October 27, 2013
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!