Charlie Cox Likes Ben Affleck's Matt Murdock, Thinks His Daredevil Suit Sucks

Twelve years before Charlie Cox first suited up as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen in season 1 of Marvel's "Daredevil" TV series, Ben Affleck portrayed The Man Without Fear in the 2003 "Daredevil" movie. The film was written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, who was a bit of an outside pick for the job, having previously written the "Grumpy Old Men" movies and helmed the not-so-beloved 1998 tearjerker "Simon Burch."

Johnson's "Daredevil" theatrical cut didn't exactly wow critics, either, giving rise to a widely-panned 2005 spin-off film, "Elektra," that killed the planned sequel. Its legacy has since improved thanks to the release of a better-received R-rated director's cut in 2004, in combination with re-evaluations from movie enthusiasts arguing that it was pretty decent by the standards of superhero cinema in the early 2000s. 

From what I recall, the biggest issue with Johnson's "Daredevil" (the theatrical cut, that is) was that it tended to precariously shift from being dark and gritty in one scene to overly silly the next. (Seriously, there's a gag where Jon Favreau as Foggy Nelson "accidentally" feels up a statue, among other equally-tedious attempts at lightening the mood.) It seems Cox would agree with me on that count, based on some of his recent comments.

Affleck's movie 'was a little tonally confused'

Cox shared his thoughts on the 2003 "Daredevil" movie while attending the 2022 Middle East Film and Comic Con in Abu Dhabi (via The Direct), stating:

"I hadn't seen [the film] before I got the role. I watched it when I got the role and, to be fair... I think Ben Affleck does a really good Matt Murdock, I like his Matt Murdock... I don't love the movie... I feel like the movie tried to do too much and it was a little tonally confused. They had everyone in that movie, they had Kingpin, they had Bullseye, they had Elektra, they had Karen Page, they had Foggy. It was saturated and it's two hours. So that was part of that problem. And the suit sucks!"

I can't argue with him on that one. Affleck's Daredevil suit, with its glossy texture and impractical design, is as much a product of its time as most of Johnson's film. (Let's also not forget that gloriously '00s-style emo montage where Elektra trains while Matt suits up to Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life"). Marvel's "Daredevil" TV show, while flawed in its own ways, certainly holds up better in that respect, so it will be interesting to see if Cox gets to keep his costume from that show the next time he pops up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"Daredevil" and Marvel's other former-Netflix series will begin streaming on Disney+ starting March 16, 2022. As for Cox, he only just debuted as Matt Murdock in the MCU proper in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," but is already hinting at his return down the line.