A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Elektra (2005)

April 30, 2011

Elektra

I like this movie loads more than I like the Daredevil movie that spawned it. As I said yesterday Jennifer Garner as Elektra was the best thing in Daredevil, and this movie gives her a lot of awesome stuff to do. It has some of the cooler mystical overtones of her story from the comic books without delving into the truly strange bits from the Elektra: Assassin storyline. It brings in elements like Stick and the Hand and the war between good and evil.

The film starts out with a sly bit of misdirection. In the opening preamble we’re told about a legendary warrior known as “The Treasure” and the war between the good and evil forces that want to claim her. Naturally if you are familiar with the comics you assume that Elektra is going to be this warrior. She is, after all (as shown in the opening scene) a legendary unstoppable assassin. The comic books make an issue of the battle for Elektra’s soul (and Matt Murdock’s soul for that matter.)

It is only when Elektra takes on her next contract that things begin to become clear. She has been hired to kill a thirteen year old girl named Abby Miller and her father who are on the run from something, although they won’t say what. Elektra is haunted by flashbacks of the death of her own mother and either she’s in love with Abby’s father or she has a new-found respect for life, so she decides instead to try and save them. It is only after they’ve been running for a while that we discover Abby is a martial arts prodigy – the real Treasure that everybody is trying to gain possession of.

Of course it’s all an excuse for Elektra to have a climactic battle with the Hand warriors led by the sword wielding speedster Kirigi and his henchmen Stone, Tattoo and Typhoid. It could have been an inconsequential supernatural martial arts movie, which would have been cool too, but there are a couple things that actually make the movie work.

The biggest thing this movie has in its favour is Stick – played with a sly grin by Terence Stamp. He’s not always convincing as a blind martial arts master, but he is completely awesome and cool. Simply by being Terence Stamp. I was also really impressed by the young actress playing Abby, Kirsten Prout. She does a great job portraying a impishly troublesome girl with a rebellious streak, and she has real chemistry with Jennifer Garner. If the relationship between the two of them didn’t work you wouldn’t be able to accept Elektra’s redemption arc, but as it is you get a sense that Elektra sees a lot of herself in Abby.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t great cinema. It’s a comic book inspired adventure movie and aside from a little playfulness it walks a safe and well worn path. On the other hand, it is a lot of fun to watch, with some cool fight scenes, some cool super powers, and a nice redemption arc for the lost soul of Elektra, tainted by sorrow and tragedy. I would recommend it over Daredevil any day.

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April 30, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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