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Elektra

Starring: Jennifer Garner
Director: Rob Bowman
Genre: Action
Year: 2005
Rating: 2 / 5

Elektra may not have been a direct-to-video release, but it sure felt like one. Three months after bombing out of theatres, Elektra hit video stores, reminding a whole new legion of viewers why there will not be a sequel any time soon. As a matter of fact, even Jennifer Garner has come forth with some not-so-flattering comments about her starring vehicle. Comic book adaptations are hit-or-miss propositions, and Elektra, like its predecessor Daredevil, clearly falls in the latter category. It involves a heroine that is barely known to the average film fan, villains that are too campy to be accepted, and a storyline that is uneven at best. In fact, all that Elektra has going for it are the considerable talents of its lead actress, and even those are not enough to make the film worthwhile.

When last we saw Elektra (Jennifer Garner), she was presumed dead, the victim of a rooftop battle in Ben Affleck’s Daredevil film. As this movie opens, voiceover narration informs us of a centuries-old battle that is being waged between good and evil. We are told of mystical forces and supernatural powers that can allow people to be brought back from the dead. Moments later, we are dropped into the standard James Bond introduction, with our leading lady kicking her way through a messy situation to let us in on what she can do. It turns out that Elektra is alive and well, and she is now passing her time as an assassin, piling up body counts all in the name of a paycheck. It will take a young girl that reminds her of herself to pull Elektra from this prolonged funk.

Fresh off her latest mission, Elektra is offered piles of cash to remove a new target. Waiting for the details at a secluded cabin, Elektra befriends neighbors Mark (Goran Visnjic) and Abby Miller (Kirsten Prout), the latter a rather spunky teen. As often happens in these situations, Mark and Abby are – surprise, surprise – Elektra’s next targets. Unable to go through with her mission, Elektra starts running with the Millers, knowing that the Hand, a sinister organization with its own shadowy objectives, will soon be coming after them. With the help of her old mentor Stick (Terence Stamp), Elektra tries to keep the Millers alive, all the while coming to terms with her own inner demons.

Elektra is not a well-known story to begin with, and director Rob Bowman keeps hopping in and out of flashbacks with no coherent pattern, making it rather difficult to understand his tale. We are told that the Hand is after the Treasure, but we are given precious little background about its true nature. We are immersed in a world that is heavily supernatural – not a crime in comic book films – but one which is at odds with Daredevil’s rather grounded aura. Elektra’s enemies are either over-the-top or poorly developed, and sometimes both. Confrontations with these foes are overblown and seem awfully contrived. This leaves Elektra herself, and, for all of Jennifer Garner’s struts and strides, the film ends with only stumbles and falls.

Cast:

Jennifer Garner..........Elektra
Goran Visnjic..........Mark Miller
Kirsten Prout..........Abby Miller
Terence Stamp..........Stick

Certification: Rated PG-13 for violence.
Running Time: 96 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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