Canister X Movie Review #29: Elektra (2005)
Written by Zak Penn, Stuart Zicherman and Raven Metzner
Directed by Rob Bowman
Runtime 97 min.
2.5 out of 5
After coming back from the dead and trained in the deadly art of Kimagure, Elektra Natchios is a killer-for-hire. Upon receiving her new contract, she goes up against a band of ninja assassins known as The Hand, who are also after the same target: a young martial arts prodigy with a potential for greatness. Elektra’s past meets her present as she seeks to protect this young prodigy while also facing demons of her own.
I was in the minority of people who liked Daredevil, in which Jennifer Garner also played Elektra. When I heard she was getting her own spin-off movie, I was really excited because, while I’m not an expert on the Elektra character, I know enough to know that a film version would be awesome. We didn’t quite get that with this flick, but that’s not to say it was utterly terrible. However, what audiences expected and what they got were different things.
Let’s see . . . I was happy that Elektra sported her famous red costume in this as opposed to the black one in Daredevil. Though technically totally impractical in real life, having her very-similar-to-comic-book-costume on screen was cool for fanboys and fangirls alike and, no, not for the reason you’d think. Just something about seeing a comic book character “as they are” on screen brings a thrill.
The fighting sequences were not bad and Hollywood’s version/perception of the martial arts is always interesting as they tend to add all sorts of legend and mystique to them as opposed to their reality.
They got the gist of the character but didn’t get hardcore into it, and it was clear this was just a way to cash in on the Daredevil movie that came out a couple years before. A solid story of Elektra’s assassin exploits—even if you want her to fight mercenaries with a similar agenda—would’ve been a great help, but this flick seemed more introspective and slower paced versus something that should’ve been geared toward the action-and-suspense genre (i.e. a high profile target, like a president or something, then have that person tie into Elektra’s mythology. Set her on the run while also giving her history and what it’s like to be someone who was supposed to be dead, some in-costume Daredevil universe cameos, and you’d have a solid story). Just ideas.
In the end, if they ever went back and rebooted the character, I’d definitely check it out as the potential is there, but wasn’t fully exploited with this outing.