Ah, another under-powered film featuring an obscure female comic book character. Mr. Hollywood, you spoil us! After the trash rush of last year? CATWOMAN it? time for that long-awaited (??) spin-off from the dreary DAREDEVIL to make its way onto DVD, apparently mere weeks after it wandered onto the multiplex before quickly wandering off again, unwatched and unloved.

It? hard to know what they were thinking of when they decided that Elektra Nachios (snigger), a barely-interesting character from the turgid DAREDEVIL, deserved her own film. Maybe it was the read leathers – and Goddamit she hardly wears them here, so why bother? The signs weren? good when Rob Bowman was assigned as director – this is the man, remember, who managed to make a film about dragons devastating the world (REIGN OF FIRE) boring a couple of years ago. He fares little better here, although he? admittedly hampered by a dreary script and some rather dull, lifeless performances.

Elektra died at the end of DAREDEVIL, you may recall – but Hollywood suits never let death stand in the way of a bad idea and the character is resurrected via some mystical mumbo-jumbo at the beginning of ELEKTRA and before long she? become a scary kick-ass assassin-for-hire. To protect her anonymity (not really difficult, the film is full of extremely anonymous stereotypes) Elektra adopts an itinerant existence, travelling from assignment to assignment. Holed up in a nice lakeside house she becomes chum with her neighbour mark (Visnjic) and his petulant 13 year-old daughter Abby. Imagine our heroine? surprise when she? informed that they?e her next target! What? a girl to do?? She decides that Mark and Abby are worth protecting and she goes on the run with them – followed by the supernatural assassins of the Order of the Hand, the secret cabal which has been employing her.

ELEKTRA isn? an especially bad movie it? just a rather dour, dull one. Technically it stands up well – there are some good action set pieces and the direction is competent enough. The problem is that the film is thoroughly unengaging. Elektra isn? likable enough to elicit the audience? sympathies, Abby? a bit of a brat and her father? a bit of a wimp. There? practically no humour – and films like this need doses of humour to off-set the essential ludicrousness of it all – and the story is too simplistic and predictable to be at all engrossing. Interest perks up a bit when some of the supernatural baddies appear – particularly Typhoid Mary (Natassia Malthe) and Tattoo (Chris Ackerman) – and there? some sign of dramatic invention during their tussles with the big E. Garner herself is sleep-walking through the film and she only comes alive in the last reel when she finally dons that eye-catching costume again.

Fans of less highly-regard comics may find some thrills here but for those of us whose comic education ended in the mid-1970s this is about as pointless a movie as you could care to imagine.

THE DISC: Decent transfer for a potentially grey and grainy movie and a thumping soundtrack (full of the usual grating grunge rock) and not much of interest in the features which consist of a few deleted scenes, a standard ?aking of?and, best of the lot, a feature entitled ?lektra Incarnations.?n]]>

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