While 2003's Daredevil was a conventional superhero movie, the 2005 spinoff, Elektra, is more of a wuxia-styled martial arts/fantasy flick. Elektra (Jennifer Garner) has returned to her life as a hired assassin, but she ba... more »lks at an assignment to kill a single father (Goran Visnjic, ER) and his teenage daughter (Kirsten Prout). That makes her the target of the Hand, an organization of murderous ninjas, scheming corporate types, and a band of stylish supervillains seeking to eliminate Elektra and tip the balance of power in the ongoing battle of good vs. evil. As the star of Alias, Garner has proven that she can kick butt with the best of them, and some of the visual effects are impressive, but the action sequences tend to be anticlimactic, and there's not much to the story. Fans will notice numerous references to Frank Miller's comic books, but there's very little resemblance to Miller's cold-blooded killer (Elektra with an agent? Elektra referring to herself as a "soccer mom"?). Is Elektra better than Daredevil? Not really, even with the distinct advantage of having all Garner and no Ben Affleck. That could be the spinoff's greatest disappointment: after Spider-Man 2 raised the bar for comic-book movies, Elektra lowered it back to Daredevil's level. Directed by Rob Bowman (the X-Files movie), and featuring Terence Stamp as the mysterious mentor Stick, Will Yun Lee (Die Another Day) as the chief villain, and NFL-player-turned-mixed-martial-arts-champion Bob Sapp as the immovable Stone. --David Horiuchi« less
Hazen B Markoe | St. Paul, MN United States | 01/17/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After the modest success of DAREDEVIL, it was decided that the hero's would-be girlfriend, Elektra, would be spun off in her own film. The final result proves to be a film that is long on atmosphere and character touches, and surprisingly short on action. Jennifer Garner once again repeats her role as the tragic Elektra, now making a living as an elite assassin. When she's ordered to make a hit on a man and his 13 year old daughter, Elektra finds that she must re-evaluate her own life while keeping them alive from a ninja society. Garner pretty much nails the character of the hard-bitten killer who is haunted by her past and she enjoys some nice moments. She is equally matched by Terence Stamp as her blind mentor, Stick. Unfortunately, the villians and supporting characters are pretty much one demensional. The action scenes are uneven, with some wild cutting proven to be more irritating than clever, although a scene in which Elektra must fight in a room of flying bedsheets is effective. There are slow stretches between action scenes in this film and it does take about a half hour into the film before things really start to roll. Still, this movie did not deserve the total drubbing that the major media critics gave it. All in all, this is a decent, though not great, film and is definitely worth recommending for fans of the character and those looking for a fun film to pass the time."
Much better than most people think
Dumb Blonde Reviewing | In my bed | 03/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I loved Daredevil, so much so that I have both the original release, and the director's cut on DVD. Hopefully, there will be a director's cut of this too, as many other reviewers have mentioned, there's a lot of stuff where it appears that scenes have been taken out.
Elektra is a stand alone film, and you don't need to have seen Daredevil first before seeing this. There are flashbacks in this, but not to Daredevil, it references Elektra's mum dying when she was young, which wasn't mentioned in Daredevil. The only real reference to Daredevil is seeing Elektra's character coming back to life after being killed by Bullseye. Many people have said there should have been a reference to Daredevil, or a cameo by Ben Affleck. But the good thing about this movie is it stands alone. It would have changed the entire movie if Daredevil had been referenced. And as for a Ben Affleck cameo - hello people, can I mention that there are deleted scenes on the DVD?! Yes, Ben Affleck DOES have a cameo in the movie as Matt Murdoch, but it was quite rightly cut from the movie, as it probably would have ruined it, and puzzled viewers who hadn't seen Daredevil. It also hints that Elektra may return to Matt, which was also hinted at, at the end of Daredevil anyway. I hope she does. (And here was me getting worried, as while they were filming, Ben was on set, but spent a lot of time with Jennifer in her trailer, while he was still with Jennifer Lopez, the naughty boy - but they're now together!)
Jennifer Garner is gorgeous, and even more so in this, than in some of her other movies. Of course, in this, she's wearing (for her assassin scenes anyway) a bright red, and very tight outfit. She's a guy's wet dream in this movie - and admitting in interviews that she couldn't wear any underwear sent the male viewers heads spinning! She is incredibly fit to have taken part in this movie, as she does a lot more fight scenes than she did for Daredevil. Yet her hair never moves while she's fighting, and it's very obviously extensions. Her makeup is perfect too, giving her the sculpted cheekbones look - you didn't really think that was real did you guys?! It takes work to get cheekbones like that! (Says she who doesn't have any!) I'm surprised there's not been rumours about Jen's lips, as they're very full lips, but they're all real, although at some points during her movies, they do come across as looking very fake. But look at Angelina Jolie, Steve Tyler, and that old guy from Rolling Stones, they're famous for their lips. Jennifer also has a great on-screen prescene, and she commands your attention from the first moment she appears. She's got something a lot of her peers don't.
The cast are brilliant in this, with Goran Visnjic and Kirsten Prout performing well. Kirsten performs extremely well, even looking like Jennifer at some points, plus she's a "prodigy" as described during the movie. Look at this girl go! I found the bad guys extremely one-dimensional, and they could have done with some fleshing out. And for lethal assassins, Elektra has a pretty easy time killing them off. There's four of them in total: Tattoo (a guy who's tattoos quite literally come to life - I hope mine doesn't!), Stone (another guy who bears a striking resemblence to Michael Clarke Duncan, and the name says it all), Typhoid (who can kill with a single touch), and some other martial arts guy, who Elektra's met before, but doesn't really have any special abilities apart from being lightning fast. Especially for the guys there's a girl-on-girl between Elektra & Typhoid, when she tries to kill her. This was completely unnecessary, as it was shown earlier in the movie that Typhoid can kill with just her fingers, so why on earth did she kiss Jennifer (for ages might I add) to kill her?! I'm sorry, it wouldn't be a turn on to see two guys kiss, so why is it for two girls?!
Due to the low level response from the previous film Daredevil, promotion for this movie claimed ties to the movie X-Men instead, which had a much higher popularity response. The first promotional mention of ties to the Daredevil movie only took place one week before the Elektra movie was to be released. There's a lot of X-Men in this movie actually, from kids trying to hide their special powers, to the special effects, and the bad guys, with their special powers. It all screams X-Men, which isn't such a bad thing, but it's missing a hunk like Wolverine! :)
The film seems cut down a lot, which in an interview with UK's Empire Online, director Rob Bowman stated that the original director's cut was a R-rated film and he had to tone the film down (due to contractual obligations). So personally, I'm crossing my fingers for a director's cut of this. I feel, much like the director's cut of Daredevil, while adding to the film (although it took away the love scene between Jen & Ben), it slowed it down a lot, and the same for this as well. There's a lot of unnecessary scenes, and not enough time devoted to the bad guys. The 'romance' (and by romance, I mean a chaste peck) between Goran & Jennifer seems awkward almost, and you can't help but think of Matt. The OCD thing is also brilliant, organising everything, and counting while she walks.
The extras are quite good and include: deleted scenes; a making-of; comic-con presentation; trailers, and inside the editing room, with Rob Bowman. There's also an inside look at Fox's next movies, Fantastic Four and Mr & Mrs Smith, both of which look excellent!
I definitely think this film should be seen at least once, if not for the story (if you hated Daredevil, you'll love this or hate it) then for Jennifer herself. I'm sure there's plenty of guys tongues hanging out everywhere while watching this.
Sweet dreams boys."
Hero in a tight red suit
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 07/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For pure entertainment value, I thought this was a great movie. Good vs. Evil, female superhero with hot red costume, villains with magical powers, martial arts action, dreamy fight scenes a la "Hero" and a valuable treasure to be protected.
On the surface, this movie swept me away with its action sequences and special effects, but then I got to thinking, and that kind of spoiled it for me.
Elektra (Jennifer Garner) at the beginning of the movie was the coolest thing in red ever. She was like Trinity (Carrie Ann Moss) from the first Matrix movie, unstoppable, inhuman, focused and deadly, plus she looked darned good in that outfit with her hair swinging around.
As the story goes, suffering from a bit of burnout, she accepts one more assignment, and then suddenly has a change of heart when she receives her hit list. From here on, the writers strip away her intrigue and mystique, and it was disappointing to see a superhero suffer from OCD and insomnia, depend on an agent instead of a trusty butler, and generally get less and less super and more and more vulnerable. She doesn't even don the red body hugger again until the end of the movie.
The bad guys then begin pursuing her new acquaintances, and she assumes a bodyguard role without even asking why one man and his daughter would be worth the effort. After a lot of ta-da, she ends up back at the training camp of her sensei, who although blind like all good mentors, is not an inscrutable Asian with a long moustache, but a cranky white dude named Stick (Terrence Stamp).
This brings us to the best part of the movie, with a group of villains with real superpowers, who of course choose to attack one by one so that the good guys can save the day. Kirigi (Will Yun Lee) is a real martial artist, and two-sworded leader of the bunch; Typhoid (Natassia Malthe) can kill with a touch, and she almost sucks the life out of Elektra with a lingering kiss; Stone (Bob Sapp) is like The Thing, skin like armor and built like a barn; Kinkou (Edson Ribeiro) comes and goes quickly, and Tattoo (Chris Ackerman) is by far the most magical, with body tattoos with lives of their own. These guys make the movie worth watching, and it's really sad to see them go.
Kirsten Prout handles herself very well as Abby Miller, the young girl that looks up to Elektra, and has a secret of her own, but Goran Visnjic doesn't have the satisfaction of a solid role to stand on.
Enjoy this one for the action, but don't pause to think about the plot.
On the side of good Elektra wields a mean sai To save the treasure
Amanda Richards, July 24, 2005 "
Michael Zuffa | Racine, WI United States | 01/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Elektra" takes the best part of "Daredevil", namely Jennifer Garner, and spins her off as the titular character. When we last saw Elektra, she was dead. After being raised from the dead and trained by Stick (Stamp), she takes on the job of a paid assassin. And she is good. Eventually, she passes on a job to eliminate Mark Miller (Visnjic) and his daughter, Abby (Prout). The reason for passing on the job: she has gotten to know them and sees a kindred spirit in young Abby. Of course, The Hand (the group that is out to have them killed) just sends more assassins, and Elektra finds herself playing protector for the Millers. Along the way she will get to fight a few bad guys and perhaps even avenge her mother's death.
Jennifer Garner has proven that she can do the action thing with TV's "Alias", so it is no surprise that she holds her own in "Elektra". She carries the movie firmly on her shoulders, and is the best thing about the movie. The biggest fault of the movie is the direction. Rob Bowman has made some good films, the best of which is the "X-Files" movie, but he seems a little out of his element at times with the heavy duty martial arts scenes that appear in "Elektra". He manages a level of stylishness though, but that is not enough to make this movie be all it could be. Fans of Garner and Marvel comics in general should rejoice though. "Elektra" is a good action movie that will satisfy most."
Homer McDuff | St. Paul, MN United States | 01/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being the huge Jennifer Garner fan that I am, I had to see this opening day. As expected, Jennifer is onscreen almost the entire time, often in that red leather bodysuit. That alone was well worth the ticket price, and earned about two extra stars.
The rest of the movie had strengths and weaknesses. The fights were excellent, the acting was very good, the special effects (especially on Tatoo) were cool, and there was some stylish direction.
Yet overall I didn't think it was quite as good as either of the X-Men movies. The bad guys weren't established as well, with three of them just appearing all at the same time (one or two fleshed-out villains is much better than 5 who don't get enough screentime). The evil organization "The Hand" basically looked like a Japanese corporation with some unexplained connection to the underworld (when it's members die, their bodies vanish into smoke). The flashbacks gave depth to the title character, but I thought they came up too often.
Basically, it's well worth seeing for fans of Jennifer Garner or of the genre, but I didn't think it was up to the X-Men or Spiderman movies (which I absolutely loved). There's room for vast improvement if they make the right moves on a director's cut DVD, though."