Review: Elektra


Based on the Marvel Comics character, Jennifer Garner stars as the title assassin for hire a professional and emotionless killer who starts to feel sympathy for her latest targets, single dad Goran Visnjic and his daughter Kirsten Prout. Soon enough she’s protecting them from evil Will Yun Lee and his henchpersons who see Prout as ‘the Chosen One’. Or something to that effect, details are fuzzy, and not entirely my fault. Terence Stamp and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa phone in their performances as Elektra’s blind mentor named Stick, and a powerful member of the mysterious Black Hand organisation (so mysterious that I have no freaking idea who or what they were in relation to the plot).



Colourful but alarmingly flat, low-key 2005 Rob Bowman (“Reign of Fire”, “X-Files: The Movie”) film concerning the leather-clad, brooding character we didn’t really get to know in “Daredevil”. Garner gets to do some convincing brooding, but has never convinced me as an action heroine, not even on “Alias” where she was otherwise at her best. She sure seems nice as heck in real life, though. Unfortunately there’s so much of that brooding at the expense of exciting action. Only at the curtain-blowing, arty finale is any excitement aroused. Still, it’s just about the most gorgeous-looking action film I’ve seen in a while, with beautiful cinematography by Bill Row that at least makes it tolerable.



Yhe plot is hard to follow and even harder to care about (who exactly was C-grade action stalwart Tagawa playing again? Why should I care?), and although sometimes interesting, Garner’s character isn’t much fun to have around, really. With such a humourless, emotionless (or guarded) character, the already underwritten romance with charisma-deprived Visnjic is DOA. Ditto the underwhelming female bonding/mentoring between Garner and young Prout.



This flop might have had a chance if the director were as lively and accomplished as the cinematographer, and the story more exciting. As is, it’s pretty tedious. The screenplay is by Zak Penn (“Suspect Zero”), Stuart Zicherman and Raven Metzner. 



Rating: C

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