Good Role Hunting

Ben Affleck finds a risk worth taking in 'Daredevil'

Affleck was introduced to Johnson by director Kevin Smith (Dogma)--a connection that also lends Daredevil its only nagging flaw. Smith has been writing his own Daredevil stories for Marvel since the late 1990s, delving more deeply into the character's Catholicism, a subject that hadn't come up until the mid-'70s. The idea of Daredevil going to confession was ingenious: It also broke a long-standing taboo against religion in comics. (Since then, the Thing has recited the Shema.) But Johnson goes so far as to set the climactic fight in a cathedral--though, thankfully, Smith's more recent (and racist) portrayals of odiferous Al Qaeda operatives didn't make it to the screen.

To be sure, I have my biases and Daredevil has his. (I'm the atheist son of a former priest, and, as only hyperextended geeks know, Murdock was the son of a nun.) But surely a movie this packed with sound, fury, and backstory could have jettisoned the God subtext altogether. Maybe the geeks need a devil's advocate.

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