Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Elektra REVIEW

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You know, if anyone ever complains about Elodie Yung’s portrayal of Elektra—or about any female superhero, for that matter—I’ll just send them this movie anonymously.  And I really wouldn’t feel bad about giving it away, either.  This is one of those movies that I bought on clearance when our local Hastings closed, and I’m pretty sure I still got cheated!  Of course, I’m pretty sure any deal in which you pay for this movie is a rip-off…

Let’s just get this thing over with.

Elektra is the unwanted spinoff of the Ben Affleck-led Daredevil movie.  She died in that movie (um… spoilers?), but someone somewhere liked Jennifer Garner’s portrayal of the character well enough to resurrect her.  Somehow.  For some reason.  There’s really no explanation given for why Stick decided to bring Elektra back to life, considering that he didn’t appear in Daredevil and their relationship in this movie is just that of a pupil and a teacher.  Elektra is using her new life to be an assassin for hire (but it turns out Stick was arranging the whole thing, I guess), but thinks better of the job when she is sent to kill a teenage girl and her father.  Instead, she saves them from Hand assassins (who in this movie vanish in a cloud of dust when they die—why???) and discovers that the girl is the otherwise-unexplained “chosen one” who will turn the tide of the war between the Hand and the Chaste.  Elektra also has to fight off a bunch of E-list Marvel villains including Tattoo, Stone, and what I can only assume was supposed to be a weird and uncomfortable take on Typhoid Mary.  The girl eventually gets killed, but Elektra uses the same Chaste-magic-thing to resurrect her as Stick evidently used on Elektra herself—she rubs her hands together and puts one on her head and one on her belly.  At the end of the movie the girl is safe and Elektra is going off on her own, or something.

The list of good things about this movie is short:  at least the movie is only 90 minutes instead of trying to be a full 2-plus-hour-long superhero movie like we are accustomed to today.  Also, there were a few moderately interesting action sequences, though not many.

The characters are boring and barely fleshed out.  Even though they try to make Elektra into an interesting and sympathetic character, it never really happens.  The flashbacks don’t work to establish a character for her because we never really had a connection with her in the first place.  Instead she has this weird OCD thing with her toiletries that never gets explained—and which never gets as interesting or endearing as it was in Monk.  The editing on the movie is a joke, and there are far too many pointless “artsy” sequences of Elektra doing nonsensical things:  jump-roping???  Most of the shots of Elektra’s face look like her agent wanted to get in some glamour shots to send out to advertising agencies for Jennifer Garner’s later work in hair care commercials!

The father and daughter are basically just there without any particular explanation of why they are there or why they would trust a random woman whom the father knew was there to kill them.  There is never any real chemistry between them, so there’s no reason for them to kiss.  Elektra’s “agent,” McCabe, isn’t sure whether he’s supposed to be a good businessman arranging for Elektra to work or a decent guy trying to help Elektra make the right decisions.

The villains only exist because it’s a superhero movie and Elektra needs someone to fail to punch.  Kirigi as the leader is never given any particular reason for disliking the other guy and wanting to take on Elektra himself.  His henchmen (and henchwoman) don’t speak more than a sentence between them, and their powers never receive any explanation.

The CGI in the movie is painfully obvious in a way that it never was in the contemporary Spider-Man movies.

Frankly, this movie isn’t even fun in a campy sort of way.  Of the 90 minutes of screen time, I think I enjoyed about 3.

All I can say is that I’m glad I watched it after watching Wonder Woman, because now I can truly appreciate just how far female-led superhero movies have come in the last decade and a half!

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