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Jennifer Garner
Terence Stamp
Goran Visnjic
Will Yun Lee.
Rob Bowman.
Zak Penn.
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Kung-Fu in corsets as Daredevil's Elektra returns for her own spin-off

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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.

Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Average user rating for Elektra
Empire Star Rating

Elektra Review

This comic book movie is an inert muddle that takes itself much too seriously. An extra star for Jennifer Garner though, who is looking extremely sexy. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 14:02, 19 December 2011 | Report This Post

I'm going mad, obviously

I actually rather enjoyed this. Like Daredevil it's a simple comic book style yarn, with some surpisingly OK action and the odd pleasing visual touch (and yes, an overuse of CGI). Nothing new to offer, and a pedestrian script and plot, but at least it picks a tone and sticks with it. I didn't get bored and sometimes I was really enjoying myself, so for me, it really can't be that bad. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by enemysprout at 13:05, 08 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: flat....

he reviews and word of mouth, actually thought this was okay.   en 2 by anyone's standards but average filler.t="trebuchet ms"] nt] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JIm R at 17:59, 22 May 2006 | Report This Post

RE: flat....

I thought this film was utter shite! Bad uses of CGI, crap storyline.... a complete waste of time! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ~Angel~ at 20:43, 18 May 2006 | Report This Post

RE: flat....

This is a truly terrible film and I am ashamed to admit I saw it at the cinema. ... More

Posted by BasilFawlty at 17:19, 18 May 2006 | Report This Post

RE: flat....

How not to do a spin-off.  Garner is wasted in this rubbish. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 17:13, 17 May 2006 | Report This Post


Was dissapointed with this film being a fan of comic books. Could have been alot better, guess there wont be a sequel. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by alexisreaver2132 at 14:05, 17 May 2006 | Report This Post

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