Director: Rob Bowman
Writers: Zak Penn and Stuart Zicherman & Raven Metzner
(Based on the character created by Frank Miller)
I got back into reading comic books when I was in High School in the early 2000s. I was in a Barnes and Noble and I just started buying the trade paperback collections of Sin City and Astro City, not really knowing much else about them besides they looked cool and I was really into Cities at the time. After that I started exploring the more mainstream Marvel/DC stuff and because of Frank Miller and Sin City I went to Daredevil and fell in love with it. Frank Miller’s Daredevil, and the Daredevil character still remain some of my favorite comics I have ever read. There just seems to be something about the character that brings out the best in its creators.
Anyway just some thoughts. The Daredevil movie came and went. It was a pretty cheesy affair and not especially good. It seemed to not really get the character and also, I think, started the trend of superheroes, who don’t traditionally kill, killing people by not saving them. So while not technically killing a bad guy it doesn’t just seem a bit mean spirited and something that doesn’t really fit with what I think of when I think about Daredevil, or Batman in Batman Begins. As a Frank Miller fan I can also see the negative side of the “mature and realistic”, aka dark and violent, period of comics that he helped usher in during the 1980s. Somehow these stories got sidetracked by having loads of violence and torment amongst its characters and that somehow meant the stories were more realistic and serious. Sorry Christopher Nolan fans (of which I am one) you can make Batman as brooding as you want you are still making a Batman movie and it is in no way realistic.
So here is Elektra the spin off from the Daredevil movie. While it has the same Elektra actress, Jennifer Garner, this really doesn’t seem to exist in the same universe as the Daredevil film. Elektra features ninjas who, when killed, turn into a fart gas, a guy with tattoos on his body that are alive, and a climactic fight where our heroine dukes it out with some freshly hung laundry. I wasn’t quite sure what exactly was happening most of the movie, which it was seem is due to behind the scenes committee type movie making. This is in the first half of the superhero movie dominance of Hollywood and where as now Marvel and other studios seem to have a handle on finding talented directors and letting them do their thing, Elektra is a soulless and incoherent affair, clocking in at a scant 89 minutes so that you feel like you saw a full movie and the studio can fit in as many screenings opening weekend as possible before word gets out it ain’t worth a damn.
I never watched Alias and I guess Garner’s role on that show is why she was cast as the action lead but I just don’t really buy it. I am a Garner fan, 13 Going on 30 is a treat, but I am not particularly taken with her as Elektra. Maybe with a solid script I would think otherwise but overall her casting over the two films feels like a misstep.
The villains are hilariously dump, really scrapping the bottom of the barrel, and I know things like Stick and The Hand are apart of the comic mythology but spoken allowed in a serious manner is just another story. As I said before when Elektra kills members of The Hand they explode into a green cartoon fart looking gas and if they explained why in the movie I must have been yawning at that particular moment. There is another guy who has tattoos of animals on his body, such as a hawk, who come off of his body to do his bidding. This villains name? TATTOO! Sure why not. Another scene has Elektra duking it out with an obnoxious 12 year old girl as a training scene because this girl is supposed to be a naturally amazing warrior called The Treasure (yup). The fight scene is pretty embarrassing to watch and I can’t even imagine what it was like being on set for it. The final scene where Elektra faces off with the main bad guy is kind of stupefying. They are facing off in a large room with sheets draped everywhere and the sheets are flying around and Elektra is swatting at them for way too long.
So if you have been contemplating for the last 8 years whether you should watch Elektra or not I say why did you wait 8 years? If you have been wondering about it for that long then you clearly do want to see it so just do it already! But really Elektra is a pretty dumb and incoherent waste of time.