When the Daredevil movie came out I wanted to howl and throw things and literally jump out of my seat and slash the screen in the theater to ribbons. After a string of kick-ass comic adaptations Hollywood majorly fucked up. It’s interesting to note that Marvel seems to have particular trouble adapting their more morally ambiguous characters like Daredevil, The Punisher -- and, now, Elektra – for multiplex consumption.
Both Daredevil and Elektra helped a young Frank Miller cut his teeth before moving on to a complete rewrite of Batman in The Dark Knight Returns and, later, the excellent Sin City series. These were dark people fighting interior demons while acting out in ways that were less than super-heroic. I especially enjoyed the Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated Elektra: Assassin graphic novel that helped unfold the background of her childhood and helped explain why she was such a nutcase.
As soon as I heard they were actually going to do an Elektra flick and treat it as a spin-off of the terribly Daredevil movie by insisting on using the incredibly miscast white-bread goody two-shoes Jennifer Garner¹ I could only think one thing:
At least it can’t be worse than Catwoman, right?²
Well, apparently it isn’t worse than Catwoman, but it is pretty bad. Michael Wilmington is the critic for The Chicago Tribune and his review went live this morning and I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed one of his reviews more fully.³ I submit a few of his more prime observations for your perusal.
"Daredevil," the 2003 film epic on Marvel's man without fear--and the picture that introduced Jennifer Garner's kick-butt heroine to the screen--seemed to me the weakest of all Marvel entries to date. But "Elektra" makes "Daredevil" look good.
Misdirected by Rob Bowman ("The X-Files"), miswritten by Zak Penn and the team of Stuart Zicherman and Raven Metzner, and mostly over-acted by a cast of game but unfortunate talents, headed by the striking Garner ("Alias"), this is a picture that seems to serve no useful purpose other than as a marketing tool for action toys and a classic demonstration of how not to make a movie.
Viewed in that light, though, the frenetic, flashy, absolutely empty "Elektra" is impressive. It's a catastrophe that keeps growing as we watch Elektra scowling at the world and beaming at little Abby, surrounded by queer billowing windstorms that wheeze up whenever the indoor action or slaughter commences or stripping down to her red siren outfits when faced with the villains. The Hand is a colorful but singularly unappealing lot: effete team-leader Kirigi (Will Yun Lee), ink-covered Tattoo (Chris Ackerman), the behemoth Mr. T and Rock knockoff Stone (Bob Sapp), agile Kinkou (Edson T. Ribeiro) and psycho-femme Typhoid (Natassia Malthe), who tries to soul-kiss Elektra to death. (full review)
Well said Mike, well said. Maybe next time you cut in front of me at the concession stand to get more ice for your "drink" I’ll be more apt to forgive you. Your review earned you one free pass.
¹I do find it interesting that Garner is fegning an injury at the exact same time she should be out shilling for this film so that leads me to believe that even she knows it was a mistake to accept this aprticular paycheck.
²For the record, no, I haven’t seen Catwoman and it is one of the few movies I actually never ever want to see. I mean, I enjoy watching disastrously awful films and I even sat through The Chronicles Of Riddick a few weeks ago, but I consider Catwoman to be in a league of its own by being so awful it’s not even funny.
³This is especially impressive when you consider that Wilmington really annoys me and has ever since I saw him conduct a public discussion with Studs Terkel about Kurosawa and he jabbered on and on and on and actually had the audacity to cut Terkel off once or twice.
Hmmm...not a nerd? I must be a geek then.
...and since I'm in a quizzical mood...
Take What kind of Rockit Girl are you? today!
You're as fiery a girl as they come, born to lead and bred for persistence. Tried and true, you will take life's lemons and make molotov-cocktail-flavored songs out of them! Funny, razor sharp, and a bit of a dictator, you hope to lead your bandmates to the promise land. You love The Beatles, Motley Crue, and secretly dance to Britney Spears songs while nobody's watching.