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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Summer 2004-5

Elektra (2005) movie review

Killer Woman

We met her in DAREDEVIL. A powerful female fighter in red leather. Now we learn her story. Taught by a mystic group, she is rejected and sent off into the world. She makes her way using the fighting skills that she had learned. In short, she is an assassin.

Elektra (Jennifer Garner) has only one prohibition -- no children. When she is sent to kill a man (Goran Visnjic) and his child, she refuses and instead becomes their protector. But the father and girl have a secret.

Candles, a sight-impaired master, martial arts and a bit of magic thrown in, what could go wrong?

Elektra, Movie Poster, Festivale film review; 688x1000

Movie poster, Elektra
She's the last thing that stands between good and evil.

Well, corporate film-makers have a problem making stories about female super-heroes. They may not overload cinematic female heroes with super-boobs, but the producers and writers are still thinking that their audience is young men who can't get a date, and if they do, she must be shorter, weaker, dumber and earn less than they do. Don't shoot the messenger, Buffy the Vampire Slayer might have been dangerous, but she was short, sweet, blonde, and fashionably attired.

ELEKTRA is as thin as a comic book page. Elektra's motivation is cliched, as is pretty much every line and action in the film. We are not surprised to learn that Garner was forced by an existing contract to make this film.

When this film (deservedly) does not make money, the executives and others will point to Garner and say that nobody wants to see female superheroes, and that men really aren't interested in watching female protagonists. I hope that it's not true and that intelligently-written female heroes are just as compelling to men and boys as they are to women and girls. The real villain of this film is the innate awkwardness of film-makers.

It's hard to think of any reason to watch this film. Read a book. Watch an episode of Buffy. Watch the episode of ALIAS where Garner's character wears a progression of sexy lingerie only to kick the shit out of the man who made her wear them. Now THAT'S entertainment.

2010-10-27 Available on Prime Video (Amazon) and DVD


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by Ali Kayn
Australian release 13 Jan 2005 (2005-01-13)
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

Just the facts:

Title: Elektra (2005)
Written by: Mark Steven Johnson (motion picture characters) and Frank Miller (comic book characters), Zak Penn and Stuart Zicherman & M. Raven Metzner
Directed by: Rob Bowman
Running time: 85 mins
Rating: MA15+

The Players: Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Terence Stamp

Official website:
IMDb entry

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