Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 24th, 2005
Elektra was pretty much a failure at the box office, bringing in just over half of its production cost. Add to this the raised expectations of comic characters in the movies and it’s a safe bet Elektra won’t return anytime soon. Although this was not a great film by any standards, it’s a shame it tanked so badly. I missed the film in its theatrical run, and I was actually expecting a far worse film.
Garner is quite good in the role; I thought she brought a ton of emotion to a difficult character. The biggest problem here is the script. Perhaps it was too ambitious, but it was just riddled with holes. The few provided flashbacks don’t serve to bring us from the Daredevil character to where she is now. At times it seems this story would have served better rewritten as an origin story, possibly a prequel to the Daredevil outing. The supporting cast, with the exception of Terrance Stamp, was very bland. The only other notable surprise here was Kristen Prout as the young Abby. The cinematography was wonderful and the locations were breathtaking. This could have been a much better film. Still, it’s worth a view.
Elektra (Garner) is resurrected from the dead. Her master trainer (Stamp) expels her from her training, leading her into the life of an assassin. When she is hired to kill a man and his 13 year old daughter her conscience kicks in. Now she works to protect them from an evil martial arts organization, The Hand.
The film is presented with almost identical DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. The gap between DTS and well done Dolby Digital appears to get smaller with each new release. I found them to be very comparable. The DTS track does seem to bring out better sub ranges, but there is no real difference beyond that. Dialogue is clear and always well centered. You’ll find a very balanced mix. The music never intrudes upon the subtleties of the action. Surrounds are used to effectively center you in the action at all times. Listen carefully and you’ll be rewarded with excellent attention to the smallest details. I was amazed at the carefully crafted sounds of wind through the branches of trees or the far off sound of water.
Elektra is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The transfer is flawless. You can’t find a speck or blemish from the original print. Compression is handled pretty well. Colors are the star in this film. You’ll find a splendid display of colors from the vivid reds of Elektra’s costume to the misty green explosions of the bad guys. Contrast and detail combine to provide a stunning visual experience. The CG work blends seamlessly. The locations are filmed with views that will quickly sweep you into the story. Blacks are stark. Again detail is impressive. The level change at almost exactly 1 hour into the film is particularly bad and distracting. Why can’t someone pay enough attention to this fact of DVD life and place it in a scene transition?
There are 3 short deleted films. The much anticipated Ben Affleck cameo will disappoint. Another scene is actually a nice alternative scene dealing with her attempting to follow through with the assassination. The third is merely an extension of an existing piece.
“The Making Of Elektra” is exactly all of the things you would expect it to be. Interviews and clips take you behind the scenes. It is extremely short, clocking in at a little over 10 minutes. “Inside The Editing Room” Four key scenes are discussed and explored by Rob Bowman in very short two minute pieces. Jennifer Garner is shown delivering a welcome to the crowd at a comic convention. It’s just a couple of minutes and about the quality of a camcorder. Trailers and ads for I Robot and Fantastic Four are merely promos.
The film had so much potential. Perhaps it was rushed to take advantage of the recent Daredevil DVD and of course Garner’s short hiatus from Alias. Rob Bowman, from X-Files, fame delivers a hint of “what could have been” Even with the sparse script the film compares well with its companion Daredevil piece. The film is definitely worth a rental if you missed it in the theatres. Can a spinoff of a lesser known character be as good as the big budget superhero film that spawned it? “Sometimes it’s better”.