The story opens with Elektra making short work of a man shes been hired to kill. When the jobs over, her agent (I wasnt aware cold-blooded assassins had such things) accuses her of overkill, tells her to rest, but then nags her into immediately taking on another high-paying job. The agent, who refers to Elektra as E, which kept reminding me of Faith calling Buffy B in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wont tell her who her target is, just that she needs to get herself to an island and wait for further instructions.
On the island, Elektra stares at the ocean and stews over being kept waiting. The monotony of watching water move on its own is broken up when Elektras precocious young neighbor Abby (Kirsten Prout) tries to break in and steal a piece of jewelry. One thing leads to another and Elektras invited to spend Christmas dinner with Abby and her devilishly handsome dad, Mark (Goran Visnjic). Without actually cracking a smile or engaging in any real conversation, Elektra somehow enchants the two over Christmas dinner. Likewise, something about the father and daughter gets to Elektra and when surprise, surprise it turns out Mark and Abby are her targets, Elektra cant pull the trigger. Instead of murdering them, she rescues them from the clutches of the evil group known as The Hand.
The only thing of any importance about The Hand seems to be the fact theres a rift between the old guard and the younger generation of evildoers. Thats about all you need to know. The older guys wear suits and politely sit around a table discussing matters. The youngsters dress in gothic style or have lots of body art or otherwise stand apart because of their attire. But both generations want The Treasure. What is The Treasure? Ill give you two guesses and the first doesnt count. You got it. Abby = The Treasure.
Fighting and fleeing and fighting and fleeing take place. Elektra learns lessons about herself and shares a couple of kisses with Mark. All of this occurs at a snails pace, except for the fight scenes. They take place in hyperdrive with weapons flashing and legs kicking so fast you cant really absorb whats going on.
Surprises and unexpected plot twists arent the order of the day in Elektra. Everything is pretty straightforward and if you cant predict the next scene, its because youve been nodding off. There isnt any real memorable dialogue, yet the movie seems to think its a character-driven drama at times. The problem is theres no real character development and no real drama. We learn about the death of Elektras mom through flashbacks that show the murder from various angles. Once would have been enough, but director Rob Bowman and the trio of screenwriters beat us over the head with scenes of the murder and Elektras grief until its all very redundant and more than a little annoying.
Elektra tells its simple story in frustrating fits and starts. Watching Jennifer Garner obsessively scrub a floor, organize her toiletries, and arrange fruit is an interesting way of showing Elektra suffers from OCD. But thats never really followed up on and could easy have been cut out. That would have freed up a little more time for fighting, which is the reason people want to check out the movie in the first place.
Theres too little time spent with the movies villains and too much of Garners onscreen time spent standing around looking pouty. Other than Kirigi (Will Yun Lee), the main bad guys dont have much screen time and never really get to do anything, well, bad. Typhoids around to kiss Elektra and Abby. Aside from giving the males in the audience a brief thrill, Typhoids pretty much an extraneous character. The same goes for Stone (Bob Sapp). Hes got one small scene and then poof! Tattoo (Chris Ackerman) fares better as his body art comes to life and attacks Elektra, Abby, and Mark. But those CGI animal effects arent anything to write home about. When a wolf snarls his way out of Tattoos stomach, its almost laughable. When snakes uncoil from his body and make their way through a maze in search of Abby, its downright hilarious. The only effect that works is the hawk and thats because its a real bird and not a CGI creature.
Ready to be wowed by kick ass fight scenes and non-stop action? Check out the trailer for Elektra and skip the movie. All the best scenes are in the preview and theres no need to waste your money on a film thats a real drag.