Elektra is better than Batman Begins

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 9:12 pm Comments (7)

Mind Over Matter is up on Random Action Hour.

Thursday night is movie night, and I decided to watch Elektra. I didn’t really put much thought into the decision.

Elektra’s some kind of ultra deadly assassin who everyone knows about and there’s all kinds of legends about her… and then that angle is dropped after the first fifteen minutes so she can start protecting a family she was ordered to kill, as apparently they’re the target of the Hand, a gang of evil demon ninjas, or something. Apparently the girl of the family is some kind of super prodigy who’s the answer to a war between good and evil that’s been raging for a long time, or something, but nothing’s ever explained well and the movie’s so slow-paced that I’m surprised I actually remembered that much.

The movie is slow. It’s not long, running up at only an hour and a half long, but gahd, to say it is slow and meandering would be an insult to slow and meandering things. The 2003 Hulk movie was slow, but it at least kept action going for a fair pace just to jolt a bit of life in it once every five hours (at least, that’s what I remember. It’s been a long time since I watched it!). Elektra is just slooooow. It tries to create the heroine as a tragic figure whose life is made miserable by her days of being a contracted assassin, but is turned around by her almost maternal relationship with the prodigy girl, but personally, it was just boring. There’s lots of moments where it looks like it’s trying to show just cute this relationship is, but for at least three quarters of the film I was bored out of my wits. Maybe if the film had just been about a generic spy/assassin lady and not a licensed superhero film this sort of glacial pacing would’ve been a little more acceptable, but I chose the movie under the misguided belief that it would be like Daredevil 2 – same basic style, same basic pacing, same basic entertainment. It’s more or less the exact opposite.


It’s a shame, because it has a guy whose animal tattoos come alive.

Seriously! Elektra herself has no personality and her costume is ridiculous (I was really hoping she would just stick with casual wear for the final battle, but sadly not), the plucky teenage sidekick is a royal bore, and the plot is dawdling and uninteresting. And then halfway through we’re introduced to the villains of the show, a group of mystical dudes with gimmick powers and they are pretty freakin’ badass, man. Tattoo has tattoos that come alive! Stone is a guy made of stone! Typhoid makes– well, they’re all pretty self-explanatory. The point is, while the story is as interesting as a brick wall, the villains are cool and would steal the show if they actually had more than twenty minutes of combined screen time. I chose to watch this movie solely because, while skipping through it, I saw the scene where two spirit wolves burst out of Tattoo’s chest. The movie should’ve just been about him. In fact, why hasn’t anyone made Tattoo Assassins into a movie yet? That would be badass.

Daredevil worked because while the protagonist wasn’t exactly portrayed terribly consistently (see the January 14th 2010 blog entry!), there was lots of entertaining character interaction, decent action and an overall engaging atmosphere. Elektra isn’t bad, but I won’t deny it was a slog to sit through. It’s got the makings of a decent film, but it places all its emphasis on drama and has a serious lack of action, which is what one generally expects from a superhero flick. My dad believes if it threw in twenty more minutes of action then it would’ve left a better impression, but I don’t know. Some of the fight scenes were nice, the highlight being the forest scene with Stone, Tattoo and that acrobatic guy, but others, most notably the final showdown, just seemed… wasteful. Like Batman Begins, they made it so you just couldn’t really keep track of anything, both because of rapid-fire camera cuts and how the main villain can freakin’ teleport around the place.

Also I’d just like to say that the manner in which the villain is defeated was a hell of a letdown. I was expecting a letdown, but the letdown I got was of catastrophic proportions.

I guess I’m glad I saw it, just so I can finally see why everyone’s so negative about it and also to make Daredevil seem so much better by comparison, but I also feel I could’ve made better use of those ninety minutes. I still haven’t watched Theodore Rex!

P.S. Elektra is meant to be Greek? Jeez, you’d hardly tell. I just thought the Greek lettering for the title and credits was just the director being unnecessarily stylish.

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7 Responses to “Elektra is better than Batman Begins”

  • Wes says:


    Man, Elektra. So goddamned awful, and after the character’s role in DD made me fall in love with Jennifer Garner. She’s like a sexy piece of stretched taffy, that one. I’d like to watch her in Alias, but I know I’d really be watching to see Amy Acker in the final season. Sign me up for those AA meetings, yessir…

    Elektra’s costume totally worked for me, though. Only thing about the movie that did.

  • Ragey says:

    Hahaha, I knew that title would get your attention =P

    It’s been a few months since I saw Daredevil so I can’t -quite- remember what Elektra was like in it, but I’m pretty sure she at least had some personality, right? That’s one of my main beefs with the Elektra movie: the whole thing is just so humourless.

    I mean, Daredevil was about the deaths of his and Elek’s fathers and there’s all kinds of gangster activity going on, but it didn’t bog itself down with them being depressed and soiling the atmosphere of the whole movie. I guess it’s only natural for the Elektra movie to be deadly serious when the only human contact she has are with the family she’s protecting, her mentor and the dudes trying to kill her, and you could say that that’s the point, it’s trying to convey just how lonely and depressing her assassin occupation is. I just say it wouldn’t have hurt to lighten things up once in a while.

    Regarding the costume, I think it could’ve worked if she wore the cap/headband thing, but without it she just looked like she was running around in her pyjamas. Sexy pyjamas, mind you, but pyjamas none the less.

  • MightyKombat says:

    I really don’t know much about DD and Elektra other than DD is blind and a lawyer when he’s not fighting baddies. Plus there was a pretty cool cover of him with a gun once but I can’t remember it that good for the life of me

  • Wes says:

    Sexy pajamas work for me — like there was any other reason I was watching the movie! And I don’t think Elektra had all that much personality in DD either. I’m pretty sure she just showed up, did some sexy things, and then got killed.

    And then somehow came back to life to star in her own horrible sexy movie.

  • MightyKombat says:

    Now Ragey needs to check out those Spiderman and X-Men movies. Personally, I didn’t mind them that much.

    The second Spidey film spawned one of the best license-based games of all time, after all

  • Ragey says:

    It sounds like Daredevil #184 is what you’re thinking of, Mighty. It’s a cool cover, but I don’t think it’d have the same impact if Ben Affleck’s face was involved.

    A few years ago I was big on watching every superhero movie I could get my hands on, though I seemed to watch everything BUT Spidey and X-Men. I watched Spider-Man 2 a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, though I’d like to see the series from the start. I caught X-Men in the cinema when it came out, though I haven’t seen it since and thus can’t remember anything other than Storm’s ridiculous “do you know what happens to a toad when…” line.

    That reminds me that I still haven’t seen the new Punisher movie. I hear it’s terrible!

  • MightyKombat says:

    Funny, I can’t remember much in teh first X-Men movie except Ian McKellen’s hair, it looks pretty cool.

    Also there’s that old CAptain America film that That Guy With The Glasses reviewed a time ago.

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