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Oh-kay, so Elektra (Jennifer Garner) didn't die in 2003's Daredevil
after all, or rather despite her slit throat and cut through body, some
Oriental mystic could easily revive her. Since, she has been trained in
martial arts by her blind master Stick (Terence Stamp) and has become a
For her next hit, she is sent to a remote island and has 3 days off -
just enough time to meet 13-year old neighbour girl Abby (Kirsten Prout)
and be invited by her to the Christmas dinner she has with her father Mark
(Goran Visnjic), and since he is a single parent, of course Elektra soon
has tender feelings for him, and sees in Abby a younger version of
herself, since like Abby, Elektra has lost her mother at age five ...
Be that as it may, soon Elektra learns who her next hit is - to noone
at all's surprise it's Mark and Abby. And of course, Elektra utlimately
can't do it and sides with her prospected victims, who seem to have a dark
secret. And soon, hordes of mystical Ninjas who turn into green dust when
killed are after the three of them (somehow this makes you feel like one
of these Joseph Lai- or Tomas Tang-produced Ninja films from the 1980's,
now doesn't it ?).
Eventually, our threesome is saved by Stick and his gang of white
Ninjas, who fills them in on some details about Mark's and Abby's would-be
assassins: They are members of the Hand, who are after Abby because
she has or is the Treasure. Unfortunately, this doesn't explain
anything, but as a result, Abby suddenly proves a versatile martial artist
... and it's about time, too, since the Hand has sent Kirigi (Will Yun
Lee) and his 3 master assassins, Typhoid (Natassia Malthe) - the woman
with the kiss of death -, Stone (Bob Sapp) - a man with a body hard as a
rock -, and Tattoo (Chris Ackerman) - whose tattoos regularly come to life
with great regularity -, after her.
To cut a long story short, in the end, Elektra wins, and Abby and Mark
are saved from the Hand.
Now I'm not one to necessarily complain about silly scripts - but for
2005, this one probably takes the cake, and what's worse, it's not only
silly, it's also bad and incredibly unfunny: The story is pretty
much a blend of a very weak romance plot (the first half) and Oriental
martial arts/mysticism by the numbers without any love for the genre as
such (the second half), while large portions that could have given the
story some meaning are just left unexplained (e.g. what is the Hand,
what is the Treasure, and why are Ninjas turning into green dust
once they are killed). Now all this wouldn't be so bad if it had great
actionscenes or breathtaking stunts - but unfortunately the film wasn't
made in Hong Kong or Japan, where people know how to stage impressive
fight scenes, but in Hollywood, where visionary stunt directors are few
and far between, and the actual action is destroyed by a series of fast
cuts and unconvincing computer effects, giving the viewer the feeling to
have seen everything much better elsewhere (especially the 1993 anime Ninja
Scroll - from where at least
the three ninja assassins Typhoid, Stone and Tattoo were blatantly stolen
- springs readily into mind).
And then there's of course Jennifer Garner: I won't say she's not cute,
because she is, but she just fails to impress as ice-cold action heroine,
she just looks like at the edge of panicking or bursting into tears all of
the time. As I said, cute. Kirsten Prout on the other hand, who plays
Elektra's substitute daughter and a former version of herself, is not even
cute, she just seems to be an obnoxious 13-year old ... which might work
elsewhere but certainly not in this film. And when she starts doing
martial arts, it just seems out of character (apart from the fact that it
looks completely unimpressive.
In all, Elektra is just a waste of time, maybe not as bad as Daredevil,
but it's getting there.