You often see previews for action movies and say, "Wow, that looks bad, but should at least be entertaining." Mediocre movies can often serve their purpose. However, 2005 is showing a horrifying trend. First, I saw "The Ring Two" with that exact mentality in mind, and boy was it a waste of time and money! Now, "Elektra" is on DVD, and while I thought that the presence of Jennifer Garner in a tight leather outfit would be enough, I was way off. "Elektra" is one of the lamest action movies to hit theaters in a long time.
Didn't she die in "Daredevil?" Well, yes, but she's a comic book character and it's rare for them to stay dead. She's brought back to life by her master Pole - er, Stick - due to unexplained magical powers, and proceeds to attempt to rescue two unfortunate souls from a band of supernatural assassins who mysteriously blow up into a cloud of poorly-animated green smoke when they die. There's something in the plot about a girl who both good and evil (called "The Hand" of all things) are trying to get their greedy little hands on, but the movie is so incoherent and sloppy it really doesn't matter.
Honestly, the screenwriters must have been asleep when they wrote this God-awful piece of crap. Nothing, from Elektra's resurrection to the reason why we should care about an annoying little girl, is ever explained to a satisfaction, and the story is so cluttered and stupid it's hard to really care anyway. The movie should have been devoted to Elektra and maybe one or two villains, but instead it is full of characters, both good and bad, who can all put up an extraordinarily nasty fight. Elektra is nothing more than a bit player in a larger scheme, and why she is ever involved in the first place makes little sense.
On top of everything else, the movie is full of cheesy special effects that do little to enhance the enjoyment of the movie. The graphics aren't nearly as bad as they were in "Daredevil," but that's not saying much. The special effects having to do with the villain called "Tattoo" are especially hard to watch.
Jennifer Garner holds her own as best she can, but let's face facts - she doesn't have much to work with. Basically, Garner spends half the movie pouting and half the movie fighting, but if you want to watch her kick-ass while wearing sexy outfits you're much better off watching an episode of "Alias." There's more action, more skin and more excitement in ten minutes of "Alias" (even this season, which isn't very good at all) than in the entirety of this film. "Elektra" isn't just cheesy - it's boring, dull and lacks any large action scenes, unless you count the sequence where Elektra literally battles a bunch of flying white sheets. Oh, and the little girl hits people with a glowing necklace that reminded me of a mini version of Wonder Woman's lasso.
"Elektra" is a disappointment from beginning to end. Even without a plot it could have been something, but it fails to capitalize on the sexiness of its lead actress or even deliver anything that can be considered a quality action scene. Sadly, this makes "Daredevil" look like "Spider-Man 2," and that's quite a feat.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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