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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:06 pm
Posts: 98
Elektra was originally intended to be a stop-gap between Daredevil (2003) and a planned Daredevil 2. However, although Daredevil didn't disgrace itself at the box office, both Marvel Entetainment and 20th Century Fox now seem embarassed by the fact that it wasn't a huge X-Men or Spider Man-sized hit, and the announced Daredevil sequel has quietly vanished from Fox and Marvel's production schedule.<br /><br />As a result, Elektra has reached the big screen with all Daredevil references (including a confirmed cameo by Ben Affleck and a rumoured appearance by Colin Farrell) left on the cutting room floor, and is now intended to be purely a vehicle for Alias actress Jennifer Garner.<br /><br />The most interesting thing about the film are it's heavily stylised fight scenes, which don't rely solely on the wirework that has swamped American action movies since The Matrix (1999). Instead, just as U.S. horror films are currently either remaking or borrowing stylistic tricks from Asian cinema, so Elektra is the first Stateside movie to attempt to appeal to the Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon audience. <br />However, this potentially intriguing approach is immediately undone by the inclusion of a group of colourful assassins with supernatural powers, who are only in the movie so some eyecatching CGI effects can appear in the trailer, in an attempt to bring in the teenage/popcorn X-Men crowd.<br /><br />In addition, great action scenes count for nothing if they are in the middle of a vacuum. After a promising start (with a great uncredited cameo by Jason Issacs) the film stalls and never recovers. The storyline is one of the most uneventful and simplistic that I've seen in a major studio release. A fine cast has been assembled, but apart from Garner, they have practicularly nothing to do, and Elektra's journey from 'hired killer with shut-down emotions' to 'principled warrior fighting for good' is portrayed in a straight-forward and utterly predictable fashion. Even the moment when she sucumbs to a poisonous kiss from arch-assassin Typhoid (Natassia Malthe) is entirely without drama, as the audience knows that the film is only halfway through, and therefore Elektra clearly isn't going to die.<br /><br />Garner turns in a solid performance, but is saddled with too many lengthy scenes of Elektra performing yoga or staring out across a lake. The rest of the cast do what they can with the little the script gives them, but apart from the aforementioned Issacs, only Colin Cunningham makes an impression as Elektra's agent, and his final exchange of dialogue with Garner is the most touching moment in the film. Goran Visnjic and Terence Stamp (as Stick) basically just take the money, while Will Yun Lee actually earns his by making swordsman Kirigi an effective - if somewhat bland - final opponent. Nastassia Malthe is gorgeous and has undeniable screen presence, but her screen-time is so limited that we don't find out if she can actually act. Hopefully her appearance here will lead to better things and that question will be answered.<br />


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