A review of “Elektra” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: **

Rating: PG-13 for action violence and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

 

 

I have a penchant for movie violence and female warriors in particular.  Top of the list of questions regarding Elektra is can Jennifer Garner continue to embrace that lethal combination of hardcore skill and power (think Matrix’s Trinity, etc.) that she demonstrated so aptly in Daredevil and TV’s “Alias”?

The answer is yes, when you can distinguish her from the slick glossy sheen and choppy quick-cut editing meant to appeal to the MTV set.

Elektra is a mass of clichés, beginning with Elektra’s (Garner) incessant nightmares of her mother’s untimely death (think Batman, etc.) and moving on to the ubiquitous group of skilled urban fighters (think Kill Bill, etc.) known as The Hand.

Seems Elektra, a warrior who tips the balance between good and evil, may have a shred of decency that hasn’t been poisoned by violence or tragedy.  She is dispatched to a remote Pacific Northwest island for her next assignment and has an unexpected change of heart (the reluctant assassin!) when her targets turn out to be the father and teenage daughter (Goran Visnjic and Kirsten Prout) who live next door.

Dad and daughter have a Deep Dark Secret which must be protected. Elektra is going to do the Right Thing which requires more killing and more destruction in tarty call-girl garb. Her freshly-pressed conscience leads her down a path of darkness, but one that will ultimately save her soul.

There are random affecting moments in this ho-hum actioner based on the Marvel comic book.  A warrior named Tattoo whose body ink pulses with life and peels away to tear a swath of its own destruction.  A mano-a-mano battle pitting Elektra against her Hand nemesis under the billowy sails of flying bed linens (think Hero, etc.).

Garner plays it a little too sulky and a tad too pouty, but that could be the excess lip collagen. Her brush with the dark side isn’t as interesting as it could have been considering the consequences. Not a complete waste of time but not worth your hard-earned $9.50.