The rumours are true, here is an example of a Directors Cut that takes a truly naff film and restores it to a damn decent one. As far as comic book films go, Daredevil Directors Cut is one of the finer entries. The film is, in places, as dark ang gritty as the Frank Miller comics demand, this Hells Kitchen is rife with rape, violence, prostitution, and murder... just as it should be. The film has a gritty Batman-esq feel to it, and the Daredevil is protrayed as a ruthless antihero, a more limber version of The Punisher. At the same time, it retains its comic book sense of fun, with improbable action scenes and larger-than-life characters. Michael Clarke Duncan is excellent as the Kingpin but it is Collin Farrel who absolutely steals the movie, his performance alone is one of the best in any comic book film. There might not be much depth to his character, but he is an absolute joy to watch. Ben Affleck is surprisingly good for a change, his 'blind' performance is very convincing (perhaps because his cloudy-iris contact lenses actually did make him unable to see) and he shows the character's angst, anger and apathy well.
I do find his blindness to be slightly inconsitent, but given his hidden superpowers this isn't too much of a problem.
The film only really suffers from one problem, it's silliness in places is way too over the top and really harms the film. The worst example is the scene in which Matt the blind lawyer and Elektra the martial arts-trained daughter of a billionaire meet for the first time and have a kung fu fight in a public playground. Although quite well choreographed, it is a ridiculous scene and completely destroys any of the films grittier foundations. There are other issues: a cheesy love story, bad one-liners, overuse of cgi, etc, but these are all pretty standard for the genre.
If you can find your way past them, Daredevil DC is a hugely overlooked comic book entry that deserves more recognition, far better than the first Spider Man and most of the recent Marvel entries. It's a shame that its reputation will be forever tarnished by the mutilated, castrated PG-13 theatrical cut that the studios forced on us 10 years ago.
The above mentioned playground fight really needs to go or at least be radically altered. I see that Spence has adressed it in his edit of this film (the only fanedit I could find) so I will have to check it out, although the rest of his cuts don't interest me. He seems to have made the story much shorter and more concise, for me this was the main problem of the Theatrical Cut and something that made the DC much better. I am curious as to what he has done with the figh scene, the film would be better without it but it delivers some quite important information, and this is revealed during the fight. Other aspects of the film - CGI and silly dialogue - could perhaps be trimmed, but a lot of it doesn't bother me and given that the film has quite a silly premise anyway, making it too 'serious' would be counterintuitive. Daredevil's ability to fly through the city will always be silly but is a major part of the film. If you cut that out, you'd still be left with a hero who does gravity defying CGI backflips in every fight, so I think a certain level of silliness is required.