Update: When I wrote this back in March I promised to do an update after sitting down and listening to the second half of the “Daredevil” soundtrack; the fact that it is now mid-November should be an indication of how much I was dreading that. But with “Justice League” arriving this weekend, and with Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman being one of the bright spots in this current DC universe, I figured it’s a good time to revisit his earlier and far less successful comic book outing as Daredevil, the hero known for his lightning-fast reflexes and for the fact that horrible music follows him everywhere he goes.
But before I delve back into the soundtrack, I wanted to give “Daredevil” the movie a second chance with the 30-minute-longer Director’s Cut, which contains some additional violence, gives actors like Jon Favreau and Ellen Pompeo more screentime, and restores an investigation/courtroom trial subplot that was completely cut out. While I had heard that this version was significantly better than the one that was released in 2003, the only question I wanted answered was one I’ve had ever since walking out of the theater: Where’s Coolio?
You see, when the original teaser trailer for “Daredevil” was released, Coolio was clearly visible at the :25 mark:
When I watched that in a theater for the first time, a number of thoughts raced through my mind, such as: Wait, was that Coolio? What’s Coolio doing in this? Is Coolio one of the villains? Where’s Coolio been the last few years anyway? Even though I was probably seeing something like “Minority Report” that night, all I could think about was Coolio. Then I sat through all of “Daredevil” the next year, and there was no Coolio! What the fuck, right?
Well if nothing else, the Director’s Cut at least remedies that huge mistake by adding a lot more Coolio, who plays a low-level criminal who is represented by Matt Murdoch after being framed for a murder by The Kingpin. While this subplot at least shows Daredevil doing some actual detective work and clears up some previous plot holes, “Daredevil (Coolio Version)” is a lot longer but still just as crappy as the original, mainly because all the horrible songs we tried to forget are still present and accounted for.
So if your earbuds can take it, let’s pick up where we left off at the bottom with the second half of the “Daredevil” soundtrack:
(Originally posted March 2, 2017)
Kevin: It’s almost impossible to hear the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” without thinking about John Travolta cutting it up on the dance floor in “Saturday Night Fever.” When “What a Feeling” comes on the radio, you picture Jennifer Beals’ obvious body double wowing the judges with her breakdancing moves. “Highway to the Danger Zone” evokes instant memories of Tom Cruise giving the finger to whoever we were fighting against in “Top Gun.” And anytime “I Will Always Love You” is played you imagine Kevin Costner carrying Whitney Houston away from danger (but unfortunately not from Bobby Brown).
The best movie soundtracks not only make us feel the beat, they are also a nostalgic reminder of films we loved and the era they represent.
And on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, there is the music for the 2003 superhero flick “Daredevil,” today’s winner of “Worst Soundtrack”:
In case you have forgotten, “Daredevil” is a film in which Ben Affleck plays a blind costumed crime fighter who can leap and somersault off tall buildings and defy gravity just like a certain Marvel webslinger. It’s a film in which Jennifer Garner plays a Greek character whose name sounds like “Electric Nachos.” It’s a film in which Affleck and Garner have a playful wire-fu fight on a jungle gym. It’s a film with a would-be powerful sequence in which Garner massacres a room full of innocent sand bags, with no regard for the housekeeper who will have to clean up that mess, set to the strains of Evanescence’s “Wake Me Up Inside”:
And on that ear-splitting note, in the same way that “Daredevil” the film contains every bad instinct in superhero movies during that time, its soundtrack also perfectly captures every horrible trend in music from the early 2000s. It’s as if the executives at Fox watched Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” and somehow concluded that its box office success was entirely due to the inclusion of Nickelback’s “Hero” over the end credits, and therefore that “Daredevil” would be an even greater success if Nickelback was played EVERY 10 MINUTES throughout the film.
While the resulting soundtrack is not that horrendous, it should still be placed under glass and broken out only in case of emergency to settle a debate about what was the worst period in music in American history. Think I am exaggerating? Well let’s go through the album song by song and see if by the end we’d at least like to be deaf if not blind:
1) “Won’t Back Down” by Fuel
As the opening track this is an apt choice to represent “Daredevil,” since like the movie itself it is loud, annoying, and obvious. The line “I’ve come to bring you down” is repeated multiple times, and yes indeed the character of Daredevil does bring multiple bad people down.
2) “For You” by The Calling
Due to its emo rock nature this video leans heavily on the Daredevil-Elektra romance. Once again its lyrics are at least consistent with the movie’s themes, containing phrases such as “Although I was blinded” and “I can be the man who saves the day.”
3) “Bleed for Me” by Saliva
Not a big connection between the lyrics and movie on this one, and no official video either, although based on the photo of the band in the above clip it appears that Guy Fieri was a young member of Saliva before conquering the food world. Apparently the band reformed a few years ago with a new singer, and have obviously updated their look to fit the times:
4) “Hang On” by Seether
The lyrics keep repeating “I take my life away” but Daredevil doesn’t die in the movie, so perhaps it’s supposed to be about Elektra, who did “die” at the end (wink wink). While “Daredevil” was in theaters, Seether was touring as the opening act for Evanescence, kind of like how Guns n’ Roses was at one time opening for The Rolling Stones except really shitty and embarrassing. Their lead singer recently railed about the vapidness of reality and social media stars, which is super original and timely.
5) “Learn the Hard Way” by Nickelback
Let me just quote the opening lyrics: “Hey there little darling, where’d the old man gone?/Why don’t we get out of town and do it all night long?/We can lie out in the field til the morning light/Then me and your old man are gonna have to fight.” Have no idea what this has to do with Daredevil, nor do I remember any scene in the movie where he “Stuck the sugar in your gas tank by myself last night.” Either way these are pretty bold statements for a lead singer who looked like this:
6) “The Man Without Fear” by Drowning Pool featuring Rob Zombie
After a few songs that had little connection with the movie, this one is almost too on-the-nose, as Daredevil is known as the “Man Without Fear” and the lyrics not only contain phrases such as “justice is blind,” but occasionally they also yell out “Daredevil!” just for the hell of it. In the competition between what is worse, Rob Zombie’s music or his films, at least his songs don’t force his talentless wife Sheri Moon Zombie on you at all times.
7) “Right Now” by the Nappy Roots
This is officially my favorite song on this soundtrack if only for this one lyric: “Now if the world was my oyster/Baby girl everyday could be Red Lobster.”
8) “Evening Rain” by Moby
Sorry, I fell asleep about 30 seconds into this one, but yeah it’s Moby so I’m sure it was great.
9) “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
I debated whether to include this song again as I’m sure anyone who was alive in 2003 is already getting PTSD at the thought of being subjected to this thing one more time.
10) “Until You’re Reformed” by Chevelle
Unlike a number of bands on the “Daredevil” soundtrack, Chevelle is still together and going strong. releasing an album last year that earned this particular rave: “If grungy, sludgy, riff-heavy rock is your thing, then put in Chevelle’s The North Corridor, turn your player up and make sure that all the fragile items in your vicinity are anchored down.”
Also you can be the hit of every party with your official Chevelle beer koozie, available for purchase through their website: https://getsomemerchandise.com/
11) “Right Before Your Eyes” by Hoobastank
If you thought that there had to be an interesting story for how a name as awful as Hoobastank came to be, I hate to disappoint you: “Doug’s brother is the vice president of BMW Motorcycles and lives in Germany. And there is this street out by his house that is called Hooba Street or something like that and before Doug could pronounce the name, he called it Hoobastank and it was kinda a cute thing and his brother still teases him about it to this day.” Wow, fascinating.
12) “Fade Out-In” by Paloalto
In the same year it contributed to the “Daredevil” soundtrack, this California-based band was also featured in the opening credits for the short-lived CW revival of “Tarzan,” which looks really stupid, but then again so does every CW show and they all run for like nine seasons at least.
13) “Caught in the Rain” by Revis
Weirdly despite its title, this song is not featured in either of the scenes in which people are caught in the rain in “Daredevil.” Since I have nothing else to add I’ll just include some YouTube comments for the above video:
“This song takes me back. I miss my life back then. Life was so simple and easy, and now everything sucks.”
“YES JESUS! I LOVE THIS SONG! Brings back the good old modern rock days of the 2000-2003 of my younger days in high school growing up in the burbs. I miss songs that came out back then like this. Artists that had that fresh look and sound Avril Lavigne with Complicated or New Found Glory with My Friends Over You. Memories!!!!! Anyone agree????”
“Who’s still listening in 2017?? ;)”
14) “High Wire Escape Artist” by Boysetsfire
Apparently some sick bastard decided to set a montage of scenes from “The Dark Knight” trilogy to this song, proving that even the cinematic artistry of Christopher Nolan can be completely undermined by one crappy post-hardcore band:
15) “Raise Your Rifles” by Autopilot Off
I have never heard of this band, but apparently they got into a protracted legal battle over the name “Cooter” that went all the way to the Mississippi federal court (I guess they restocked the bench after so many judges were gunned down in Brian Bosworth’s “Stone Cold”). To make it more palatable, here is a video of the song along with some playing dogs:
16) “My Immortal” by Evanescence
All I can say is that I am glad I didn’t go to high school in the mid-2000s, because I’m sure this song was sung by mopey goth girls at talent shows across the country.
17) “Sad Exchange” by Finger Eleven
If you wondered whether the band Finger Eleven first came together as dumb high schoolers in the early 1990s, the fact that their original name was “Rainbow Butt Monkeys” should answer that. Appropriately enough, here is a video of some guy “covering” the song on the toilet:
18) “Simple Lies” by Endo
Jesus, you seriously cannot listen to this entire album in one sitting and say you can tell a lot of these songs apart, I feel like I’ve heard this same exact song at least three times under different titles.
19) “Let Go” by 12 Stones
Fun fact: Christian group 12 Stones is one of two bands who contributed songs to both the “Daredevil” and “The Scorpion King” soundtracks, while they also have a song on the “Elektra” soundtrack as well. Oh yeah, did you forget that they somehow made a spin-off about Jennifer Garner’s character, because I sure as shit did.
Well I don’t know about you, but after all that auditory torture I need a musical palate cleanser to put me in a better mood. And once again, we can always count on Coolio to make everything better:
Click on the links below to see the other “winners” from our Best of the Worst Week:
“Worst Fight Scene”: Cynthia Rothrock in “Undefeatable”
“Worst Hero Introduction”: John Stamos in “Never Too Young to Die”
“Worst Poster”: Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd in “Loose Cannons”
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