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Movie Review: Elektra

Monday, January 24, 2005

Was over at Singapore on the weekend and managed to catch the anticipated movie, Elektra. Everywhere you go, trailers, photo stills, posters and promotional materials for Elektra show the sleek and sexy Jennifer Garner in a body-revealing red outfit kicking butt. ;) The posters and trailers were the best part of the movie... it goes downhill after that. BTW, the red outfit was only used twice in the movie. :P

The opening sequence gives a promising start to the movie. We see a powerful man literally sitting and waiting for Elektra to come kill him. The opening scene was intriguing and it's Elektra as depicted in the comic book, she's a menacing, a killer, an assassin and... she's in costume. After that, it's on to her next assignment- to take out a man and his teenage daughter, staying at a house on a tranquil lake. Instead of finishing them off immediately, Elektra finds herself drawn in by the warm-hearted Mark Miller and his teenage daughter Abby. She then turn down the job and thus, by turning down the job means others will take her place, so inevitably, she takes the role of a protector.

The story IMHO is the downfall of the movie... heroine plagued by personal doubt, accepts final assignment only to find out she cannot do it and sought to protect the target as an act of redemption. Sounds like one of those Van Damme movie, especially with the corny dialogue and the answered-when-asked Elektra. The villains in the movie comes in the form of The Hand, a group of Asian gangsters with 'mutant' powers that includes members named Typhoid (powers: death kiss), Stone (powers: solid as stone) and Tattoo (powers: able to spawn animals from his tattoos). They follow the orders of Kirigi, whose deadly martial arts skills rival Elektra’s'. These guys are cool but they just get killed by Elektra too easily.

The visual effects in this movie is just mediocre. However, one particular eye-catching visual effect was Tattoo. The way he spawns animals from his body is just... cool. Other than that, nothing worth mentioning. Even the fight scenes tries to be that of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but it was a huge miss off the target and turned out to be more confusing than poetic elegance. One in particular comes in the finale when an array of white sheets float through the air as Elektra and Kirigi fight; the sheets are supposed to add a visual grace, but are filmed so clumsily that they get in the way of seeing and/or appreciating the fight choreography.

I think the writer and director could have done so much more with Elektra. Here, she lacks grace, too much attitude, too little style and no character as compared to her in the comics. Being a big fan of the X-Files, I personally expect more from director Rob Bowman but unfortunately he's turned it into an uninspiring action movie. Oh well, it could be worst. Overall, the show is below average and if you are not expecting much from the movie and want some brainless action movie, go for it. I reckon that a lot of Alias fans will go for the movie regardless of the reviews just to see Garner in a role besides Sydney Bristow. If you're in neither of the two circles mentioned above, don't bother. (Unless the red costume has more screen time.)

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 2.5
Sound : 2
Picture : 2.5
Storyline: 1

OVERALL : 2

posted by Ivan Choe, 12:52 am

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