Elektra Review

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Badass ninja hitwoman Elektra Natchios (Garner) accepts a mystery assignment, and befriends a widower (Visnjic) and his young daughter (Kirsten Proust) - only to learn that they are her targets. With The Hand, a band of supernatural assassins, also after the pair, Elektra must decide where her loyalties lie.


Proving – as if proof were needed – that death is no bar to a long career in comics or comic-book movies, Daredevil's love interest gets her own spin-off feature. Last seen stabbed with one of her own sais by a slaphead Colin Farrell, Elektra's back from the Other Side, and she's not happy about it. After watching this, you may not be too thrilled yourself.

From a playgirl millionaire's daughter, Elektra has metamorphosed into a cold-blooded assassin for hire. But that's not the only change she's gone through. A well-shot opening scene sees her stalk a notorious gangster and his team of guards, almost invisible apart from a flash of her trademark red sash. Jason Isaacs, as her target, talks of her supernatural abilities in awed tones, and sure enough the reborn Elektra has hitherto unguessed-at powers. She can now move instantaneously across short distances, see flashes of the future and has hearing to rival her ex-boyfriend. All of which would have come in exceedingly useful prior to her first death, but is essential when faced with her new enemies, the Hand.

These colourful baddies offer most of the film's few high points. Tattoo (Chris Ackerman) has body art that comes alive; Typhoid (Natassia Malthe) is a woman seriously in need of Listerine – her breath kills – and lead bad guy Kirigi (Will Yun Lee) focuses more on just looking menacing, but does reveal real fight skills in a showdown more than a little reminiscent of the final scenes of Daredevil.

Despite oozing star quality, Garner struggles to rise above the limitations of the script. While she's able to play with a few character quirks, such as her obsessive-compulsive fruit arranging, and excels in the fight scenes, she's not given a single witticism, so seriously does the film take her plight. Even the eternally gloomy Batman gets one-liners, and this lack of humour hamstrings Elektra, which is especially disappointing given Garner's fine comic touch.

Director Rob Bowman employs some stylistic flourishes, and the stunts and fights are impressive despite some obvious CGI. But enormous plot holes and a script that's fatally light on character mean there're few selling points beyond Jennifer Garner's corset...

Not as bad as Catwoman, but not as good as Daredevil – which isn't saying much. Garner may justify her reputation as an action woman, but fails to prove that sais matter.