I admired 2003's "Daredevil" up to a certain point but came shy of recommending it, because I felt the film neglected its characters for a cheesy romantic melodrama all too suitable for Ben Affleck. The character everyone talked about the most, Elekra (Jennifer Garner), came and went faster than the speed of her sais.
Now in 2005, an entire movie has been dedicated to the Marvel character dressed in red, and it's infinitely worse.
When before she was a sweet romantic sidekick, she is now a heartless assassin; paid to take out various targets for the appropriate price. We know she's heartless by the way she was raised as a young girl, and we see countless flashbacks which reminded me all to much of "The Hulk." Her father would force her to tread water in their indoor swimming pool while her mother was helpless, and we'd be reminded of this every other scene. Maybe he was training her for the Olympics. In that case he was a good father. If he was preparing her for a life of contract killing, well, then that would make him a bad father.
Barely anything from the movie "Daredevil" is mentioned in the sequel, "Elektra." A short flashback shows Elekra's lifeless body being resurrected back to life from what was presumed to be a fatal blow at the hands of Colin Farrell's character, Bullseye.
Back in action, Elektra is taught the ways of the wise by Stick (Terence Stamp), the blind master who resurrected her and may pass that ability on to Elektra if she passes her training…you know, random tests, life examples, use your mind, and all that stuff. Hey, if a blind martial arts master tells you sit and meditate for a couple of hours for whatever reason, you don't ask questions.
Now she's a contract killer, and soon accepts a job that pays -- I think $2 million -- to go to a beautiful island community two days prior to being given specific instructions on who to whack. That the night of the assassination is Christmas Eve doesn't bother Elektra. That the targets are a 13-year-old girl and her single father do.
The job was assigned to her by an Asian crime organization called the Hand. But not only does Elektra refuse to kill her targets, she decides to be their protector from the newly assigned ninjas now on the way. There is no reason for Elektra to get involved with these people. But I guess because the young girl, Abby (Kirsten Prout), reminders her so much of herself when she was a little girl, that it's something she just has to do.
As for the father, Mark (Goran Visnjic), well, she kinda' likes him too and even kisses him once or twice…proving my thesis wrong that Elektra is in fact not a robot.
The Hand is run by a board of evil Asians under the direction of Roshi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) a menacing boss who uses Kirigi (Will Yun Lee), a young martial arts master to do his dirty work.
The original goal of the Hand was to steal Abby because at 13 she's a promising young warrior. So good that they call her the Treasure and scout her for the team.
Never mind there are guys like Tattoo (Chris Ackerman) and Typhoid (Natassia Malthe) on the roster. Tattoo has um, tattoos of animals on his body that become real and possibly lethal (unless you slash them with a weapon; then they just become dust). Typhoid is some sort of dark princess that removes the life out of everything she touches…not someone you'd want to take on a nature walk with. Kinkou (Edson T. Ribeiro) is just a big beefy black guy who's impervious to shotgun shells, and Kirigi the martial arts master is so fast he could give The Flash a competitive race. So what's the point of going after cute little Abby?
Maybe it's for some sick perverted hidden agenda. In time Abby will grow up to be a babe, with or without super powers. She's the Treasure, damn it! But eventually the Hand wise up and try to assassinate her. Elektra will do everything she can to save her.
The movie is a warped feminist fantasy where a hot brunette kicks a lot of ass, usually men, all the while shaking her own ass with every step, and making sure her outfit showcases her wonder display of cleavage for men in the audience to ogle.
Together with Abby and Typhoid, the girls complete some type of gyno-triangle, getting across the message that even women can fight and play rough…just as long as they're hot and can fit into sexy outfits.
The final showdown with Kirigi takes place in an old mansion "where it all began" and "where it will all end." I was reminded of Disney's Haunted House (the theme park ride). Dust from centuries of vacancy has settled and old picture frames hang from the creaking walls. But the upkeep of the front lawn maze tells us that at least one person does lawn maintenance and still pays the electric bill on time.
Before the final fight, large white sheets -- as if borrowed from a Zhang Yimou movie-- that once covered the furniture float lifelessly from the ceiling to the ground where our warriors battle. I'm guessing this was added to give the film much needed style, but they take their swords to the sheets as if trying to get an unnecessary distraction out of the way. But by cutting all the sheets in half they're just doubling up the laundry and making more white sheets. Somebody stop cutting the sheets!
As much fun as this may all sound ,the film is tedious, boring and as logical as fighting in a large room with white sheets falling from the ceiling.