Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie Review

'Daredevil'? Rent 'Spider-Man' instead

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Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 24, 2003


  • Rating: PG-13

Summary: This story, based on the Marvel comics character, takes place in New York City. Lawyer Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) was blinded as an adolescent after a freak run-in with a hazardous biochemical. The accident also left his remaining senses extremely heightened. After years of fine-tuning them, he is able to function as well as (and, in many ways, superior to) a sighted person. When his father, a washed-up boxer, is killed for not intentionally losing a big fight, Matt vows to bring justice to the world. He creates an alter ego known as "Daredevil" to fight crime. His current challenge is to bring down the kingpin of the city's crime circuit while aiming to win the heart of a cynical girl named Elektra (Jennifer Garner) and trying to avoid cold-blooded assassin Bullseye (Colin Farrell).

My View: I found it difficult to review this film and not continually compare it with Spider-Man. The basic premise was practically identical to that of its Marvel counterpart: The plots both revolved around a son with a special gift who takes to crime-fighting to avenge the death of his father. But Spider-Man was much more complete. This film has a lot of inconsistencies. For instance, when Matt first lost his sight, and also in other scenes, he would cringe at even the sound of water dripping. But later, he would be right in the heart of downtown Manhattan during rush hour and the din wouldn't bother him. Go figure. It also was never explained how he received the capabilities of leaping from building to building and other similar embellishments. Yes, I do understand that this is based on a comic book, but even Spider-Man had credible explanations for his powers.

Favorite Part: The Bullseye character was a great example of how to give life to a comic-book creation. This character's portrayal really showcases Colin Farrell's acting, as it is a complete shift from his serious role in The Recruit, which is currently in theaters.

Least Favorite Part: Ben Affleck is definitely not the right guy for this role, or any superhero role for that matter. His acting was all right, but his style really didn't capture the essence of the character well.

Recommendations: There's an abundance of gory scenes, so it's not good for kids younger than 13. It surprises me that this movie is one of the top-grossing films in the box office right now, because I flat-out didn't like it.

Grade: D

-- Billy Norris, 15, is in the ninth grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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