Assassin or Soccer Mom?

by Alan Rapp on December 7, 2005

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Elektra (Unrated Director’s Cut)
  • IMDB: link

Okay, I’m one of the few people that liked 2003’s Daredevil which stayed true to both the character and storyline of the comic character.  Elektra tries something different and the result is both ridiculously bad and unintentionally funny. 

The film takes story elements from two Elecktra graphic novels, Elektra Lives Again and Wolverine/Elektra: Redeemer sans Wolverine, that don’t really fit together and then hired some guy to fill in the rest of the film with what he thought sounded like comic book dialogue.  The result is a train wreck of a film that never can pull all, or really any, of its elements together.

Elektra (Jennifer Garner) has died and been brought back to life by Stick (Terrance Stamp) a blind prophet and martial artist who tries to teach Elektra “the Way.”  Elektra cannot accept his teachings and with her trademark red costume and sais she becomes the world’s deadliest assassin.  She is given the job of killing a young girl (Kristen Prout) but an attack of conscience stops her and she decides to protect the child and her father (Goran Visnjic) from the evil group known as the Hand.  The story uses mutant villains that come off like C-list chumps from the worst of the X-Men line and aside from being pretty dumb they also don’t fit the rest of the film.

The director’s cut doesn’t answer any of the questions one would ask about the film: Why do all the Hand soldiers explode into gas when they are killed?  What exactly is the “treasure” and how can there be more than one?  And maybe most importantly – Why try to transform an assassin into a soccer mom (a term she actual uses)?

Part of the problem lies in the story, part of the problem lies in the unintentional cheesiness of both the Hand and the Way, and part lies in the casting of the film’s main character, though to be fair Garner’s does her best to make it work.  The film tries to morph Elektra into a sad little girl who now only wants to protect another sad little girl.  As the film strips away the basis for the character she is left nothing to play.  Still, visually she never comes off as Elektra and when the story takes away the essence of the character all we are left with is more like a Twilight Zone episode of Alias than a feature film about a Marvel character.

With the amount of extras you can really break down the film and look at it from many perspectives.  I just wish they had picked a better film to go to all this trouble as this film makes so many wrong turns the amount of material isn’t really necessary.  I do hope other DVD’s (of better films) get this level of treatment in the future.  I’m not recommending the DVD to you, but if you like the film or enjoy exploring many extras on a DVD you might, might enjoy this one.

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