Eye For Film >> Movies >> Elektra (2005) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
In Superworld, special powers are obligatory. Elektra appears to be normal, almost. Her big trick is the dying thing. At the end of Daredevil, she was well bumped and truly off. At the beginning of this, she does the resurrection shuffle. Either that's not allowed, or it's allowed if sanctioned by the Son of God, or it's a cheat and you just have to get used to it.
Anyway, here she is, looking fitter than a flea in dog doo. She's running a business as a professional assassin, with her very own agent (Colin Cunningham), who doubles as the comic relief. Talking of which, Elektra does not have a sense of humour, which is a pity, because she'd be no fun at a pyjama party, and against bad guys with special powers all she has are two baby swords that look like something you poke the fire with in a millionaire's ski lodge.
The story has trouble standing on its own. When Terence Stamp makes his appearance as a blind Zen martial arts guru, you start to relax. No point in trying to make sense of him, or it, because you have entered Superworld, in which logic is squeezed out of a rat's bottom and fed to freak eaglets with deformed eyes. Better to sit back and admire the slow motion fighting technique of our lady in red.
As a stimulant for adolescent wet dreams, the film is wicked. Jennifer Garner poses like a model in every scene, with perfectly sculptured cheekbones, luscious lips and pert buttocks tucked tautly into crimson work pants. Director Bob Bowman understands the visual language of an X-Men clone. He knows that he is working with sexual fantasy and yet has the intelligence to disguise it as an action-packed chase flick. The cinematography is adventurous, like the best in pop video art, and the performances avoid camp in favour of genuine conviction - is that possible when playing Typhoid (Natassia Malthe), a whey-faced Goth who can kill with a touch, like frost?
Elektra has flashbacks to the time when she lived in a big house and found her mother murdered by a figure that resembled the devil. She meets this figure in human form later, when they fight in the same house, surrounded by billowing white sheets. This scene is utter nonsense, of course, but it looks terrific and, by that time, you have learnt that there is no word for "nonsense" in Superworld.
The film does what it says on the tin. Garner is so controlled, so perfectly toned, that you suspect she might have escaped from a mother ship. If you leave your mind in the drawer marked Tomorrow's Homework and let the plot wash over you, the look of Elektra is seductive enough to make you forget you ever had one in the first place.Reviewed on: 21 Jan 2005