Let’s get it out of the way right now: we’re total
suckers for super hero movies. Heck, we even liked Daredevil and
The Punisher, which weren’t particularly good.
Elektra is what happens when you take one of the lamest Marvel
characters ever, and give her her own movie.
After having been killed by Bullseye in Daredevil, Elektra has
been brought back to life by supernatural powers of some kind. Now
she’s an assassin, legendary for her ruthless and emotionless
approach. So legendary, in fact, that most people don’t believe
she really exists.
Her next assignment finds her living next to a father-daughter
combo that befriends her, and makes her feel like a real person
again. When they turn out to be her next assignment, she must ask
herself what is truly important in her life. Naturally, she antagonizes
her bosses, who then send out a group of equally ruthless assassins.
Elektra has to team up with her newfound friends and stop the approaching
forces before they destroy her and everything she now holds dear.
Even for a bad super hero movie, this is pretty bad. The writing
is poor, the acting is either wooden or way too serious, and the
story is not the least bit interesting, at least from the perspective
that it’s essentially a series of scenes from other, better,
movies. Normally, if a movie is as maligned as Elektra, it’s
because of the overreactions of snotty film critics everywhere.
In this case – as much as we hate to say it – they’re
right. This movie sucks.
Riding on her recent successes, Jennifer Garner proves unable to
anchor the film herself. She’s a good actress, but not for
this kind of role (we thought she was horribly miscast as Elektra
in Daredevil, too, just for the record). Sure, she’s a fine
looking lady, and her body looks great in the various Elektra garb,
but it’s not enough. We need someone believable as a ruthless
assassin who can be turned to the light side by a few simple acts
The villains are pretty lame (though not so much as in The Punisher),
the main character is pretty lame, and the movie itself is one great
big misfire. There are worse ways you could kill 99 minutes, but
Having not seen the original theatrical version of the film, we
couldn’t tell you what’s different about the director’s
cut. It advertises “more eye-popping action, added visual
effects, and a rocking sound remix.” We’ve seen all
three points advertised before, and usually all it means is that
deleted scenes were incorporated back into the film that the director
was previously forced to cut. More often than not, this results
in slower pacing and completely unnecessary scenes of dialogue (and
rarely anything that helps the film). Take into account, also, that
these days the term “director’s cut” has been
bastardized, and you have a very cynical view indeed. Based on the
final product, it’s hard to imagine the original cut of the
film being any better, or for that matter, worse. If Daredevil and
The Punisher didn’t gain the honor, Elektra will certainly
be known as the film that began the decline of the super hero genre.
The new DVD is pretty darn solid, however. Presented in 2.35:1
anamorphic widescreen, the picture looks great. Colors are rich
and deep, details are spot-on, fleshtones look perfect, and there
are only one or two shots that feature any grain. The audio comes
in both Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 tracks, and is also excellent.
Director Rob Bowman uses the surrounds at the perfect times, such
as when Elektra is sneaking her way through a “job’s”
house, or when she is being pursued through the jungle by the bad
guys. The panning effects used are perfect, and the overall separation
of sound effects, dialog, and score is very nicely done.
The director loses much credibility in his audio commentary, in
which he’s joined by editor Kevin Stitt. While they should
be apologizing, they actually still want us to believe they’ve
made a masterpiece, and there is way too much ass-kissing. Although,
as a result, there are a few laugh-out-loud moments. Disc one of
the two-disc set also includes the theatrical trailer.
Disc two kicks off with a two-part making-of documentary entitled
“Relentless.” Right off the bat, you want to somehow
get word to the crew that the movie is going to suck, and save everybody
a lot of time. Unfortunately, you sit helpless and watch as they
follow through with all of their bad decisions.
To be fair, it’s a very good documentary that gets more extensive
than the film deserves. Anything you wanted to know about how to
make a bad movie can easily be learned here. We also get some multi-angle
dailies, some photo galleries, storyboard galleries, a couple of
featurettes about Elektra and the mythology of her stories, and
our personal favorite extra: the deleted and extended scenes. These
are so bad they’re hilarious. Almost to such a point that
you can understand why the filmmakers thought they had a good movie:
because, by comparison to these scenes, they did. ‘Nuff said.
But it still doesn’t excuse it all.
Elektra: Director’s Cut, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
99 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby
Digital & dts 5.1
Starring Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Will Yun Lee, Cary-Hiroyuki
Tagawa and Terence Stamp
Produced by Arnon Milchan, Gary Foster, Avi Arad
Written by Zak Penn and Stuart Zicherman & Raven Metzner, Directed
by Rob Bowman
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