Cast: Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Terence Stamp, Kirsten Prout, Jason Isaacs, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Director: Rob Bowman
Genre: Action/Adventure
Rated: M medium level violence
Running Time: 97 Minutes

Looks Can Kill

Following the events of 'Daredevil'(2003), Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner), sai enthusiast and assassin for hire, is revived by the Order of the Hand, a group of assassins who helped train her. Elektra soon befriends her target, Mark Miller (Goran Visnjic) and his daughter, Abby (Kirsten Prout), but decides to stand up to her ninja peers. Elektra is particularly motivated to do so when she discovers that Miller's grandfather was an ally of her former mentor, Stick (Terence Stamp). Together, they must take on the lethal members of the Order of the Hand.

My Verdict:
'Elektra' is a very sombre, somewhat dismal movie. As Elektra, Jennifer Garner does well with what she is given which physically is a demanding role but emotionally she seems devoid of revealing any expression, which is a shame considering her role in the recent 'Suddenly 30' (2004) which proved her ability to enjoy herself. In 'Elektra', director Rob Bowman has chosen to show Elektra as an almost one dimensional character which is hard to accept as she is still searching for those people that murdered her mother, which would surely make her at the very least, angry and vengeful!

Elektra is a high-class assassin, hired by the wealthy to knock off villains. To this end, she enjoys her job until an assignment that includes a child as a victim. Elektra is sent to an island where she befriends the neighbours living in a cabin who are a father/daughter combination. When it is revealed to Elektra that these two are her targets, she can't bring herself to kill them, and reveals herself to them. By now, of course, there is some romantic inclination between her and Mark Miller, the father, and an almost maternal instinct towards his daughter Abby. Between the three of them, they then fight off some ghostly oriental assassins that appear out of nowhere, which leads Elektra to believe there is more to the Millers than they are telling. Mark tells Elektra of his connections to her mentor, Stick and she decides to affect an immediate rescue plan. Meanwhile, the opposition, The Hand, are on their trail and use all their powers to try and kill all three. This is where some of the many CGI are used - the Hand consists of some members including Tattoo, who has tattoos that can come to life, Typhoid, who kills everything that she touches and Stone who is a big lump of a man. Watching the tattoo's on Tattoo come to life was one of the movies more fascinating moments.

Much of the movie was shot at night, which is probably meant to make it seem more sinister, but it was just plain frustrating when you can't actually make out what is happening amongst all those shadows. Outside scenes were shot on location in Vancouver, Canada, and were very welcome with their rich, green forests.

Jennifer Garner shot 'Elektra' whilst on summer break from her tv series 'Alias' and spent weeks physically preparing for the role. The conclusion of the movie involves the regulatory ultimate fight scene where Elektra (and Jennifer) really gets to show off her fighting skills and her final showdown with the leader of The Hand followed by a soul searching chat with Stick. There is ample scope left for a sequel, but there would have to be a major injection of emotion into the lead character for any sequel to have the appeal that other comic adaptations have had of late. And that's a pity, as Elektra does have something to offer, if only it can be found.

Rating : C

Christina Bruce

Editor's Review:
Those of you who like martial arts action and mythology will get into this movie. Although at times a little predictable, the special effects are just that, special. Jennifer Garner suits this role as it compliments her Alias character that we know and love. There seem to be a few gaps in the story possibily paving the way for a sequel, but very entertaining.


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