March 17, 2015
(We do the usual opening for the Nostalgia Critic before coming to him at his desk.)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. With Ben Affleck now being chosen as the new Dark Knight, you have to wonder if anyone ever gave any consideration to having Ben Affleck play a superhero in the past--It's Daredevil, isn't it? (The title screen for the movie is shown. NC holds his face in his hands!) No! No no no no no! You don't understand! It's not just a bad comic book movie, this is a bad comic book movie from the early 2000s.
(Clips from The Avengers: Age of Ultron are shown.)
NC (vo): You know how comic films are huge now and smart and funny and clever? (Clips of Daredevil) Well back in the day, comic books were still kind of seen as kids stuff and films like these (posters of Batman & Robin and Steel are shown) certainly didn't help its case. So comic book movies had to try even harder to be taken seriously. Which surprisingly backfired on how repetitive they became. Every movie had to be dark and gritty and painful. Which isn't bad once in awhile, (posters for Blade, Hulk, The Punisher, Spawn and Constantine are shown) but with every single fucking one of them starts to look like that, they start to come across as mopey, complaining, and downright not fun. Don't get me wrong, (picture from X-Men is shown) some films did it okay, but ones like Daredevil?
NC: Ugh! Let's just say it's something I'm really not looking forward to reviewing alone.
Voice: You won't need to, Critic!
(We cut to a stranger on a rooftop at night in a costume, and played by Orlando Belisle, Jr.)
Stranger: I will help you!
NC: Who are you?
Stranger: I am a superhero from the early 2000s simply known as...The Angst! (A lightning bolt cracks behind him.)
NC: Well that's great. I could use some help reviewing this. Here, why don't you come sit next to me?
Angst: Thank you, but I must stay here. I have so many brooding poses on top of rooftops I must show.
NC: Oh yeah, I guess that was kind of a thing for awhile. (Posters for Catwoman, Daredevil, Underworld, The Crow: City of Angels and Spider-Man 3 are shown.)
Angst: But we'll get through this together, or my name isn't The Angst!
NC: *sigh* All right, prepare for early 2000s super cheese with Daredevil.
Angst: It makes me want to hang my head in contemplation. (As he turns to look down, the lightning crash shows posters for Batman Begins and Man of Steel.)
NC (vo): As the credits roll, blood drips down the stained glass window of the Virgin Mary while our hero hangs in pain off the cross at the top of a church. Yep, it's that kind of movie, kids.
NC: Why don't you just throw in God (vo) weeping in the corner going "What poetic despair has life become?" (A picture of a statue covering its face is shown.)
(We get a clip of Daredevil falling into the church.)
NC (vo): We get a flashback to the good old days of the bad old days when we see Affleck, playing Matt Murdock, growing up in a part of town called Hell's Kitchen.
NC: Yeah, you know it's coming, so here it is. (He pulls up a clip of Gordon Ramsay from the TV Show, Hell's Kitchen.)
Gordon Ramsay: This is fucking painful!
NC: Back to the review.
NC (vo): When he was a young boy, he was always beat up by the kid from--Aw shit, there's a Sopranos joke, too?
NC: Crap, where's that joke filed under? Um? (He pulls up OF COURSE!) No. (He then pulls up I WAS FROZEN--) No, umm! So...that's why you were interrogated on Law & Order? (Clip from an episode of Law & Order is shown involving said actor is shown. The crowd then boos at NC.) What do you want? They sprung it on me!
NC (vo): He's upset because his dad used to go nine rounds with Heavyweight Louis, now he goes nine rounds with Heavyweight Heineken.
Jack Murdock: You don't hit nothing but books, you get me?
NC (vo): But when he discovers his dad was working for a crime boss, he stumbles onto some hazardous chemicals that make him blind. You know, why is it anything that can give you superpowers is not better protected? You can write biohazard on it, but when kids are allowed in the area and it's fucking everywhere like goddamn Candy Crush, you might wanna rethink security a little bit!
Jack: I'm sorry, Matty.
NC (vo): His dad gives up his life of crime, but he shouldn't feel too sorry as the chemicals heighten Murdock's other senses, allowing him to see the world like every special feature in a PS3 game.
Bully: Hey Murdock! Round 2!
NC (vo): (as Bullies) That's right. We're such one-dimensional bullies that we're actually gonna beat up a blind kid. We kind of have no souls.
NC: Next we're gonna teach tap dancing to people in wheelchairs...also while beating them up! (Pictures of a kid tap dancing for wheelchair bound people are shown, followed by a picture of a kid raising his fist to another are shown.) It's a thug thing, you wouldn't understand.
(Matt uses his new senses to smack the lead bully with his cane with every movement he makes.)
NC: Oh no, he has a cane! All I can do is stand here and take it, I guess!
NC (vo): His ears have become so good that he can tell when his father is losing a fight.
(Jack is knocked down to the mat in his match.)
Matt: Come on, dad! Come on, dad, get up!
NC: So wait a minute. His powers are so good he can hear punches over a screaming crowd and he can take on bullies all by himself?
Angst: Oh yes. Superpowers can do that. I'm actually completely deaf.
NC: You are?
Angst: Yes. Chemical liquid goo made me lose all my hearing, but it also gave me super listening powers as well.
NC: So, there's no point to you being deaf, then.
NC: If one thing was taken away from you but then given back in a different way, there's totally no point in losing it.
Angst: Of course there is. It gives me an edge!
NC: No, it doesn't. If anything, you can sense things better than you could before!
NC (vo): Look at our hero. He doesn't even need the stick! Not only is he a better fighter than most, but he's pointing out when to cross the street better than mandatory cameos can. (One of the clips is of Matt making sure Stan Lee didn't walk into a busy street.)
NC: So the disability is totally pointless. In fact, it's almost like you don't even have the disability!
Angst: Well...I also broke my arm.
NC: Did you get it fixed?
NC: Then it doesn't matter! It doesn't impact anything with your character!
(Angst stands there looking embarrassed before...)
Angst: I am The Angst!
NC: Does a gust of wind ever just push you off a building?
Angst: Not yet. (Just as he said that, a gust of wind tries to push him off a building) Whoa-ho! Whoa-ho! Almost got me there. Hehe, whoo, haha. Angst!
NC (vo): So because his father doesn't throw the fight, he's killed by a bunch of thugs with the final punch being given by a villain called the Kingpin, who leaves a rose with all his victims because...it'll leave no trace that way?
(Matt clutches onto the rose over his father's body.)
NC (vo): (as Jack) Bruce, I mean Peter, I mean Simba, I mean...oh you know what to do with this.
(The camera then zooms through the city before stopping right at the stained glass window image of the Virgin Mary.)
NC (vo): (as Virgin Mary) Um, hi audience. Uh, the director has decided to hold on me for a bit. So, um... it's the Virgin Mary Show! (a sock puppet and another puppet appear on screen as a made-up theme song is sung) Hey, what are you doing today? Oh I'm gonna learn about--(The Virgin Mary now fades to an adult Matt Murdock) Oh thank God! (the puppets leave the screen) That was getting really awkward! (Matt is coming out of his sensory deprivation chamber bed.) (as a vampire) Blah, I am Count Affleckula. I have come to suck...and that's it. (Normal) So, rather than, oh, I don't know, hand himself over to science to help other blind people sense what he does, he decides to become a lawyer because...let's face it, saying the "Justice is blind" phrase is too tempting not to use.
Matt: Justice is blind.
José Quesada: I stopped off at Josie's Bar after work, had a few drinks. (Photos of his victim are shown.) She asked me if I wanted to stick around for some fun.
(Matt uses his superhearing to hear Quesada's heart beating faster, sensing he's lying.)
NC (vo): Uh, yeah, listen to his heartbeat to see if he's lying. Not the so obviously lying tone he's so obviously lying with.
Quesada: Miss Sutton certainly enjoyed every minute of it.
(Cut to Quesada getting into his car after being let off.)
Matt: It's not right. Another rapist back onto the streets.
NC (vo): This, of course, forces him to take justice into his own hands. (Cut to a clip of Daredevil twirling his baton around like nunchucks.) That was totally necessary.
Thug: Look at that. Is that guy for real?
Quesada: Yeah, he's for real. What do you want?
NC: Okay, I'll give you three guesses what he's going to answer that with. 1. Directions back to the Gay Pride Parade. 2. A Cosmopolitan, maybe with just a little bit more cranberry juice than usual. Or 3. JUSTICE!
(Daredevil then proceeds to beat down every thug effortlessly in the bar.)
NC (vo): Just assume a superhero's answer for anything is justice. How are you? "Justice." What are you eating? "Justice." How do I get to your house? "Oh just take a right off Michigan Avenue off the corner of Wabash and Justice!" (Quesada is knocked out by Daredevil onto the train tracks.) He tracks him down to a subway where he finally gets the JUSTICE! he deserves.
Daredevil: That light at the end of the tunnel? That's not Heaven. That's the C Train!
NC (vo): That's right. Daredevil's gonna kill you because Matt Murdock is a terrible lawyer! Enjoy my compensation for my terrible occupational choices! (The top half of Quesada is carried out on a stretcher, followed by the bottom half on another.) Determined to get his half of the story...(rimshot) Joe Pantoliano comes in playing Robert Wuhl minus the humor... (Clip of Alexander Knox from Batman)
NC: Before he became Robert Wuhl minus the humor. (Poster of Arli$$ is shown.)
NC (vo): As he suspects the urban legend Daredevil might be behind this.
Ben Urich: Are you here to confirm that Daredevil is responsible for this, Detective?
Det. Nick Manolis: There is no proof that your so-called Daredevil was involved, nor that he even exists. Got it?
NC: Now let me bask in how weasly and stuck-up as I know for a fact I will in no way will I be contradicted at all--(Urich throws his cigarette on the ground, lighting up a pair of initials that spell DD.) WHAAAAAAT!?
Urich: Got it.
NC (vo): You know, that's not exactly the most obvious or safest calling card. Say they didn't see that gasoline on the floor like most people wouldn't. What if another subway rider was just waiting for a train while smoking?
(Cut to a clip of Tamara Chambers smoking a (fake) cigarette before tossing it down and making flames shoot up, scaring her!)
Tamara: Who the hell is DD?
(Matt's come back from being Daredevil and is listening to his messages.)
Woman: Matt, are you there? Of course you're not there. You're never there. Every time we see sleep together I wake up in the morning alone. I thought that if I waited, if I was patient enough, you'd let me in.
NC (vo): (as Affleck) Ugh, fucking J-Lo. Will she get the message? (normal) After chewing his pills because that's what hardcore people do, he goes to confession as the priest is apparently the only one who knows his secret.
Matt: Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
NC (vo): (as Affleck) For I am making Daredevil. (as Priest) Your penance is ten years obscurity. Do one Argo, one Gone Girl and maybe one day you will be Batman.
Franklin "Foggy" Nelson: "Eyewitnesses report that Quesada was singled out by the demonic vigilante..."
NC (vo): He then meets up with his partner, played by John Favreau, clearly taking notes on how not to direct a superhero movie.
Foggy: Mr. Lee, he made his first payment. He paid in fluke. (Matt then catches a scent in the air) What, what? Where where where?
Matt: Front door. Not yet. Soon.
NC (vo): Ah yes, those chemicals also gave him super sniffing-through-glass-able-to-detect-attractiveness-and-not-just-a-really-nice-perfume-powers, too.
NC: It's a strange cross to bear.
NC (vo): This of course is Jennifer Garner, who doesn't seem to grasp that love is blind.
NC: Hey, you know if the film thought of that joke, it would've said it.
Matt: I didn't get your name.
Elektra Natchios: I didn't give it.
Foggy: Hey, some people have no compassion for the handicapped.
NC (vo): No, she left because he's Ben Affleck. But I guess in some respects, that's kind of a handicap.
Elektra: What do you want?
Matt: I just wanted to get your name.
NC (vo): He follows her outside to get her name, but...oh, I can't even explain it, just watch.
Matt: (grabbing Elektra's hand) Wait a second. (Elektra tries to twist him off, but he spins around to meet her.) We should do what you do like and go from there. (The two of them then fight each other, with Matt casually deflecting Elektra's blows.)
NC: Okay, so...where do I begin with this?
NC (vo): First of all, I think she's making it pretty clear she's not interested in your stalker ass. If she wanted, she could call the cops on your ass for being a creeper and grabbing her. But nah, it makes much more sense to fight him, which leads to the second and most obvious problem: she's fighting a blind guy! She doesn't know he has super senses and neither does anyone else, so really, what is there to gain? If you lose, you got beaten by a blind guy. Pretty pathetic. But if you win, congrats, you beat the shit out of a fucking blind guy! How does anyone come out looking good in this scenario?
(Elektra stops her foot just shy of Matt's throat.)
Elektra: My name's Elektra Natchios.
NC: No really, what's your name? That so obviously can't be it.
Elektra: My name's Elektra Natchios.
NC: Yes, you should meet my other parents with obvious real names: Anastatia Steele and Harvey Manfredjensenden.
NC (vo): So Murdock and Electric Nachos seem to hit it off as they go strolling together.
Matt: Where'd you learn how to fight like that?
Elektra: My father, he had me study with a different sensei every year since I was five-years old.
Matt: Sounds like he wanted to turn you into some kind of warrior.
Elektra: No, just not a victim.
NC (vo): (as Elektra) Which is clearly all I am if I don't learn how to kick ass. He's very equal that way.
Matt: Watch your step.
Elektra: Oh, thank you. I didn't even... Wait, how'd you do that?
NC (vo): Oh, NOW you're asking how the fuck he sees stuff?
NC: Because that shit back there? Pfft, I've seen Ray Charles do that on fucking Pepsi commercials? (Ray Charles' head is added onto someone doing a karate kick next to a Pepsi logo. Before the next scene, the words "Know any virgins?" pop up underneath)
Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin: I want you to create a paper trail. One that can be led back to Natchios. Get me Bullseye.
NC (vo): We're then introduced to our villains of the film. Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin, and Colin Farrell as Bullseye, and I swear, these guys are having the time of their life whenever the camera is on them. It's like they know the movie is totally fucking ridiculous, so they're just gonna have fun with it. They're like honey badger, they don't give a shit.
(Bullseye is on a plane, sitting next to an old woman.)
Old woman: But he did very well for himself on the internet, but don't ask me how. So I said--
(Bullseye ricochets a peanut off the seat and into the woman's mouth, making her choke to death. He takes an earbud out long enough to hear her death rattle.)
NC (vo): Hehehe! Oh my god! I swear, if Nicolas Cage was a drug, he'd smoke two bags worth.
Flight attendant: Aww, she's sleeping! Can I get you anything before we land?
Bullseye: More peanuts, please.
NC: We hope you enjoyed this...charming choking-the-old-lady scene. Stay tuned for more uncomfortable dives into the director's psyche.
NC (vo): So Daredevil hunts down another criminal preying on the weak, when he comes across an onlooker.
Kid: Please don't hurt me!
Daredevil: I'm not the bad guy, kid.
NC (vo): (as Daredevil) Why is it just because I dress like the devil, everyone assumes I'm the bad guy?
(Daredevil is standing on a rooftop in the rain.)
Daredevil: I'm not the bad guy. I'm not.
NC: The hell was that about?
Angst: Yes, every early 2000s superhero (pictures of Batman Begins, Spider-Man 2, Blade, Hulk and Man of Steel are shown) has a moment where he has to stare into the distance to think.
NC: Yeah, but those other superheroes usually have something to think about. (vo) He scared a kid because he was beating up a bad guy. (normal) How does that make him question himself?
(Suddenly a woman carrying sais appears from behind The Angst, and played by Tamara Chambers.)
Girl: We don't need a reason. We just need to brood.
NC: Ah Jesus, who are you?
Girl: I am...(she stabs her sais around randomly in the air trying to be all badass) Angst-Teen!
Angst: My god! Where did you learn karate?
Angst-Teen: My father didn't want me to be a victim.
Angst: I'm amazed!
NC: Uh, you do know women learn martial arts all the time, right?
Angst-Teen: Impossible! Clearly there must be some strange reason why!
NC: No, a lot of women, just like men, take it up just because they wanna take it up.
Angst: That's crazy! There's got to be a reason why! Like her father was trying to protect her, or her father was secretly a spy, or her father always wanted a son!
NC: Or maybe her mother played a part somehow.
(Both Angst and Angst-Teen laugh at that ridiculous idea!)
Angst: That's a good one!
Angst-Teen: Yeah, in between picking flowers or not being dead! These (the sais) aren't real.
NC: I'm just saying women learning martial arts isn't as "rare" as you think it is.
Angst: Well how else can we pretend she's unique when she's clearly not?
NC: I don't know. I just need a break from these early 2000s cliches.
Angst: Very well. Angst-Teen, we draw closer to the third act. You know what that means.
Angst-Teen: Sexy cry?
Angst: Sexy cry.
(The two then pose back to back with each other, a single tear running down their cheeks.)
Angst: I'm so tortured.
Angst-Teen: Don't ever be heroes, kids.
(And we go to commercial.)
NC: Thank fucking God these clichés are so rarely done anymore!
[Footage from the film plays as NC gives his closing statement.]
NC (vo): You could point to every comic book movie before it that this film was trying to imitate, from Batman to Spider-Man to Blade. But while those movies at the time offered something new, this just throws in what it heard worked in the past together without attaching any emotional logic or character to it. Once in a while, you’ll have something kind of neat, like the blind vision that’s kind of cool and some of the fights work, but they’re way too few and far between. It was when the old and tired comic book clichés were fading away and the new and inventive ones were starting to take over. And all I can say is, it was definitely for the best.