense” have now been turned from blue to red (matching the way they have been traditionally shown in the comics) as well as further degrading the image to make a chaotic, echoing mess. We as an audience can tell what Matt is perceiving, but it is difficult for us to make clear sense of details. A song has been briefly added into the audio confusion too, someone listening to the radio off in the distance. Later, Jack Murdock comes into the hospital room and talks to Matt. I removed Matt saying, “I hear everything” and smoothed (as best I could, but far from perfect) the frame jump where new material was inserted into the director’s cut. When Matt hugs his father, have added back in him saying, “It’s okay, Dad.” Which was in the theatrical but missing from the director’s cut.
We go to a montage of Matt and Jack training for a mutual comeback. Matt learns Braille and gets a proper grip on how his radar sense works, while Jack gets back into fight-shape. The montage has been reworked to remove the return of the bullies and Matt teaching himself to flip ‘n fight. In the comics, Matt was trained by a blind man named Stick, and rather than show Matt train himself, I prefer to leave his training mostly undefined, although it is hinted at in the opening credits. The song used for the montage has also been changed to something contemporary. I like to think that it’s playing on the boombox Jack listens to while training.
When Jack wins the fight he was supposed to throw, Fallon has him killed. The sequence is changed to remove all reference to Wilson Fisk being the man who kills Jack, and the red rose he leaves behind (including laboriously erasing the rose from one shot that was crucial to the flow). I never really cared for the whole “main villain causes hero to exist routine that the ’89 Batman popularized.) Instead, Fallon’s thugs beat holy hell out of Jack until he’s on the ground defenseless. Fallon then gets out of his limosine to personally blow Jack’s brains out. Matt runs to his father and cradles his body as we pull out and go to the opening credits, which separate Matt as a child and as a man. In the credits, I have bumped Jon Favreau up to second billing, where I feel he belongs for this edit of the film. We don’t know most of what Matt does for the next few years, but we do see snippets of him training under a mysterious old man. Stick.
Removed Matt waking up and getting ready for work. This sequence will be used later.
Removed Quesada court case entirely. Nelson & Murdock are defense attorneys, so they wouldn’t normally be prosecuting a rape trial.
Removed the sequence where Matt “suits up”, jumps from a building, and runs around town. (Small parts of this sequence were used in other places places in the edit, but most of it got binned.) The first thing we see after the credits is Quesada having a smoke and a drink at Josie’s bar. Quesada is not an important character in this edit though, he is merely a minor plot point. We learn through dialogue that he did something nasty and got away with it thanks to The Kingpin. This is all we need to know, and Daredevil soon arrives to thrash him (and the rest of the bar’s denizens) and then move on. It’s just another night on the job for a costumed vigilante.
Removed Daredevil growling, “Justice!” before hurling his billy-club at Quesada.
Fixed the wide shot of the club flying at Quesada’s face so that he doesn’t turn his head before the club hits him. (Removes the discontinuity with the following shot.)
Reworked the whole Josie’s bar beat-down to remove Quesada cowering, Daredevil flipping around on ceiling fans, and standing still while bullets whiz all around him. In several shots, Daredevil has an earlier version of his costume on, which has a more bandana-like mask. The filmmakers erased some instances of the bandana flipping about behind Daredevil’s head while fighting, and I have erased the ones they missed. Also re-created a missing frame from where director’s cut material was inserted.
The sequence now ends when Daredevil has beat everyone up, including Quesada. (Lying unseen somewhere on the floor.) Daredevil no longer chases him outside and gleefully murders him. This also removes Detective Manolis at the crime scene and Ben Urich setting the Daredevil logo alight. (A misguided reference to The Crow that even the director himself admits really makes no sense here.)
When Daredevil arrives home, I sped up one shot of him jumping from the roof so that he doesn’t “float” on wires so obviously. When he goes inside, I removed a shot of Matt touching his father’s boxing gloves so that I could use it elsewhere.
The next day while drinking coffee with his law partner Foggy Nelson, Matt squeezes mustard into his coffee after Foggy switches the coffee and honey pots. I reframed Matt to remove the continuity error of mustard dripping onto the outside of his mug. Also removed Matt’s joke about being in Fight Club and the story about his guide dog running away.
Removed the entire playground fight. Now we do not see Matt and Elektra talking to each other after they leave the coffee house…an unseen conversation is infinitely preferable to the dreaded playground fight. The scene now cuts semi-comedically from Matt promising Foggy that he wouldn’t be late to the courthouse straight to Matt apologising for being late. Everything we need to know about Elektra is now told to us as Matt tells it to Foggy. When Matt and Foggy walk ‘n talk down the hallway, I have re-created yet another missing frame from director’s cut material being inserted and tried to smooth the transition.
Fisk’s intro was originally around this time, but I have moved it way back from where it was, so we now stick to Matt and Foggy for quite a while. All the material of Matt and Foggy investigating Lisa Tazio’s death is clearly set on the same day due to their clothes, yet the original film cuts back and forth to Fisk, to England at night, and to England during the day between these sections. I also prefer that we get to know Matt and Foggy better before we move on to dealing with Fisk, Bullseye, Urich, and Elektra.
So anyway, Matt tells Foggy about Elektra, Matt and Foggy go to meet their new client Daunte Jackson, they go to Lisa Tazio’s apartment to investigate, then we finally get Fisk’s intro. Putting Fisk’s intro here also helps fill the gap between investigation and court case, so it doesn’t feel quite as much like the court scene is the very next day. (Hopefully.)
When we finally do get to Fisk, I wanted a different tone to the scene than the film had, so I replaced the N.E.R.D. song with a Graeme Revell cue from a different film. The footage used is a mixture of DC and TC.
When Fisk smashes one of his bodyguards in the head with his cane, I fixed it so that the guard doesn’t flinch when the hit is coming. Also added blood to the cane after the impact, and in the next shot I added the top back onto the cane where it was missing. (Due to being a stunt-cane.)
Wesley originally said to Fisk, “Your eleven o’clock is here.” But due to moving the scene to a different point in the film , I decided to simplify it so that he simply says, “Sir...” to indicate that a visitor has arrived.
So the court case…I switched the establishing shot of the courthouse with a different one as they worked better for my purposes the other way around. Removed Matt’s nonsensical line, “Justice is blind, but it can be heard.” Also removed the word “however” from Matt saying, “…but this is not a court of character however” as it felt clumsy. Removed the judge complaining about Matt’s theatrics (facing the wrong way in court) and Matt complaining to Foggy that he laid on the blind act too thick, “It’s not The Gong Show.”
Next we go to Bullseye’s introduction. When the film was originally written, Bullseye was first seen boarding a plane to America, and later seen in an English pub in New York. In the editing process, they switched it so that the pub was actually in England and he flew to America after getting a call. I have switched them back to the original order, so we first meet Bullseye at the airport as he rides an escalator in an insolent Christ-like pose. Removed a small section where Bullseye is made to spit out the paperclip he has in his mouth. They wave the wand over him, which beeps over his belt buckle, necklace, and assorted metals bits and pieces. Then when cleared to pass he arrogantly shows that he has a paperclip in his mouth after all.
We go back to New York to see Daredevil sitting on a high ledge at night, listening to the city. He hears someone being attacked and mention of The Kingpin, so he goes to deal with it. I have used the structure of the theatrical cut for this sequence where Matt beats up a thug and scares his child. I needed Matt and Elektra’s rooftop scene to come later.
At the end of this sequence, Matt stands on the roof and laments, “I’m not the bad guy.”
I really didn’t like the look of the shot (The greenscreen work is very obvious) so I have replaced it with a different rooftop shot.
Removed the scene of Matt sitting in church for later use.
Earlier in the film, we saw a brief flashback where a nun comforts young Matt in the hospital. It was meant as a nice little unexplained moment for fans of the comic. I have put in a similar flashback after the rooftop brooding. Matt is feeling very down about his role at this point. He says he’s not the bad guy, but does he still believe it? The flashback is a brief moment with Stick where he tells Matt, “You understand violence and pain. But you do not know the way.”
Matt wakes up and gets ready for work. (This is the sequence taken from earlier in the film, but I have also used an alternate shot of his sleep tank closing, played in reverse to show the tank opening.) He is clearly not in the best of moods. He’s still thinking about the events of the night before and in a funk. At first, the noise of the city roars loudly after his night in the tank, but as he gets ready he (and the film) tunes out the sounds of the city until they are a soft, echoing, white noise. (I removed the rock song that originally went here and split the shots of him picking up his watch and glasses so that he doesn’t grab his glasses until he’s heading out the door.) We then cut to Matt walking to work, and I got so lucky here…Matt is wearing the same clothes in this later sequence, allowing me to join two totally separate scenes together without a problem.
At work, Foggy tries to talk Matt into seeing Elektra again, even though Matt wants to end it before it starts. The mood he’s in, he just wants to wallow in regret, not pursue happiness that he thinks will be fleeting. Foggy is insistent, and Matt gives in.
Once Matt decides to see her again, we cut straight to him showing Elektra his favourite view of the city from childhood, (the rooftop we saw him on at the start of the film.) I have removed a short intro sequence where she stops him on the street as I needed to drop the “I found you” reference which is a call-back to something she said during the playground fight.) This way, it now plays out like Matt took Foggy’s advice and contacted Elektra rather than her tracking him down.
Matt hears someone being assaulted, and runs off to deal with it. I used the video from the director’s cut and the audio (mostly) from the theatrical cut here so that we get different audio of the attack.
We catch up with Bullseye again...he has now arrived in New York and is killing time hanging out at an English-style pub. After beating a chump at darts, he gets a text telling him that it’s time for the job. I have replaced the music playing in the pub as I hated the song they used, and I have altered the paperclip attack to be a bit more gruesome. Instead of (somehow) breaking the paperclip into tiny pieces, he now throws the entire straightened paperclip, burying four inches of metal in the man’s throat. (Fixed the trajectory, too.) Then, in a scene taken from later on, Bullseye steals a bike outside the bar and drives off towards his target.
At the ball, I have altered the moment when Matt meets up with Elektra to remove another reference to the “I found you” routine.
Fisk makes a veiled threat to Nikolas and leaves a rose with him. This is the only time I have left Fisk’s rose fixation intact, as I thought it was a nice touch to have a single red rose on the casket at Nikolas’ funeral, mocking him even in death. I also removed Foggy accidentally fondling the sphinx and trimmed out the ‘Bullseye steals bike’ scene I needed to use a little earlier.
Nikolas and Elektra get into a limo and speed away from the ball. As they drive, I removed the shot where Elektra looks up through the sunroof and sees Daredevil running along an upper floor of the building. In this edit he is now coming from a different direction at a slightly later time. Also removed the sound of squealing tyres when the limo turns a corner. (The audio didn’t really match the movement of the car.)
Bullseye kills the driver and bodyguard, and then he spins his bike around and heads back towards the limo. I have removed the entire sequence of Daredevil landing in the street, dodging an attack, and then running ponderously towards Bullseye. I also got rid of as much as possible of the awful CGI shot of Daredevil kicking Bullseye off the bike.
The scene now runs like this:
Bullseye speeds towards Nikolas.
Daredevil runs across a nearby rooftop and jumps over the side.
Bullseye on bike again.
Daredevil grapples a statue (fixed a few frames of CG where objects overlap incorrectly) and swings in just in time to kick Bullseye off of his bike. (The last shot sped-up slightly to further reduce screen time for that CGI kick ‘n tumble.)
Bullseye hurls Matt’s billy-club at Nikolas just as an explosion obscures Matt’s view of the flying weapon. I have further distorted the image to make it more believable that Matt loses track of the “real” club. I also removed the shot of Elektra watching the club fly above her in slow motion.
When Nikolas is killed, Elektra grabs a dropped gun and shoots at Daredevil. I removed a little bit of him escaping to remove some very average-looking CGI.
Afterwards, Detective Manolis is shouting orders at his men. He turns to Urich and says, “What do you want, Urich? Does all this make you happy?” I removed Manolis then saying, “I guess you got your story.” as we no longer have the earlier scene where he first mentions this. He now just taunts Urich for being a reporter at a nasty crime scene.
Removed the sequence where Matt trashes his place in anger for later use.
Removed the scene where Bullseye goes to see Fisk. It’s kind of an unnecessary scene anyway, but it also contains stuff about Daredevil making Bullseye miss, which he no longer does in this edit. Also contains the horrible exchange, “How do you kill a man without fear?” “By puttin’ the fear in him.”
After Foggy’s disastrous day in court with Daunte Jackson, we go to Nikolas’ funeral. I removed the obvious re-shoot material of Matt and Elektra talking after the service. Apart from the footage looking different to the surrounding material, the dialogue is not that great. (“I want revenge”, Elektra states flatly.) The way it plays now, Matt tries to comfort Elektra but she just shoots him down immediately. They stand in silence while Matt struggles for the right thing to say.
Removed the scene of Foggy and Karen making a breakthrough in the case to use later.
Removed scene with Kevin Smith. I hate him in this film, and Urich no longer figures out who Daredevil is in this edit, so thankfully the scene is not needed at all.
Reworked Elektra’s practice session to include more of Matt so that it’s a mutual getting-ready montage. The extra shots of Matt are from the excised “suiting up” sequence earlier in the film. I also end the sequence on the second last shot of Elektra. She has an angry, defiant glare that I prefer to the less powerful look she has in the last shot.
As Matt, Elektra, and Bullseye all converge on one place, I removed a CGI shot of Daredevil that is so bad that they even mention it on the commentary. …And also a shot of Bullseye snarling at a rat. When Daredevil jumps down to a lower level, I added in some hanging laundry in the foreground to tie it in with what is now the next shot.
While defending himself from Elektra, I removed Daredevil yelling, “It was a hit man named Bullseye!” (It was obvious looping over a shot that had no mouth movement) and inserted it a few moments later where it seems to sit better. He blurts it out right before she connects a kick, making him grunt. Also removed some really terrible wirework during the fight.
When Elektra throws a sai into the wall next to Daredevil’s head, I altered it so that he no longer does a super-fast double-take any more. He turns towards it just once now.
After Elektra learns that Matt is Daredevil, I removed another one of the “I found you” call-backs.
When Elektra goes to fight Bullseye, I removed several weak wirework shots, where Elektra jumps and floats as though she has super-powers. I also sped-up part of Bullseye jumping down to a lower level to remove more floaty wirework. The part of the fight where Elektra throws a sai at Bullseye and then he throws it back is removed. They meet up face to face immediately now.
As Elektra has just dropped a sai in the original film but not in this edit, I have added the sound effect of her second sai twirling after she cuts Bullseye’s face. (Thankfully, she keeps her left hand off-screen.) When Bullseye punches her a moment later, I have added the sound effect of the sai clanging to the ground, letting us know she has now dropped one.
Removed the shot where Bullseye throws Elektra a short distance. (More of that terrible wirework.) After Bullseye stabs Elektra, he throws her all the way down to the lower level. The original shot has a very odd ‘fake slow motion’ look to it. I smoothed out her movement in the shot as best as I could.
Removed Bullseye throwing a rose down at Elektra.
When the police chopper comes roaring into view, Bullseye does his little snake-sound-effect-coat-swish and takes off. His part in this edit is now over. He was hired to kill Nikolas and Elektra and now he leaves, job well done. He has no particular vendetta against Daredevil in this edit. (Although he has certainly made himself into an enemy of Daredevil, and will pay dearly some day.) Y’see…I hate the church fight a lot. Pretty much everything about it. The size-changing pipe-organ, (they climb two levels only for Daredevil to fall twenty) the horribly staged fighting, the terrible CGI Daredevil, the bats, Bullseye catching big pizza stacks of glass that he still throws one at a time somehow, Bullseye missing shots all over the place even though Daredevil doesn’t even bother to dodge them, Colin Farrell degenerating into comic buffoonery after having spent the rest of the film in a near-perfect Bullseye kill-glee…the list goes on and on. The icing on the cake is Daredevil throwing a now-defenceless Bullseye out of a window to his expected death. This from a hero who moans that he is “not the bad guy” and even repeats that mantra a few minutes from now.
So anyway, Elektra dies and the cops storm the roof. Daredevil is nowhere to be seen. Matt trashes his place in anger and frustration in footage taken from after Nikolas’ assassination. (In my opinion it works much better here, and even though he is quite energetic compared to the previous scene, he has had an unknown amount of time off screen to get a second wind…plus, it was much worse in the original film, where he fought Bullseye and Kingpin right after being injured.) In the original context, Matt is angry due to failure. Now, he is angry with failure and grief. He has lost someone really important to him. He slides to the floor, broken.
Matt sits silently in church in footage taken from earlier in the film. We now see him as sullen, still heart-broken over losing Elektra so violently. Father Everett approaches and tells him that he doesn’t have to go it alone. Matt smirks ruefully, as up until now he did manage to have someone on his side for a brief moment. Elektra learned who he really was but died immediately afterwards, so Matt is back to zero again. When it comes to his secret life, he has no one to turn to for solace or help. When Everett tells him that there’s nothing he hasn’t heard in his confessional, I removed Matt’s little “Let’s keep it that way” crack. In the new context of the scene, Matt is not in the mood to make little jokes. His sought-after solitude now disturbed, Matt gets up and leaves.
We go back to Nelson & Murdock now, where Foggy and Karen discuss the Tazio case and Karen helps Foggy figure it out. (A scene taken from earlier.) I removed the background sound effects that were originally there as they sounded more like day-time SFX, and replaced them with more subdued night-time ones. The scene starts with an establishing shot of Nelson & Murdock, which I made out of a mirrored and edited shot from the end of the film (where Urich exits the New York Post building.) I removed Urich, extended the wall to remove the intersection, fixed all the mirrored signs, and made a few other minor tweaks. It now resembles the building we see from inside and matches the look of the street we saw when Matt walked to work earlier in the film. Even better, a taxi drives by at pretty much the same time in both shots, tying them together beautifully.
After Foggy and Karen figure out that MOM is actually WOW, we cut back outside to see that Daredevil is sitting on the roof across the street, having listened to the whole conversation. (He is actually in the earlier establishing shot as well, mostly unnoticed over in the left of frame.) He now has all the pieces to the puzzle. He takes off to confront Fisk in a another newly made shot.
Detective Manolis tracks down Wesley Owen Welch, having been informed off-screen about the connection between him and Lisa Tazio. (Foggy called Urich, who then told Manolis about his ‘anonymous tip’. I originally had a short sequence of this in the cut, but it felt far too clumsy for something that hopefully doesn’t need to be seen to be understood.) The logic and flow of events is definitely shaky, but so is the way they play out in the original version. I just hope my take on it isn’t too disjointed.
Daredevil finally goes toe-to-toe with The Kingpin. (Removed Wesley talking to Fisk beforehand.) When Fisk hurls Daredevil at the window, I have sped-up his flight to remove some slow wirework. Also sped up part of Fisk throwing Daredevil into the wall to minimize yet more floaty wirework. Added an extra flash of lightning here and there to help disguise hits that didn’t quite connect during the fight.
Removed Fisk picking up a rose and lamenting that Daredevil came to him wounded. (In this cut, Daredevil had a lot more recuperation time.) Replaced the missing piece with a shot of Fisk menacingly picking up his cane and glaring at Daredevil.
Smoothed out the jump-cut when Fisk pulls off Daredevil’s mask.
Removed Matt asking Fisk why he killed the only two people he ever loved. Obviously, he didn’t kill Jack Murdock in this edit but it is weird anyway that Fisk knows immediately exactly what Matt is talking about. I also removed the ghostly Elektra images helping Matt to (slowly) figure out what to do. Now, as Fisk mocks him he immediately smashes the water piping and springs back into action.
Fixed up a couple of fake slo-mo shots during the fight so that they don’t have the obvious ‘missing frame’ look to them. Also done to the shot when Matt pretends to smash Fisk’s head in with his own cane. Before he swings, I removed Matt saying, “I’ve been thinking about this day since I was twelve years old.”
Removed Matt saying, “I can hear the police radios from here.” It seems to be a looped line which was originally added to explain how he knew the cops were coming in the theatrical cut. In this edit he has no need to hear why they’re coming…he already knows. Plus, Daredevil hearing police radios 60 floors below and in the rain? I think that’s stretching it, even for him.
Removed Matt saying “Justice is served.” It’s stronger with his final line now being, “I’ll be waiting.” and then dismissively throwing Fisk’s cane out of reach.
Removed Matt dropping a rose in memory if his father. I replaced it with shots of New York and one poignant shot of him returning home, referencing his father but not so specifically that his death was tied in with what just happened.
Removed Urich confronting Matt about his secret. Removed Fisk and Wesley in jail. Removed Bullseye in hospital. Removed Urich writing and deleting his Daredevil story. Removed Daredevil running across rooftops that magically change height drastically. (Plus, I used some of this footage at different points earlier in the edit.)
After Matt runs into Father Everett outside church, he montage-wanders, drawn by a weird tinkling sound effect tugging at his hearing. It turns out to be coming from his ‘favorite view of the city’ rooftop, and there he finds a Braille version of Elektra’s necklace; a surprise gift left for him. Did she leave it there for him before she died, or does it imply that she somehow survived? Either way, our last image is of Matt happy. He now has hope again. Faith.
Altered credits to feature the new cast list, credits for the writers and artists who created the characters, a list of additional footage used, and a short list of the voice cameos.
Easter egg scene after the credits.
UA's Man without Fear is a minor miracle for DD fans. This film has been transformed into superhero-noir.
Noir/Crime elements are the highlight: main plot is now Matt fulfilling his self-proclaimed purpose in life as lawyer and vigilante to help an innocent man framed for murder, using his powers to decipher clues (that PI investigation scene was awesome) as through the course of the film he slowly amasses enough info to discover the Kingpin's identity. Subplot is his doomed love with Elektra (fitting too that Bullseye gets away).
Though many have mentioned a disjointed feel re development of the Elektra love story, I felt it right that his jobs (as lawyer and DD) took center stage, and had no problem having the love subplot run in the background. After the introduction of Elektra in the coffeeshop scene, she is alluded to only in dialogue before coming to the fore after Matt's talk w Foggy and his decision to seriously explore matters w her, after which we jump to Matt introducing Elektra to his favorite rooftop spot, the same one shown at the beginning of the film. Here both let each other into their respective lives, sharing a kiss before Matt chooses work once again and leaves Elektra alone as he attends to his DD duties.
One minor quibble re the opening credits: while brilliant to portray Stick and the training montage, I don't think the light brown color works with the overall aesthetic of the film as a whole. Regarding all the other aspects - music, edits, narrative choices - all are spot on. This is a film of its time, and is dated, and UA embraces those aspects, highlighting rather than downplaying them. The fight scenes are solid and bloody, and while some performances w clunky dialogue and delivery still exist (retained for their narrative functions), the film as a whole works, and works well.
Overall this is much more a character study on Matt Murdock, and, though by no means perfect (due to what UA had to work with), is a solid film that respects the character and portrays a gritty, grounded Daredevil that does justice to the source material.
Fantastic work UA!
Well, hello Uncanny Antman!
Let's start by saying I grew up with "Daredevil"'s theatrical cut, him being one of my favourite superheroes and one of my favourite characters growing up and to this day. But, time has helped me realise, how the film actually was flaw filled. The "Director's Cut" makes the film one of the best out there in its genre, for the most part, and I really think if it were released as it was originally intended it would be widely considered one of the best superhero films. The story serves justice, has depth under almost all perspectives, the acting is good, the action good, except specific scenes we know about, Graeme Revell's music cues are particularly good and so is the direction, which can, though, sometimes feel cheeky. What irritated me of the director's cut was, though, the wire work, which is overused and "floaty", as the fan editor calls it, and some computer generated imagery which was bloated at times.
I, out of curiosity, really, watched your fan edit of "Daredevil", "Daredevil: The Man Without Fear" and was overwhelmed by how much the film could actually be much, much, much, much better! Like, now, really Good! Good with a capital G. I loved how all, every little, minimal aspect was payed attention to, from continuity on all scales, to development, to little details in one shot, but most importantly: narrative importance. And by that I mean you gave weight where it was needed, adding it where it was less. This makes "Daredevil: The Man Without Fear" one of the greatest superhero films out there. Furthermore, the stuffed ending is gone, and in its place a brilliant, round-up which brings the story to a closure, with a warm, heart-felt smile toward the future for Matt Murdock.
I would like to add I was stunned by your ability as a music consultant: all the choices of music were great. The human break between Elektra's death and Karen's contribution, with which eventually the Tazio case is solved and that brings Daredevil face-to-face with Daredevil is one of the best things to happen to the storyline. I also would like to touch upon the seemless edits and tweaking of music, all of which for the best. The film never felt rushed, the action always feels deserved, and nothing ever feels gratuitous or called upon, rather deserved. I would finally like to add I saw this the first time when I downloaded it and in a week I think I saw it more than three times.
I would not have the edit one bit different, but would love an extended edition where Quesada's assassination is showed, without his trial. This would maybe give more weight to the theme of Daredevil coming to ask himself if he really isn't the bad guy. Also, if possible another short scene with Elektra and Matt would be nice, perhaps a short conversation before and excluding the park fight?
In conclusion, this is probably one of the best fan edits out there and my personal favourite of the few I have seen, also thanks to the original material, with which, as I have said, I have grown up with. This is the definitive version of the film, and will change your mind about the film if you thought you didn't like it! Watch "Daredevil: The Man Without Fear" and you will beyond love it!
P.S. The cover and DVD are pluses. Stunning!
-- Canon Editor
Daredevil was a movie I wanted to like but couldn’t. Sure it was occasionally fun, but the CGI silliness, OTT antics, and convoluted plot obscured what could have been a engaging and relatable origin story. There were enough worthwhile elements to make me hopeful for the spinoff Elektra, but I was sorely disappointed, and while Daredevil seemed good by comparison, a second viewing of it on DVD reminded me how bad it really was.
I originally couldn’t find a different Uncanny Antman (UA) fanedit I was looking for, so I thought I’d sample a portion of one of his other works just to see what he could do. I was pleasantly surprised when I reached the end of his “Daredevil: The Man Without Fear” fanedit without dropping it or hitting fast play, and feeling eager for more.
The opening title sequence with the Marvel Knights logo was an auspicious beginning. The focused prologue with its simple human drama was satisfying but felt unfamiliar, almost as if I was watching a reboot, but using the same actors. Only when it came to Affleck’s initial outing as Daredevil (DD) did I start to feel anything was amiss. The transition almost directly into DD’s violent confrontation felt abrupt, though a first time viewer might not notice anything missing. However, that concern dissipated as the rapid pace of the story carried me along and I realized showing DD’s initial foray without preamble symbolized the rudderless state of his life at that point and makes his self-affirmation at the end all the more powerful.
My biggest gripe is the lack of buildup to DD’s romance with Elektra. While I agree with the artistic reasons for cutting Affleck’s initial athletic flirtation with Garner, I felt their romantic development was already underdeveloped in the theatrical cut. I like UA’s restructuring to eliminate flashbacks, but perhaps one or two flashbacks to that cut scene could have been used to lend credibility to their romance. Unfortunately the two leads have no other costarring roles to mine for new material and I doubt Pearl Harbor had anything useful given Garner’s small role in it, but possibly scenes shot from the perspective of her love interest (implying it’s DD’s perspective) in some other role(s) she’d played could’ve been inserted to support the romance. Still, sufficient chemistry shone through and I was satisfied with where things ended.
The soundtrack UA ended up with felt perfect and did not distract from the unfolding of the story like in the theatrical cut. The audio and visual transitions themselves felt seamless. I would’ve like to have seen more contrast in some of the night scenes, especially since DD can “see” in the dark, but I understand the limitations of the source material and the symbolism of keeping things in the shadow.
By the end of this edit, I felt the right amount was told about Daredevil, but to expand the story in a satisfying way would’ve required a whole nother feature film. The original can be put in storage and this fanedit can be put on the shelf as a worthy professional quality replacement.
Bonus points for the fantastic DVD menu and extras UA produced for his release. The “Removed Material” while interesting examples of filmmaking technique certainly did not belong in the film proper. The fictitious “Return of the Kingpin” teaser makes for an interesting what-if. “Law & Order: Hell’s Kitchen” if actually produced could bring me back to watching police procedurals. Finally the “Nelson & Murdock” 80’s TV spoof almost makes me think Netflix should just skip their upcoming Daredevil series and go directly to a wacky retro procedural spinoff. I look forward to watching more features and shorts from this editor.
I'm only knocking the A/V due to the unavailability of an HD version, but for a DVD release, it's a 10.
I'm not going to apologize, but Daredevil was always a guilty pleasure movie for me. It was one of the first of the golden age of comic book films that actually showed the main character make each day a physical struggle. You can see a lot of pieces that were used in better films like The Dark Knight with a protagonist that gets hurt but keeps pushing forward. That said, it's a guilty pleasure for a reason. The script is weak and the direction is a mess.
Thankfully, Uncanny Antman has delivered with an exceptional edit that rearranges the narrative in surprisingly effective ways. If you hate Daredevil, this may not turn the tide, but it's certainly far more interesting (especially if you have yet to see the Director's Cut).
Starting right from the beginning, losing the narration lets the images speak for themselves and expects a bit more from the audience. The story is there, but it doesn't spoon-feed what the characters are thinking, which is nice. Also, keeping the music period to the 80s in the origin story is key. The Theatrical Cut always felt messy because of the constant barrage of current music. This cut widens it, not worried about selling a soundtrack CD.
The opening title sequence is the biggest nail in the coffin of the theatrical version. Uncanny Antman's new sequence is amazing and does so much with such a little amount of time that brings the viewer into the present, while not short-changing Matt's training and his mission over a long period of time. Amazingly well-crafted and utterly professional that is miles above the insipid original titles.
Cutting down Quesada substantially is also a stroke of genius. We only see him in the biker bar and Daredevil beats him and his goons down without saying a word. No stupid lines about justice or giving the devil his due. Just a hard-hitting beatdown. Also, Uncanny Antman THANKFULLY removes the shot of Daredevil stopping mid-fight to "watch" bullets wizzing by through one of the worst uses of the CGI for super-hearing. Daredevil doesn't kill anybody this time around, but they're surely heading to the hospital.
The only weak link in the chain is in Elektra. Unfortunately, by removing the playground fight completely, it feels like there is a piece of the story missing. It truly sticks out that we don't see Matt use his charms at all on Elektra. We see her act coldly to Matt in the coffee shop. Then the next time we see her, she's on the rooftop in a romantic scene with Matt. It's an A to C moment that is a bit jarring. We also never see that she actually is a bit of a fighter. I would love to have seen just a tiny bit of the beginning of the playground fight, that ends the scene at Matt saying, "You sure you don't want to tell me your name?" and before all the crazy flipping around and terrible score kicks in. It's too bad that Elektra takes off her jacket because it creates a continuity error to use the bookend of the Director's Cut sequence when Elektra's bodyguards show up, which would have helped wrap the scene.
Despite my misgivings about Elektra's story, which is truly hindered by the original film that Uncanny Antman worked from, everybody else's story and performance is boosted by removing extraneous comedy and melodrama. It's a wonderful domino effect that leads into major moments of the ending being removed entirely. At first, it felt like it may have removed too much, but watching it a second time and unburdening myself from the original film's structure, I realized that the indeed the church fight and Ben Urich learning the truth about Daredevil are truly unneeded. Urich still has an arc because he's the tie to the truth in the Lisa Tazio case and Bullseye is just an assassin with no personal vendetta to Daredevil. He killed Elektra, job done.
Side bar: I loved the "Psycho Killer" bar darts sequence. Very creepy use of music and tone. Also, the new Kingpin introduction with a moody orchestral is definitely the way to go. N.E.R.D. is a welcome casualty of this cut.
The fight scenes are much shorter, but they have more brutality in its ferociousness. It just plays better without all the Crouch Tiger style flying about. Kudos on these cuts. There are many and they all work for the better, especially in the final fight with The Kingpin. There were numerous times in this version that I was wincing. Even what looked stupid in the original cut (Kingpin tossing Daredevil across the room into a wall) is expertly sped up and just on the right side of believable. Also, no "use the Force" moment with Daredevil remembering his water trick to see The Kingpin. Truly amazing.
Honestly, there's so much that's great here and the restructuring of scenes was surprising in a way that left me wondering why it wasn't done that way in theatrical cut! By giving Matt some time to grieve, it gives more weight to losing Elektra and ties in better to Uncanny Antman's subdued and hopeful ending. No "here's where all the characters are" type of ending montage, just a look of actual happiness for the first time on Matt's face. Cut to credits.
Finally, that swinging bit to kick Bullseye off the motorcycle. Genius.
Watch this version. You won't be disappointed. It's definitely my go-to in the future.