n.b. Je n'avais pas trouvé si mauvais Daredevil avec Ben Affleck.
This movie, and Daredevil, are clear examples of exactly what fans do not want: "famous/attractive" "actors" squeezed in spandex put through a few soft-core 30 minute cardio kickboxing action sequences delivering barely coherent derivative babble in a poorly constructed plot that's loosely based on a somewhat famous side-character from a more famous series.
In contrast, Netflix's Daredevil series puts actual actors in realistic costumes and are very well trained and choreographed in their fights while positively delivering well written lines in a strongly composed plot that heavily follows both the spirit of a beloved character and heavily referencing the source material.
I think the verdict is clear here. Even without hindsight and looking at this movie objectively, Electra is an advanced level class on how not to make a movie.
Physically painful to watch.
Everyone who has seen Daredevil will clearly agree upon the same fault in Elektra's existence: she's dead. Elektra was killed in Daredevil. Through flashbacks we learn that she was brought back to life by a blind martial arts master and trained in a style of fighting which empowers her to become a trained assassin, a pathetically simplistic attempt to capitalize on the success of Daredevil without sensibility. With no ties to her past and no relevance to the story in Daredevil, Elektra's lack of sensibility makes it unfit to be called a sequel or spin-off. Essentially, audiences must pretend the story in Daredevil never happened if they are to enjoy it because the writers of Elektra pretty much did the exact same thing.
Beneath the senseless context of Elektra, the film is nothing more than a conventional action-thriller. The plot line about a conflicted assassin caught up in a game of murder is one which is overly familiar, as is the plot of a mercenary protecting the life of a young girl. Elektra combines all the cliches from this basic formula and pretends to be innovative by having a female character in the lead. But since essentially everything distinctive about the character was used up in Daredevil only the shell of the character to return for no valid reason in Elektra just makes everything pointless. The film is purely a generic action film which takes itself way too seriously to even have a sense of humour about literally anything that happens. But nobody could take something as ridiculous as this film seriously anyway, particularly when it lacks even much of an action spectacle.
Since Elektra Natchios is so focused on attempting to escape her past, she distances any emotional ties to the story that made her notorious to unfamiliar audiences in Daredevil. As a result, Elektra is so distant from its source material that it lacks any actual faithfulness to the importance of the titular protagonist. The brief appearances of characters like Stick and Typhoid may elevate the low standard of fidelity Elektra ever so slightly, but Elektra is divorced from the comic series it is adapted from a scripted assassin movie formula with white-out on the title. And yet despite having an excessively conventional premise, Elektra still insists on taking itself way too seriously. Fretting over its story even though it doesn't have one, Elektra burdens viewers with a heavy re-tread of the predictable plot points from Daredevil repeated all over again but with a context of far less intrigue. The characters are not the slightest bit compelling as they are all ridiculously cliché without even attempting to disguise it. Yet unfortunately, they upstage the action scenes. Minimal action is used in Elektra which means viewers are given more time to wait around and watch the many extended shots of Jennifer Garner remaining silent with an intense look in her eyes, symbolizing her attempts to deal with inner conflict. This is actually the maximum extent of depth Rob Bowman tries to put into the film, extended shots of absolutely nothing happening. Nearly anybody could guess that there is no entertainment value or general meaning in all of this, but Rob Bowman is not one of them. It's made blankly obvious through the script that Elektra Natchios' faults lie in her inability to let go of her rage, yet the atmosphere is so bereft of thrills or drama whatsoever that she feels numb to anything the entire time. Audiences are likely to find themselves in the same state.
In the few scenes where the action rears its head, Elektra is not brilliant. The reliance on visual effects puts it on a meandering path even though nobody noticed the mediocre quality of them. And the few moments that are practical rely on half-assed choreography which is blunted by the overly fast editing. Rather than capitalizing on Jennifer Garner's action heroine talents which she presented to audiences in Daredevil, Elektra's momentarily lapses into action territory are mediocre pieces of animation which are over too quickly even though they are still boring. It's easier to enjoy them than the pretentious narrative, but they just remind audiences how misguided every element of the production is from its story to its style. The few seconds of cheap violence in Elektra are too simplistic in how they are staged, and there is no extra spirit put into them by the cinematography which leaves viewers to watch what is going on without actually feeling it.
Even the work of the film's central star cannot save Elektra from succumbing to its heavy mediocrity. Though Jennifer Garner proved her virtue as a supporting actress in Daredevil, the script in Elektra does not give her even half the material she worked with prior, though she is the sole focus of the entire film this time. The simple fact is that Jennifer Garner's talents are not utilized in the slightest. The woman clearly has the charisma and fighting skills to warrant her own action vehicle, but Elektra is most certainly not it. Like a meaningless gaze, the camera just points itself directly at Jennifer Garner without any direction as to what she should be doing and so it's almost like a slow photoshoot. You can tell from Elektra's most vulnerable moments and the fight scenes that Jennifer Garner has the power to really do something with the character, but the heavy lack of support ensures that this vision is never captured. Jennifer Garner proves the worth of decking herself up in Elektra Natchios' iconic clothing pieces for the sake of visual appeal without relying on overt sexualization, but it is the most fidelity the film offers her to the character fans are expecting to see.
Jennifer Garner is the lone bright spot in Elektra, a mediocre and supported action film with an overtly serious tone and generic characters which is a heavy burden for even the most acclaimed of actors.
After a near-death experience a government agent / superhero, Elektra (played by Jennifer Garner), retires to an island and, reluctantly at first, befriends her neighbours, a father and his teenage daughter. However, a criminal cartel is after her and they are using the best resources at their disposal...
Was interesting, initially. The whole "agent retires and then is forced back into service due to the bad dudes who won't let her retire in peace" isn't that new, but it was interesting enough.
The interest didn't last long. Pretty soon the movie resorted to lame, by-the-numbers, action scenes and supernatural villains, plus random turns of events that save the day.
Even the action scenes aren't done very well. In an effort to blind us with all that impossible martial arts stuff that gets kids to watch a movie, the director speeds up the action scenes too much, and makes them unfocused and confusing.
From its generic origin story to its unsatisfying ending, "Elektra" fails to distinguish itself from its far superior cousins, like "Spider-Man" and "X-Men". Jennifer Garner may be a good lead actress in other films, but she doesn't have what it takes to be a lead in an action flick. I'll give "Elektra" credit for being a female-led superhero film, but it is unfortunate that one of the first female-led superhero films made is so unenjoyable and a poor adaption of the character.