Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #29 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Back in 2013 I watched Daredevil for the first time and it was a little better than I expected, but nothing special, but I knew it was a pretty damn good when compared to the 2005 spin-off that came afterwards; Elektra.
Surprisingly this is a film I’ve seen before, yeah, I’ve suffered this madness once already. 😦 It was on TV and I was curious to know if it was that bad and man, it was and that was around 4-6 years I think. But now I’m stepping into the lion’s den again to see this horrible mess again because I like to torture myself. 😛
The story can be summed up as the following:
“Elektra the warrior survives a near-death experience, becomes an assassin-for-hire, and tries to protect her two latest targets, a single father and his young daughter, from a group of supernatural assassins.”
The story here is interesting but flawed. I liked the concept of the Hand, Elektra as an assassin-for-hire and the history between her and Stick, but beyond that this film has a lot of familiar plot elements to those who watch a lot of action films or read a lot of comics. From the obligatory love interest to the main protagonist knowing discovery someone from their past to bad guys hunting after a specific item/person that the hero has to protect, its standard stuff and it can work when done well, but this film was really boring and generic, and there was nothing you couldn’t see coming. This film also has a lot of things happen without any explanation as to why it’s happening and there some moments when very illogical or random decisions are made which just make you question the level of intelligence of certain characters. I also felt like this film was trying too hard to be cool without seeing how other comic book films were able to pull it off with ease.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios. Elektra is a semi-cool and interesting character, however I felt like her reputation hyped her up to be more impressive than she was. Sometimes Garner does come across as a bit of a badass and other times not so much, I just don’t feel like she has the face or physicality of female assassin in the way that Rebecca Romijn’s Mystique or Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow have been able to pull off. I have to mention while Elektra’s costume is more comic book accurate in this film than in Daredevil it still looks ridiculous and cosplay-ish, however Garner look really hot in it, nuff said. Terence Stamp was pretty good as Stick, even though Stick was blind I didn’t buy it at all as Stamp’s body language and demeanour suggested otherwise. Will Yun Lee as Kirigi was alright, I liked his action sequences and screen presences, but he never felt too threatening and because of his dialogue I wasn’t keen on him at all. Goran Visnjic as Mark Miller was one of the most boring people ever, I knew exactly why his character was in the film and his scenes were the most uninteresting as Visnjic just didn’t have a memorable or charismatic presence on-screen. Kirsten Prout as Abby Miller was pretty annoying for around two thirds of the film but then she becomes slightly more tolerable later on, Prout rides the line between being nice and insufferable. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was good but underused as Roshi and Colin Cunningham as McCabe was pretty forgettable.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is alright. The action scenes for the most part is good especially when there are weapons involved and there’s appropriate lighting for the scenes at night as well. But that’s where the positives end. I did not like the use of CGI in this film, sure it was necessary for some of the characters with powers, but some of that stuff easily could have been done practically. Also this film seems to love slow motion shots, it doesn’t make things cooler and it doesn’t help when it is used for the most boring of action poses or if someone is falling down. Another thing of note is while I like the action scenes, none of them were memorable or mind-blowing, and the fight choreography was decent but so unimpressive especially for people taught in the art of ninjitsu. As for the soundtrack, Christophe Beck’s store is nice but forgettable.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve not read much Daredevil or Elektra material to comment on this section, though I will say that the film at least gets certain aspects right with Elektra’s martial arts skills, the inclusion of Stick and the Hand. But there are a lot of changes that I’ve read when comparing certain characters to the comics and they are horrible.
So to conclude Elektra is not as bad as I remember it to be, but it is far from being a good film. There are some interesting ideas in this film and if they had been handled better this film would have been a much better piece of work. But instead we have to settle for generic bad guys and plot elements, lacklustre action sequences and some other stuff that just makes no sense. I hope the character of Elektra is done more justice when she hopefully shows up in Marvel’s Daredevil.
That’s 29 reviews done, only 1 more to go. So have you seen Elektra and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!