After the moderate success of Daredevil (and the cliffhanger “is she dead!?” ending that it contained), it was only natural Fox would push ahead with a sequel of sorts to the film. Well, more of a spin off really as we ended up with a film focusing on the love interest from Daredevil and simply because there’s no other reason to call the movie anything else the film was also named after the same character. And thus we got Elektra, perhaps the most disappointing super hero movie in recent memory, as it was not only horribly executed and poorly acted but it was also just downright embarrassing to watch as well.
Elektra (Garner) is murdered by a ruthless killer but brought back to life by Stick (Stamp), a blind martial arts master. Stick trains Elektra in the martial art of Kimagure, whose practitioners can control the flow of life and death and live to destroy the evil organization called The Hand. After several years of intense training, she becomes a hired assassin. Upon receiving a contract for $2 million to kill Mark Miller (Visnjic) and his daughter Abby (Prout) Elektra must make a choice between good or evil in carrying out her deadly mission.
The real kick to the proverbial fan boy nuts was this filmy eventually saw a director’s cut release like Daredevil…but unlike Daredevil, it really changed absolutely nothing about the film. They spliced in the Ben Affleck cameo but at that point it was just too late; the film still blew for no other reason than its plot was convoluted and too full of magic and sorcery to be taken seriously. Granted the Marvel universe is full of the aforementioned things, but in Elektra it just felt like a superfluous addition; there’s a reason the Iron Man movies haven’t looked into the magical portion of his mythos and it’s because it just doesn’t work in film for the most part.
But even with the magic and plot issues aside, that wasn’t Elektra’s only flaw. No, the acting was pretty horrible too, with an overly hammy performance by nearly all involved (Terrance Stamp, please stop ruining comic book adaptations!) with just about the only redeemable scene being the Matt Murdock sequence, even if it wasn’t entirely (or at all) believable. It probably didn’t help I went to the theater to watch this mess, but man was it ever disappointing. I should’ve known that going in, but there’s just something about the advertising and artwork released for the film that just looked moderately entertaining. Of course they didn’t even put Garner in the requisite red outfit until the last part of the movie which involved an annoying as hell garden maze sequence. I mean seriously, who has one of those?
I honestly hadn’t seen this film since it originally hit DVD, so watching it again after all of these years brought a flood of renewed hatred. It’s remarkable how frequently Fox squandered its Marvel productions, almost always driving them into the ground to the point of ad nauseum (I still haven’t forgiven them for ruining X-Men), but in the end they all seemed to make enough money to warrant continuing on with the mediocrity (although not in Elektra’s case, as it really didn’t make all that much at the box office).
While the integration of the CGI effects for The Hand’s mystic powers was admittedly entertaining at times, it looks incredibly dated now and the film is only five years old. Granted that’s a budget issue, but it’s just another factor in showing that this film hasn’t aged well. No one really wants to talk about it anymore and Jennifer Garner has even admitted to not liking the movie at all, so it’s pretty clear that this is a true stinker in every sense of the word. If you haven’t seen it by now then congratulations because even on Blu-ray you can safely Skip It without worrying about missing something.
Fox puts Elektra out on Blu-ray in a standard single disc Elite Blu-ray case. It’s a very simple package with only the most basic of inserts and nothing else. The cover art is even replicated from the previously released DVD edition of the director’s cut, so while it’s better than the theatrical poster, it still blows. Just like the film! I’m seeing a pattern…
Continuing the pattern is the AVC encoded 1080p transfer. I know what you’re thinking: “But this is Blu-ray! And the films only five years old! How does it suck?” Well I don’t have the exact reasons for how they made it suck, but I can tell you why it sucks and it’s really for the same reasons that the DVD transfer from the director’s cut release suck: lack of detail. While there is a lot less edge enhancement this time around, the film itself still looks incredibly bad. Color levels are a little wonky and notably the night sequences (of which the film is almost entirely comprised of) look really bad with crushed blacks taking out any kind of detail or shadow work. It’s a really embarrassing transfer and unless you absolutely want to see Garner in that red outfit (which admittedly is probably one of the better looking sequences in this film, as the detail level is quite high and the lighting is bright enough that we don’t lose anything to the black abyss), you really have no reason to bother checking it out.
Audio is probably the only high point on this release, as the DTS-HD 5.1 MA track does thrust the audio mix at you from all directions. Strong LFE output and a solid surround sound mix accompanies the majority of the film; as much as I hate the idea of a garden maze, the sound mix for it was really well done with a lot of surround and environmental effects being employed. I don’t know if I ever watched the original DVD release in surround or not, but it was admittedly pretty darn nice sounding here.
Extras are all copy and pasted from the previous DVD release and include:
•Commentary by Director Rob Bowman and Film Editor Kevin Stitt
•Relentless: The Making of Elektra – Part 1: Production
•Relentless: The Making of Elektra – Part 2: Post-Production
•Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Rob Bowman & Film Editor Kevin Stitt
•Alternate and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Rob Bowman
•Showdown at the Well: Multi Angle Dailies
Overall nothing here to see that you haven’t before as the A/V presentation is really lacking. As nice as the audio is it just isn’t worth the effort and cash to check out. Like the film you can Skip this one.
Elektra: Director’s Cut is now available on Blu-ray.