Review: Elektra

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  January 14, 2005 @ 11:59am

Filed under: Reviews

Jennifer Garner returns as Elektra Natchios, the character she played in 2003's Daredevil. Elektra has closed herself off from the outside world and works as a lethal assassin sent out by the highest bidder. Elektra can't stay in one place very long as she itches for her next assignment.

During her latest downtime, Elektra reluctantly befriends a widower Mark Miller (Goran Visnjic) and his thirteen-year-old daughter Abby (Kirsten Prout).

Elektra's handler, McCabe (Colin Cunningham), has a new assignment for her which should pay her almost double her going rate, but much to Elektra's horror her targets are Miller and his daughter.

Who wants these innocents killed? How does this connect to Elektra's past and her master, Stick (Terence Stamp)? How did Elektra cheat death?

There are many things wrong with Elektra and it has to do with the way the film is presented to the audience. The film has a great opening sequence that states who Elektra is now, but in no way does the film try to show us how she got there.

This is the problem from the get go. Elektra isn't a well known hero like a Superman or Spider-Man, and her back story or origin isn't known to all who are going to see the film. So, the filmmakers needed to give us more about her training, "awakening", and eventual dissention into being an assassin. Then maybe we would have been able to see who she is and where she is going.

How did she end up to be reborn as a ninja assassin? That's the story we wanted to see, not some Golden Child-like story with super-ninjas who came from a Big Trouble in Little China sequel.

Like other comic-book adaptations failures, Elektra doesn't tell the story the audience wants to see.

As for the film itself, well, I kind of felt it was like watching the first episode of a new television series without seeing the pilot. Sure, you get flashbacks to the pilot, but you have no connection to the characters.

Jennifer Garner is strong, menacing, and incredibly in shape. Visnjic is forgettable as Elektra's smoochable buddy. Prout's Abby is whiney, stubborn, and well, thirteen.

The only things I can say that I liked about the film were some of the special effects and some of the action sequences. But that's about all.

Elektra doesn't live up to its lineage because it abandons where it has come from. It's just plain mediocre video rental material. (2 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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