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Elektra /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Terence Stamp, Jason Isaacs, Will Yun Lee

Directed by: Rob Bowman

Produced by: Mark Steven Johnson, Gary Foster, Avi Arad, Arnon Milchan
Written by:
Raven Metzner, Stuart Zicherman, Zak Penn
Distributor: 20th Century Fox




     While Daredevil, one of the numerous throwaway Marvel Comic adaptations of the past few years, wasn’t a very good motion picture, itself, Jennifer Garner’s character in it, Elektra, was an absolute treat to watch. Along with her adrenaline-pumping television show, “Alias,” the film served as proof of the charming actress’ skills as an action-star. From the moment of its release, no one doubted that she would land many more roles like it, in the years to come. However, I don’t think anyone thought that Garner would end up playing Elektra again, in one of these. The fact that the character died in Daredevil is only a minor concern of the new spin-off.

     In her new, resurrected form, Elektra is a deathly assassin who is hired to kill Abby and Mark Miller (Kirsten Prout and Goran Visnjic), a father and daughter, for two million dollars. Elektra moves into a vacation near the cabin that her target-pair lives in, two days before the time in which she plans to kill them. Once settled, she meets both of them, and the three even share a conversation over dinner together. Elektra realizes that something seems fishy about the situation, and it turns out that her instincts are right. The Order of the Hand, an evil group of opposing assassins, wants something with Abby and her father. After Elektra decides not to kill Abby and Mark, the film’s plot is basically comprised of Elektra leading the two away from The Hand’s assassins in an attempt to ensure their safety. What a turnaround, eh? At times, Elektra seems incomprehensible because its story’s details are so vague.

     Disregarding the fact that the movie is, thematically, quite a mess, there is only one thing that really bothered me about it: the premise. Daredevil was released almost two years ago; Elektra’s screenwriters—Zak Penn, Stu Zicherman, and Raven Metzner—had plenty of time to make it interesting. If the film’s storyline was adapted from the best material in the comic book, it should have never been made. Either that or the folks over at 20th Century Fox should’ve hired a competent screenwriter with a proficient imagination to invent some interesting situations for these characters to embody. Elektra runs primarily on empty ideas and overplayed clichés.

     Visually, the film kept me interested. A Hand assassin called Tattoo (Chris Ackerman) is capable of making the ink-drawn figures on his skin come to life, and it is fun to watch this happen. The same applies to the scenes in which Garner, who is undeniably the best part of the movie, strips down into her red, satin wardrobe choice. Then again, I think I’d be just as entertained by her wearing the same outfit while, say, reading any old book aloud. 

     I was somewhat involved in Elektra because, after the initial shock of the awfulness of the premise wore off, I was willing to go wherever it wanted to take me. The movie isn’t the cinematic crime that everyone seems to be proclaiming it to be, but it is, make no mistake, a very average motion picture. It has enough interesting elements to be deemed tolerable. Compared to the average January release, Elektra is actually pretty decent.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews (Posted in 12.28.2004-2.5.2005 Update)

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