Archives for posts with tag: Ben Affleck

In 2003, Marvel wasn’t a Universe and movie special effects weren’t scarily surreal. Those are two reasons “Daredevil” misses the mark, but they’re more like excuses. Nobody had to make the writing so ham-fisted and nobody had to make Ben Affleck a ridiculously computer-aided cross between Batman and Spiderman. Jennifer Garner’s Elektra is reduced to sugarless eye candy and Colin Farrell’s Bullseye comes off as some kind of crazy Irish Andre Agassi. And the courtroom scenes (Affleck’s a lawyer by day) are as preposterous as the special effects. Hopefully, he didn’t represent himself when he divorced Garner in real life.

“Good Will Hunting” (1997) is the story of a 20-year-old kid who is incredibly gifted and incredibly damaged, and the efforts of those around him to overcome the latter so the kid can take advantage of the former. The irony is that the screenplay was written by a pair of gifted twentysomethings. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. The best part is something you feel but probably don’t notice. It’s the respect shown to all the main characters. There are no bad guys. The antagonist is life itself. A truly authentic story. Bonus: One of my many crushes, Minnie Driver, co-stars.

I say it all the time, but I have to praise filmmakers who can pull suspense from a true story. I mean, you already know how it turns out. Take “Argo” (2012). You already know the Americans hiding in the Canadian embassy get out, yet you constantly worry that they won’t. Why? Ben Affleck creates a sympathetic character as a flawed CIA agent trying to rescue them. And John Goodman and Alan Arkin are a fantastic diversion as Hollywood players selling the fake movie that is Affleck’s cover story. I think it’s safe to say Affleck has recovered from Bennifer.