Elektra

"Bad"

Elektra Review


Scantily clad action heroine with a sexy-tough pout? Check. Supernatural bad-guy gang of tattooed, Goth-punk clowns? Check. Hard-to-follow kung-fu fight scenes flash-edited to disguise actors' martial arts deficiencies? Check. A complete lack of adherence to its own internal logic? Double-check.

"Elektra" is the latest Marvel Comics superhero flick to roll off the assembly line, and it's such a half-hearted, prefabricated effort that even the normally charismatic Jennifer Garner can't save it.

Reprising her role from 2003's disastrous "Daredevil" adaptation (which she almost did save), Garner plays the title character -- a stereotypically brooding, ninja-trained super-assassin with a conscience who has been brought back from the dead by a generic, mystical army of good that is fighting a generic, mystical army of evil.

In the film's early going she's still working as a highly paid hired killer and stupidly accepts a very suspicious assignment in which she's sent to a picturesque, remote island location and made to wait around several days before being told who her target is. Its anybody's guess why this doesn't raise red flags for her supposedly super-attune character who can see briefly into the future, but the practical upshot is that she soon befriends and protects the handsome father (Goran Visnjic) and teenage daughter (Kirsten Prout) she was supposed to kill.

From that point forward, "Elektra" lacks any hint of comic book creator Frank Miller's creativity -- or even a single surprise, save that our anti-heroine isn't smart enough to realize there's more to her new charges than meets the eye.

Garner, who brought subtle, visceral emotion to this same character in "Daredevil," seems to be in over her head here, giving only cursory weight to the haunted internal struggle between the savior she now wants to be and the killer she had become. Only when aided by well-executed flashbacks to the murder of her mother does Garner seem to find Elektra's humanity.

Yet Garner is still the best this movie has to offer. Director Rob Bowman ("The X-Files," "Reign of Fire") seems more concerned with the stylistic slow-motion blowing of his star's hair during fight scenes than he is with giving those scenes clarity -- except when he goes into super-duper slow-mo for an almost lethal lesbian kiss that a sexy poison-puckered hench-babe called "Typhoid" lays on Elektra's lips.

As a result, the plot is laden with stock action-movie elements (the teenage girl screams, giving away her hiding place to the bad guys) and is often left wanting for common sense. Why send a whole squad of inept ninja assassins to kill the father and daughter when they so frequently stand in front of large windows, making them easy targets for a sniper?

Comic-book action movies don't have to be as intelligent and gaffe-free as a Sam Raimi "Spider-Man" picture to be worthwhile. But when a comic-book movie takes itself as seriously as "Elektra" does, popcorn forgiveness goes out the window. Although fundamentally unoriginal at the script level, had Bowman made an effort to lighten up or smarten up, this flick might have squeaked by on charm or ironic self-awareness instead of sinking toward the bottom of the genre barrel.



Elektra

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th January 2005

Box Office USA: $24.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $56.7M

Budget: $43M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, Regency Enterprises, Marvel Enterprises, New Regency Pictures, Horseshoe Bay Productions, Epsilon Motion Pictures, Elektra Productions, SAI Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 10%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 135

IMDB: 4.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Elektra, as Mark Miller, as Kirigi, as Roshi, as Stick, as Typhoid, as Abby Miller, as McCabe, Edson T. Ribeiro as Kinkou, as Tattoo, as Stone, as Bauer, as Meizumi, Laura Ward as Young Elektra, as Pool Shark, Aaron Au as Hand Ninja #2, Kevan Ohtsji as Roshi Servant, Kurt Max Runte as Nikolas Natchios, as Hand Ninja #1, Jana Mitsoula as Young Elektra's Mother

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.