Legal Vampire Reply to on 30 January 2013
|Although this enjoyable and underrated film is meant as a sequel to Daredevil - Single Disc Edition  [DVD] it stands up well on its own. It is not necessary to see the previous film to appreciate this one.
`Elektra' is a self-contained story, although it begins with the character disturbed by previous events and working as an assassin. The story of this film is of how she recovers her human warmth and morality, but with several action scenes at which Jennifer Garner playing Elektra excels, doing many of her own stunts.
It is also unnecessary to have read the original Marvel comic books, from which the character derives, to like this film. If you want background about those there is an informative DVD special feature with many pictures from the Daredevil and Elektra comics (showing Elektra in more brazenly revealing costumes than in the film) and interviews with several of the people who created them about what they were trying to achieve.
Superhero stories of course do not attempt strict realism and the characters' strange names and costumes make it all a little weird. Here the strangeness of all that is muted because Elektra spends most of the film `undercover' in an assumed normal identity. Only at the beginning and end does she dramatically reveal her striking flame red costume.
Jennifer Garner has become particularly known for action roles (see Alias: Complete Season 1 [DVD], of which the Seasons 1 & 2 are the best) but I hope she will not become typecast only for jumping about and kicking bad guys. She is a very good actress for other kinds of parts as well (see Juno [DVD] ).
Ms Garner was the best thing in the original Daredevil film (in which her husband Ben Affleck starred). The scene in that original film in which Daredevil, a blind superhero who relies on enhanced senses other than sight finally `sees' a picture of Elektra's face, from the sound pattern made by rain drops falling on her, was especially striking.
Ben Affleck and the Daredevil character do not appear in this sequel, except a brief, unmemorable `deleted scene' as a DVD `extra'. I do not really miss them as, while the idea of a blind superhero is an interesting one, Jennifer Garner is frankly a livelier and more charismatic screen presence than her husband .
A small annoyance in this film is the `Stick' character, a master of martial arts played by Terence Stamp, who does little but say earnest and clichéd things like "You may study the Way for many years but still you do not understand the Way"
Kirsten Prout is good as the child Elektra ends up protecting.
Overall a good and under appreciated film, especially due to Jennifer Garner.