Cast: Jennifer Garner, Terence Stamp, Will Yun Lee, Jason Isaacs, Goran Visnjic
Studio: Fox
Rating: 4/10

CORPORATE LINE: Jennifer Garner stars in the title role as a strong, mysterious and sexy action heroine – a lethal synthesis of grace and power. Not long after recovering from seemingly mortal wounds, Elektra has severed all ties with the world, living only for her next assignment. But in an unexpected turn of events, she is forced to make a decision that can take her life in a new direction – or destroy her.

Key players in Elektra’s journey are Stick, a blind martial arts master responsible for Elektra’s “resurrection,” and Mark Miller and Abby Miller, a father and daughter on the run from The Hand, a powerful syndicate whose members practice the dark martial art of ninjitsu.

After Jennifer Garner made a brief, tantalizing appearance as Elektra in the 2003 Fox / Regency picture “Daredevil,” executives at both companies were eager to have Garner reprise the role, but this time in her own motion picture.

Garner trained long and hard to do justice to the character portrayed in the famed Marvel comics: a warrior without limits. Already physically fit and skilled in various fighting techniques from her work on the television series “Alias,” Garner took her martial arts training to a new level under the guidance of ELEKTRA’s Stunt Coordinators and Fighting Choreographers. A bonus for Garner – and the comic’s multitude of fans – was that this time Elektra would don a red costume that stays true to the colors worn by the character in the Marvel stories.

THE GOOD: Because Elektra is based on a comic book the characters are extremely cool. They would have been more entertaining had we been introduced to them earlier and spent more time with them. A movie about the Hand and the gang of misfits would have been more exciting than Elektra.

THE BAD: Elektra is senseless. The plot is awful and terribly obvious in its two pronged approach to make Elektra join the good side while opening the door for a future for a franchise.

The most aggravating is the way the Hand is introduced as utterly indestructible and yet of course Elektra finds a way to take them out one by one. It doesn’t add up. If it were any more illogical I’d have walked out. Actually, I’m not sure if I could get any less logical.

Director Rob Bowman mismanages the characters, the pacing, and the overall development of the film. Bowman obviously took his job seriously because there is no sense of humor to Elektra—not an ounce—and that makes it all the worse as this is seriously bad. Jennifer Garner wasn’t offered a meaty role and it seems that has more to do with her inability to connect with the character. Goran Visnjic is stiff and out of his element as the love interest.

FRANKLY: Elektra oozes cool—too bad it’s at the expense of being interesting. If you go to see Elektra and don’t know this is a spin-off from Daredevil you would never know as they make no mention of it. Elektra isn’t as bad as Catwoman—but its close.

+ Charlie Craine

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