Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
Written by: Mark Steven Johnson
Other cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell +
Release date: 14 February 2003
Running time: 1h 43min
Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, where he runs a firm with best friend Franklin "Foggy" Nelson. As a child, Matt was blinded by a toxic waste spill after discovering that his father, former boxer Jack "The Devil" Murdock, had become an enforcer for local mobster Fallon. The accident enhanced Matt's other senses and gave him sonar to "see" via sonic vibrations. Matt trained himself in martial arts. Blaming himself for Matt's infirmity, Jack stopped being an enforcer, returned to boxing, and was killed after refusing to turn in a fixed fight for the mobster who had employed him earlier. After his father's death, Matt promised to stop all crime that controlled Hell's Kitchen, New York as the vigilante crime-fighter "Daredevil". In the present day, Matt meets Elektra Natchios, daughter of Nikolas Natchios, a businessman who has dealings with Wilson Fisk, a rich executive who is also the criminal leader known as the Kingpin. When Nikolas tries to end his relationship with Fisk, the mobster hires the Irish hitman Bullseye, who has preternatural aim, to kill him. Matt tries to stop Bullseye, but Bullseye ultimately succeeds in killing Nikolas and framing Matt in the process. Elektra vows to exact revenge, while reporter Ben Urich discovers his secret identity. Believing Matt to have done good things for Hell's Kitchen, Urich tells Matt that Bullseye is going after Elektra next. Matt tracks Bullseye, but is attacked by Elektra, who plans to use her own training in martial arts to avenge her father's death. She defeats and injures Matt; when she manages to remove his mask, she discovers Matt's secret identity and innocence. Forced to fight Bullseye alone, Elektra is overpowered and killed by the hitman. A wounded Matt makes his way to a church, where he is looked after by his confidante, Father Everett, who knows his secret identity. After recovering slightly, Matt fights Bullseye, who had followed him to the church. Bullseye discovers that loud noise is Matt's weakness and prepares to kill him with a spiked piece of wood after incapacitating him. Matt blocks the attack and hears an FBI sniper stationed on the neighboring building preparing to fire. As the bullet is fired, Matt moves out of the bullet's path and pulls Bullseye's hands into it. When Bullseye pleads for mercy, Matt throws him from the church's steeple. Bullseye lands on the hood of Urich's car, severely injured but alive. Upon discovering Fisk is the Kingpin and Bullseye's employer, Matt makes his way to Fisk's office. There, Matt and Fisk begin a fierce fight; however, Fisk proves to be a surprisingly powerful combatant due to his size and brute strength, and he dominates Matt for most of the fight. Lying on the floor, Matt questions Fisk as to why he killed the people Murdock loved, including Jack Murdock years before: Fisk replies it was just business, for he had worked under Fallon at the time he killed Jack, and Elektra was "at the wrong place at the wrong time." Angered, Matt regains his strength and breaks Fisk's legs with his own stick, but refrains from killing him, instead allowing him to be arrested by the police, who have discovered his criminal connections. Before being taken away, Fisk — who had also discovered Matt's secret identity after overpowering him — swears revenge on Matt, who points out that Fisk cannot reveal Matt's secret identity because the humiliation of having been beaten by a blind man will cause him to be perceived as weak by other prison inmates. Having gained closure over his father's murder, Matt returns to his day-to-day routine, though brokenhearted over the loss of Elektra. He learns she might still be alive after he goes to the rooftop where they had their first kiss and finds a necklace like the one her mother gave her, except with a Braille inscription. Matt meets Urich one last time, in which Urich assures him he will not publish his article about Matt's true identity.