Superhero Movie Month: "Elektra" Review

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Elektra the warrior survives a near-death experience, becomes an assassin-for-hire, and tries to protect her two latest targets, a single father and his young daughter, from a group of supernatural assassins.
2.5

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Rating: PG-13
Length: 97 minutes
Release Date: January 14, 2005
Directed by: Rob Bowman
Genre: Action / Crime / Fantasy

"Elektra" is a spin-off of the 2003 film "Daredevil." In "Elektra," the main character is revived and given an opportunity to choose good over evil. However, Elektra ultimately decides to go off on her own and continue a life of crime. When Elektra forges a relationship with a man and his daughter, she becomes the target of a group of deadly assassins. She is then forced to choose between saving the life of an innocent child and putting her own life on the line.

Plot Summary

In "Daredevil," Elektra Natchios, a trained assassin, is killed while avenging her father's death. In the opening scenes of "Elektra," she is revived by Stick, a blind martial arts master. He brings Elektra to his training compound with the intention of teaching her Kimagure, an ancient form of martial arts that allows practitioners to resurrect the dead. Unwilling to forget her father's death and wanting to exact revenge for her murder, Elektra leaves the compound and becomes a contract killer.

Years later, Elektra is hired to kill two targets. However, the identities of the targets are withheld from her. While awaiting further instruction, she meets a young girl named Abby and her father, Mark. Days later, she learns that Abby and Mark are the intended targets. Because she has developed romantic feelings for Mark, she leaves without killing them.

When The Hand, the man who ordered the hit on Mark and Abby, learns that Elektra failed to complete the mission, he sends his son Kirigi on a mission to kill her. Meanwhile, Elektra returns to protect Mark and Abby since she believes another attempt on their life will be made. When Kirigi and a group of mercenary ninjas arrive, Elektra engages in a fierce battle to protect Mark and Abby and save her own life. Just as she is about to lose the fight, Stick appears with several of his students to help her overtake the assassins.

It is then revealed that Abby is a martial arts prodigy, and The Hand is trying to abduct her so he can use her skills for evil. Realizing the only way to stop The Hand is to kill him, Elektra challenges him to a fight. She refuses to allow Stick to help her and puts her life on the line to save Abby.

Cast

With the exception of the main character who appeared in "Daredevil," "Elektra" features a fresh cast of villains and heroes. Elektra, played by Jennifer Garner, takes on a more central role in this film. Her depiction of an assassin torn between good and evil is not only believable, it is entertaining to watch. The mix of characters brought to life from the pages of Marvel comic books and new characters created specifically for this film create a unique good-verses-evil story.

Action Sequences

The action sequences in "Elektra" are even better than the ones featured throughout "Daredevil." There are several high-flying stunts, and the special effects are absolutely stunning. The best example of this is the scene where snakes and wolves materialize from the tattoos of The Hand's ninjas.

Many of the fight scenes also feature Elektra fighting alone against multiple villains. This requires some extremely impressive martial arts moves. The film as a whole combines classic martial arts with supernatural abilities.

Plot Construction

Unlike most sequels, "Elektra" features several flashbacks that show her tumultuous upbringing and explain her path to becoming an assassin. However, certain elements are missing that leave audience members who have not seen "Daredevil" in the dark. For example, there is no mention of her father's death, which is the reason she cannot seem to let go of her rage. However, the plot line does explain some of her earlier experiences, whereas "Daredevil" mainly focused on her adult life.

Ultimately, the plot of "Elektra" is constructed very well. The events all take place in an order that keeps the audience informed of what is going on without becoming mundane. In addition, there are a few different plot twists that result in unexpected developments. This contrasts well with the predictable nature of the fights, in which Elektra always emerges victorious.

"Elektra" features an exciting and unpredictable storyline and a variety of intriguing characters. The battle between good and evil has been featured in countless films, but "Elektra" is a unique film because the focus is placed on the clash between the past and the future. With all of the elements of a classic superhero film and great fighting sequences, "Elektra" is a must-see.