Ror Revisits: Elektra
Continuing with the more maligned batch of CBMs out there we have the 2005 Daredevil spinoff featuring the ruthless sai wielding assasin. Is Elektra as bad as you remember? Click for my take..
I said I was going to wade through the crap and dammit I'm a man of my word! After Catwoman I decided to to keep it female and go back and check out 2005's Elektra starring Jennifer Garner.
As I'm sure you all know Elektra was a spinoff from Daredevil in which Garner also played the titular femme fatale. The thing is, I actually liked Daredevil and really liked the Director's Cut. I also thought that Garner did a pretty decent job playing Elektra even if she wasn't quite the ruthless assassin from the comics. So when I heard a spinoff was in the works focusing on the character I was cautiously optimistic. Then director Rob Bowman(X-Files: Fight The Future, Reign Of Fire) was hired. Ok, I never hated his previous movies, lets see what he can bring. Unfortunately he and Fox brought a toned down shadow of one of the most interesting and enigmatic female characters in the Marvel universe.
Now I'm not all about being faithful to the comics as I'm sure you guys are aware. I'm even willing to accept huge changes once they make sense to the story that the movie is telling and they do a good job with it(X-Men: First Class etc), but Elektra is just plain boring! Had they chosen to follow, even remotely, Frank Miller's Elektra Assassin or taken some influence for the essence of the character things may have been different but as it stands the movie version of Elektra is just toothless. Think The Bride from Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies as an example of the type of character we SHOULD have had. However Garner once again does her best with the material. She may not be able to convey the cold bloodedness needed but I think in a different Elektra movie with a better story she might have pulled it off. She also looks damn good and we get to see a slightly more family friendly version of the classic red costume from the comics. Other positives? Terence Stamp is pretty good as Stick although he has nowhere near enough screentime. The movie also looks very nice at times and their is good fight choreography for the most part. But we get bogged down in such a formulaic, cliched story with Elektra protecting some kid and her father that it's impossible to care about anything when the sai and swords are clashing. The rest of the performances also range from meh to wretched. The dialog isn't particularly eye rolling stuff but it's never anything but mediocre, uninteresting droning either. The villains are a mass of mute, cgi'd henchmen led by Will Yun Lee stinking up the screen. And whoever chose the soundtrack should be publicly flogged.
Elektra isn't really a terrible movie, there are worse out there. It's just so unremarkable that it makes little difference, and any positives you might take away from it are overshadowed. For the last half hour I found it hard to keep from nodding off. Both Garner and the character deserve a lot better.
Check out the rest of my reviews and revisits HERE
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