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
on March 26, 2005
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.
on April 11, 2005
I loved this movie for its style, very serious, hardly any comedy in the movie. One of the things i respect this movie for is the less use of blood compared to other Marvel flicks, because while the other movies are good, they use way too much violence to try to appeal to fans. Elektra is very dark, in fact when i compare this to the rest of Marvels movies, this is the darkest. Jennifer Garner is stunning as Elektra, and so is Kirsten Prout who plays a very well done Abby Miller. You have to have an imagination to watch this film, because everything is exaggerated when compared to reality, like Elektra getting kicked in the face and flying through the air for about 20 feet.
Will Yun Lee and Jennifer Garners fight scenes, in my opinion, outdo most of the Marvel movies. Because not only are they using real weapons, but they are also doing their own stunts. The CGI is simplistic compared to Spider-man and Daredevil, but i think that is why it is so good. Because it gives the movie a very comicbook look.
A very low budgeted film, well atleast it's cheap compared to some of the recent films in theaters. Just breaking 43 million dollars to make, the low budget was mainly due to the fact that a lot of the enviroments they are in are real, some is stage, but most is real. Average box-office, 24 million in the U.S. I think it was mainly due to late advertising of the movie, but it did manage to gross 30 million around the world, same as the Punisher. But overall, box-office gross does not mean this isn't good, this movie is really good, in fact i think it is superior to some of Marvels other films.
on April 1, 2005
I thought Daredevil was an absolutely pointless film with anonymous direction and an unappealing, non-unapalling lead actor. Thankfully, Elektra has a prettier lead and stronger direction from Rob Bowman, who seems to have ditched the slimy creature effects he seemed so fond of in X-Files and Reign of Fire.
Daredevil is nowhere near as popular in the collective public conscience as Spiderman or even the Hulk. So imagine why Elektra failed at the Box Office. The whole world saw the poster and thought 'Who is she supposed to be?'. Either that or they saw the horrible, highly cliched trailer that totally misrepresented the film.
The resulting critical mauling by just about everyone wasn't completely fair nor was it completely unexpected. The film reeks of deleted scenes and subplots that have been completely cut out. It fades out at the 90-minute mark, leaving us wondering why they even bothered.
However, what we do get is a mild, but nonetheless entertaining action movie with an almost constant spooky atmosphere. The plot is meagre and many of the subs and tangents are never explained or developed. Or they were then got cut out in the editing room (along with Ben Affleck, thankfully)? If they got Frank Miller (he did create the character after all!) to write the script instead of 3 nobodies then it could have been something special.
The DVD is in crisp 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with loud, sometimes dynamic Dolby/DTS 5.1 sound. Besides a trailer for the new Family Guy series the extras are of the usual 'whogivesadamn' lot.
Perhaps a future directors cut will improve the film, but as it is Elektra is hardly brilliant, but definitely an above average brainless movie.
on April 5, 2005
After reading some reviews I was unsure whether I was gonna like this movie or not but I just watched it, and thank god its not as bad as The Punisher, I actually thought it was better than Dare Devil, it had more action, the stylish effects look superb, the sound is excellent (especially if you have DTS) and the story was very intrigining. If you like ninjas, assassins and comic book characters you will love this movie.
on March 16, 2007
Really enjoyed this movie. Crisp visuals with vibrant colours, great sound, interesting plot and character development (not always the case in comic based cinema). Plus Jennifer is a babe!
The extras (sadly absent from the Australian release) were interesting though not all of them will receive repeat viewings!
Well packaged too, also contains a mini comic book for fans of the Elektra "graphic novels". A worthy addition to "Superhero"/"comic book" dvd collections.
on April 3, 2005
If you have seen DareDevil, you will luv this movie as well. Lots of action and awesome effects....If you are into comic characters at all this is a must have!
on December 30, 2005
When this movie was first released, like catwoman, it got horrible reviews. So i didnt see it. I love superhero movies, so i thought i would just rent it when it comes out. Well that never happened. Finally i heard the directors cut was being released. So i thought why not, i'll buy it. I watched it and it actually makes me mad that this film got bad reviews because it's such a GREAT FILM. The villians in this film are amazing. They just blow my mind! Jennifer is hot as Elektra. Everything fits and works so well. This is just a good movie. Sure it's nothing spectacular or jaw dropping but it's a fun movie to watch and i recommand it to everyone!
on February 22, 2005
as someone who can't stand comic books or cartoons, i admit i'd never heard of elektra, daredevil, or most of these other comic book superheroes before they became movies...
that said, i really enjoyed this movie :) sure, the plot could use a little beefing up, but the characters, being the single most important part in any story, really shine in this film :) jennifer garner is fabulous... i don't think anyone else could have played the role and make the character seem real instead of a cheesy cardboard cutout... but she did it! :) kirsten prout switches from very tongue-in-cheek funny to warrior to sad on-the-run girl at the drop of a hat and does it very well every time :) the character is fun and i must say she steals much of the show :) colin cunningham is also fun (i'd seen him in both stargate Sg1 and the 6th day before this), though i admit to being surprised to find him quite funny :D another stage-stealer... too bad they kill him off so early...
the "bad guys" are of course all cliches, but they're fun... and since you know they're all gonna die anyway it doesn't matter that they're not much more than fun :D
as for the plot, despite needing a beefing up as i said before, it really does do pretty well... the good vs evil doesn't come across as too cliched, though it is a bit overstated at times... and the side-plot of elektra's mother's death is interesting, if not a bit strange... still, the journey of her character is well done and fun to watch along the way :)
all in all, i saw this movie in the theatre 3 times, and i plan to buy it on dvd, so i'd certainly say this movie was quite enjoyable :)
on April 8, 2005
Even though Elektra had died in Daredevil already, but here she is revived by the wise and powerful Stick, a martial arts specialist played by Terance Stamp. He also trained her to become a more powerful fighter, and she was stronger and better by the time she headed out on her own again. Jennifer Gardner is impressive, and it's obvious that she's done a lot of training for the title role this time.
Elecktra is haunted by traumatic past events and she's depressed and isolated. She came across a Abby, a teenaged girl and her dad in an remote island where she lived. Abby is the "treasure" meaning she's a martial arts protegee, and is being pursued by The Hand, a group of powerful evil people with special black-magics. Stick and his team is also secretly trying to protect and take the girl in for training. While protecting the girl, Elecktra had no idea of her identity until much later when the girl started to fight the villians.
The first half of this film is rather slow, and had very little fight scenes. The good battles are concentrated in the second half, which had some good special effects. The villians all took their even share of screentime and fight scenes, and Elektra took on them on a at time. Terance Stamp is vastly underused in this movie, he didn't even have to do any fight scenes. Goran Visnjic(The Deep End) played Abby's father, and had love scenes with Elektra. His role was unfortunately underwritten and irrelevant to the story that he's best effort was not even working here.
Even though Ben Affleck didn't make an appearance in the film, but he did have a deleted scene in the special feature.