Running Time: 104 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: 1
MSRP: $29.98

Own It!
Elektra (2005)

It's hard to summarize months, even years, of comic book story content in a feature film; it's even harder in a short review of said film. But here goes:

Elektra Natchios, the martial arts-proficient girlfriend of Matt Murdock, aka the superhero Daredevil, was killed by the villain Bullseye in both the comic book and movie of the same name. She was brought back from the dead (in the movie, by Daredevil's blind sensei, Stick, here played by Terrence Stamp), and unable to deal with her anger, was banished from her new mentor's compound. As the movie begins, she has become a remarkably proficient assassin, but finds guilt weighing on her; when she turns down a contract on a 13 year-old girl and her widower father, she also finds herself unwillingly cast in the role of savior, protecting her former targets against a crew of magic-weilding killers sent by the assassin clan known only as The Hand.

Casting Jennifer Garner as Elektra in the first movie at first seemed a gimmick, given her success on the TV series Alias, but this movie proves it a canny decision - Garner's physicality and work ethic are a good match for the character. The movie itself is a fairly formula-driven action flick, with some nice setpieces and truly arresting visuals. It is neither the greatest movie ever made, nor is it the worst - far from that, in fact. It is a popcorn muncher in the best sense of that term: I certainly do not regret the time I spent watching it, but I doubt I'll be doing more than checking out individual scenes and special effects in the future. A fun evening.

The video and audio are of course very nice, struck from a print that had likely never seen a projector sprocket, It's a Fox disc, though, so be prepared for a) An MTV-ready please-don't-pirate-movies piece, and b) breathlessly edited-together previews for I, Robot, X-Men 2, Hide and Seek, and the new Flight of the Phoenix, all before the menu... but skippable, at least.

The selection of extras on the disc seem rather... corporate, to say the least.

The Making of Elektra is a pretty standard mash-up of interviews and film clips, that leans far too heavily on the film clips - the few bits of behind-the-scenes and training video we do get are very welcome, however. Comic-Con Presentation is a teaser featuring Garner that was shown at that convention, and Inside the Editing Room presents four Web featurettes starring the director, Rob Bowman.

There are, additionally, three deleted scenes (one of which includes a cameo by Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock, probably excised because it confused preview audiences who hadn't bothered to see Daredevil); A theatrical trailer and teaser, and plugs for the soundtrack album (comprised of songs I never heard during the movie, of course), and American Dad and Family Guy.

Not corporate enough yet? There is the usual Fox menu feature, "Inside Look", which nets you additional trailers for The Fantastic Four and Mr. and Mrs. Jones.

Dr. Freex, 5/15/2005