Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Woman in Sexy Red…Twice…Sadly
‘News of the World’ said it’s ‘just about the SEXIEST super-hero film of all time’.
Yeah, right. I don’t really see that in this movie! ‘Elektra’ is a spin-off film from the 2003 movie ‘Daredevil’. It was released in January 2005 and it starred Jennifer Garner back as the title character. I never saw this film at the cinema, because…it wasn’t very interesting enough to gain my attention.
And it seems I wasn’t alone on this. This movie was a critical and commercial failure upon release. It’s considered one of the worst superhero movies ever made. And after seeing the movie on DVD after all these years in 2020…yeah, I concur. I was pretty disappointed with how this film turned out.
Elektra was created by Frank Miller for the ‘Daredevil’ comics before she had her own comic series by Marvel. Now, I wouldn’t object the movie being made so long as it had some appeal in connecting to the 2003 ‘Daredevil’ film. Because…it should’ve been about that! It should connect to ‘Daredevil’!
But that’s not what we got here. We got a dull spin-off film about a character that died at the end of ‘Daredevil’…who’s miraculously brought to back in the one of the most quickest and unjustified ways you can imagine. There’s not even a reference to Daredevil/Matt Murdock with Elektra in this.
There was supposed to be a scene featuring Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock in a dream/hallucination with Elektra, but it got cut out in the final edit of the film. Why did they cut it out? It wouldn’t have made the movie any better, but at least it would have reassured us that it’s connected to ‘Daredevil’.
The ‘Elektra’ film is one of the contributing factors to why ‘Daredevil’ never got a sequel. Had the film had more connections to ‘Daredevil’ instead of being dull, uninteresting and more martial arts film instead of a superhero film, then it would’ve been a little better and less gruelling to sit through.
‘Elektra’ was directed by Rob Bowman. Looking up his filmography, he directed 13 episodes of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. He also seems to be more geared directing TV work than movies. So far, he has directed four movies including ‘Elektra’, ‘Reign of Fire’, ‘The X-Files’ 1998 film and ‘Airborne’.
It’s astonishing how ‘Elektra’ can be such a let-down of a film. It could’ve been a super sexy romp of a film as the ‘News of the World’ seemed to proclaim it. Jennifer Garner’s hotness and action-packed style could’ve saved this film if the story given was juicier and sensational compared to what we got.
I don’t know much about the ‘Elektra’ comics and how they compare to the 2005 film, but I’m pretty sure the comics were better source material than the film. I don’t know if Frank Miller himself is happy with the film when it came out. But Frank Miller can be quite notorious with comics and films.
I purchased the ‘Elektra’ film along with the director’s cut DVD of ‘Daredevil’. I know there’s meant to be a director’s cut for the ‘Elektra’ film too, but unlike the ‘Daredevil’ director’s cut which had 30 minutes extra material, the ‘Elektra’ one has 7 minutes extra material. Thus it’s not worth bothering.
Now I try my best to give a balanced argument of what I consider to be good and bad in a movie, TV product and audio production. With ‘Elektra’ however, I don’t think I’m going to have much luck. I’ll try my best to justify why that’s the case, but it’s going to be a slog for me as I review the film itself.
Jennifer Garner as Elektra is very good. That’s one positive I can say about it. She does the best with the material she’s given and she’s clearly into the action-packed fighting with her sais and everything. She also looks incredibly sexy with her red Elektra outfit in the film. I quite like that here.
But the issue I have with Elektra’s character in the movie is that…she’s just dead cold and emotionless. This is a contrast to ‘Daredevil’ where she seemed full of life and had a relationship with Matt Murdock. But here, she’s all revenge and wanting to kill people because she’s an assassin.
Now, I get this is following on from her being brought back to life and still having dark emotions of revenge, following the death of her father and wanting to kill Daredevil before wanting to kill Bullseye. This would be fine, if the movie reinforced that aspect to make us appreciate why she kills.
It could also give the movie a reason to find out why Elektra keeps on going after all she’s been through. The film should’ve ended with her wanting to rekindle her relationship with Matt Murdock. That way it could have given us a lead into a possible ‘Daredevil’ sequel should it ever have happened.
But nope! That’s not what we got here! Instead we have a story about Elektra trying to protect a father and a daughter whom she was meant to assassinate and learning something astonishing about the little girl who wants to be like her. And she has just known the father and daughter briefly.
The film also has Elektra getting flashbacks and premonitions of seeing into the future. I don’t know where this came from and whether it was part of her training with her mentor Stick since it’s barely glanced at. There’s so much confusion and bafflement regarding those flashbacks and premonitions.
Terence Stamp stars as Stick in this film. Despite the film being so bad, Terence Stamp gives a good performance here. He’s well-known for playing General Zod in the ‘Superman’ movies with Christopher Reeve. An interesting aspect about Stick is that he is a blind man who trained Daredevil.
At least, that’s in the comics. There’s no mention of Stick having trained Daredevil both in the 2003 film and the ‘Elektra’ film. I think it would’ve been great if Stick told Elektra he used to train Daredevil when he was a boy growing up in Hell’s Kitchen. The connection to ‘Daredevil’ would be stronger.
Goran Višnjić stars as Mark Miller, the father whom Elektra was meant to be assassinating in the film. Goran Višnjić would later play Nikola Tesla in the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror’. He’s good in this, but the sort-of not really romance he has with Elektra didn’t go anywhere.
Kirsten Prout stars Abby Miller, Mark’s daughter in the film who has these strange super powers and is called ‘the Treasure’. I found Abby very annoying in the film. She keeps interrupting Elektra’s life; considers her a friend, despite barely knowing who she is; and she disrespects her during mediation.
Will Yun Lee, a martial artist turned actor, stars as Kirigi, the main villain of the film. Kirigi appeared in the ‘Daredevil’ comics and is affiliated with the evil group called the Hand. He can move great distances and even killed Elektra’s mother in a flashback. But like Elektra, he wasn’t very interesting.
There’s Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawaa as Roshi, who is the leader of the Hand and Kirigi’s father. I can’t really say much about him because he doesn’t do much apart from hold meetings for the Hand. There’s also Colin Cunnigham as McCabe, who is Elektra’s agent that gives her assassin assignments.
There are other villains in the movie that join Kirigi. They include Natassia Malthe as Typhoid, who gives Elektra a death-like lesbian kiss in the film; Bob Sapp as big muscle man Stone, Chris Ackerman as Tattoo, who has these animal tattoos that come to life and attack and Edison T. Ribeiro as Kinkou.
Jason Issacs does make an un-credited cameo appearance as DeMarco, a man whom Elektra assassinates at the beginning of the film. I’ve no idea why DeMarco was assassinated and it seemed pointless. At least Daredevil had a point once he went out killing people at night in New York City. 😡
The fight scenes are poorly-handled in my opinion. Like when Elektra is fighting Kirigi in a room full of white shrouds. How is she supposed to fight Kirigi like that when she can’t see through the shrouds? Also the scene where she killed Typhoid with a sia through a series of maze hedges! Pretty ridiculous!
The atmosphere of the film in terms of set design and action is inconsistent. As I said, this is more a martial arts film than a superhero film. Yet Elektra is of Greek descent, isn’t she? Would it be better to have more Greek aspects to her than Asian ones to make it a faithful comic book film adaptation?
Another thing that annoys me about this film is that the action scenes are rare to find. Most of it is talking scenes between characters which are pretty boring. Even when action scenes do happen in the film i.e. at the end of the first half and during the climax, they too are quite boring to sit through.
The DVD special features are as follows. There are deleted scenes with optional commentary (including the scene featuring Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock); ‘The Making of Elektra’ documentary, ‘Elektra Incarnations’ which is a behind-the-scenes guide to the character in the comics; a sneak peak into the director’s cut DVD of ‘Daredevil’ and an inside look into the 2005 ‘Fantastic Four’ film as well a teaser for ‘Ice Age 2: The Meltdown’. Trust me on this! The director’s cut of ‘Daredevil’ and the ‘Fantastic Four’ 2005 film are way better than ‘Elektra’. ‘Ice Age 2: The Meltdown’ is good too. 😀
Which is a shame, because ‘Elektra’ could’ve been so much better if the story was engaging and if Jennifer Garner was given better material to play the character. Instead, we got a dull spin-off film that shouldn’t have been made. If it was made, it should have led into a potential ‘Daredevil’ sequel.
Unlike the ‘Daredevil’ film, there doesn’t seem to be any passion behind the making of ‘Elektra’. It doesn’t feel worth bothering about. I’m glad I avoided seeing this at the cinema as I would’ve been disappointed. As a recommendation, this is a Marvel superhero film that is definitely worth skipping.
‘Elektra’ rating – 2/10
|Go back to|
|Return to Daredevil|