Review. Daredevil. Screw it. Don’t call it a review; it’s just a ramble I’m typing out while my sinusus prevent me from thinking straight.
In order to get out of the house for a bit last night, I went to Daredevil. I haven’t read the comics, shame on me. I tell you right off it was bad, although renting it when it comes out on video may be not quite the waste watching it in a theater was, because the villains were fun.
The writing was bad. –Don’t get me wrong, some of the character notes were very good, but, since the plot didn’t support them, they fizzled out and went away. There’s something about formula writing. Good formula writing sucks you in, drags you down, and makes you buy shit. Take any Hanna Barbera cartoon. Awful stuff–but who doesn’t love the Flintstones? Or Scooby, for that matter? The script to this movie was a bad parody of bad formula writing. The elements of a comic-book script lay there in separate moments, unconnected to each other: that’s someting else about formula writing. Connections. One thing happens after another, so smoothly sometimes that you’re not really sure how the characters wandered into such a screwed-up situation. And a sense of balance. In formula writing, the expected happens in an emotionally fulfilling (read: tear jerking) sort of way. Elements that are strong in the beginning must be wrapped up at the end, unless there’s a sequel. All elements must be explained–at least, as to the superficial reason why they are a part of the story. For example, your main character’s life doesn’t just revolve around churches without more of an explanation than that his name is “Daredevil.” The story of the history of how the superhero came to be must contain, like a mystery, all the elements that will resolve themselves in the ending. –And the moral of the story isn’t just something that you tack on the end. It’s a plot device at least one step up from the deus ex machina becuase it runs through the entire plot: character does bad things. Character faces a dilemma in which the bad things he does conflict with something he values. This dilemma may have a simple resolution, but it may not be easily solved, i.e., there has to be a lot of exciting adventure that allows the hero to work his way out of the dilemma although the solution may be as simple as “just stop doing the bad stuff.” Then, and this is important, the character’s behavior has to change. –Or else, if the character is carefully balanced just outside doing bad stuff, the character may work very hard to remain in the balance, like Batman. Daredevil, in this flick, follows all the classic steps, except for the part where he really changes a damn thing he’s doing. Because it never was set up that the Daredevil does act just like the thugs he hates, he’s never really redeems when he supposedly stops acting like them. And does he ever stop acting like one? Ugh. Anyway, I’ll shut up now.