Elektra (2005 film)
Elektra is a 2005 Canadian-American superhero film directed by Rob Bowman. It is a spin-off from the 2003 film Daredevil, starring the Marvel Comics character Elektra Natchios (portrayed by Jennifer Garner). The story follows Elektra, an assassin who must protect a man and his prodigy daughter from another assassin who was hired by The Hand.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rob Bowman|
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Edited by||Kevin Stitt|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
100 minutes (Director's Cut)
|Box office||$56.7 million|
For the screenplay, Zak Penn, Stuart Zicherman, and Raven Metzner received "written by" credit. Mark Steven Johnson received credit for "motion picture characters" and Frank Miller for "comic book characters". Filming started around May 2004 in Vancouver.
The film was released on January 14, 2005. Upon its release, Elektra was a commercial and critical failure, grossing $56 million against a production budget of $43-65 million. It received negative reviews from critics, who found the script and storyline lacking, but many praised Garner's acting as well as the action sequences.
After being killed in Daredevil, Elektra Natchios is revived by blind martial arts master Stick. He teaches her the ancient art of Kimagure, which provides its practitioners with precognition as well as the ability to resurrect the dead. Elektra is expelled from the training compound because of her inability to let go of her rage and fear from seeing her mother's killer as a child. She leaves and uses her training to become a contract killer.
Years later, Elektra infiltrates a heavily guarded area and succeeds in slaying her target, DeMarco. McCabe, Elektra's agent, receives an unusually large offer from an anonymous client wishing to hire Elektra. The only stipulation; she must spend a few days in a rented home on the island where the assassination is to be performed before the names of the targets are revealed. During the wait, Elektra catches a girl named Abby trying to steal her mother's necklace. She sends her away, and later meets and befriends her father, Mark Miller. Abby later invites Elektra to dinner on Mark's behalf. Elektra develops a romantic interest in Mark, but soon learns that he and Abby are the targets she has been hired to kill. Elektra spares them and leaves, but later returns in time to protect them from assassins sent by The Hand, a crime syndicate of ninja mercenaries.
Roshi, master of The Hand, learns of the failed attempt and permits his son Kirigi to lead a new team of assassins to kill Elektra and return with Abby, referred to as "The Treasure". Elektra tries to leave Abby and Mark with Stick, but he scolds her and tells her to protect them herself. She takes Mark and Abby to McCabe's country house, but is followed by Kirigi, Typhoid, Stone, Kinkou, and Tattoo. Elektra flees with Mark and Abby through a secret underground exit to an orchard, while McCabe sacrifices himself to buy them time.
Kirigi and the assassins hunt down the trio in the orchard. Elektra manages to kill Stone, while Abby and Mark kill Kinkou with one of his own daggers. As Elektra is distracted by the revelation that Abby has martial arts skills, Typhoid gives Elektra the "Kiss of Death". Abby is captured by Kirigi. Suddenly, Stick and his Chaste ninjas arrive, forcing Kirigi, Typhoid, and Tattoo to retreat. Stick manages to save Elektra from death and takes them under his protection.
Stick confirms that Abby is the "Treasure", a martial arts prodigy, whom the Hand seek to use. Elektra learns that she was a Treasure herself, resulting in her mother becoming a casualty of the fight between The Chaste and The Hand. She also guesses that Stick set up the hit on Mark and Abby in order to test Elektra's propensity for compassion.
Elektra astrally projects herself to a meeting with Kirigi and challenges him to a fight; the winner claiming Abby for their own purpose. Elektra returns to her childhood home to face Kirigi, and finally realizes that the horned demon who killed her mother was actually Kirigi.
Elektra is at first defeated by Kirigi, but Abby arrives and engages him long enough for Elektra to recuperate. Elektra and Abby then escape and hide in a hedge maze, but are separated when Abby is captured by snakes dispatched by Tattoo. Elektra finds Tattoo and snaps his neck, releasing Abby. Elektra engages Kirigi a second time and manages to kill him. Typhoid poisons and kills Abby, before Elektra throws her sai at Typhoid, killing her. Elektra desperately tries to wake Abby, then calms herself, lets go all of her rage, and successfully resurrects her using Kimagure.
Elektra gets ready to leave and she and Mark share one final kiss. Elektra tells Abby to live a normal life and that they each gave each other's life back. Elektra leaves, hoping that Abby won't grow up to be like her. Stick appears and points out that Elektra didn't turn out so bad. Elektra bows to Stick to thank him to which he bows to Elektra, then disappears.
- Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios
- Laura Ward as Young Elektra
- Terence Stamp as Stick
- Goran Višnjić as Mark Miller
- Kirsten Prout as Abby Miller
- Will Yun Lee as Kirigi
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Roshi
- Colin Cunningham as McCabe
- Hiro Kanagawa as Meizumi
- Natassia Malthe as Typhoid
- Bob Sapp as Stone
- Chris Ackerman as Tattoo
- Edison T. Ribeiro as Kinkou
- Jana Mitsoula as Elektra's Mother
- Kurt Max Runte as Nikolas Natchios
- Jason Isaacs as DeMarco (uncredited)
The film was made during Jennifer Garner's hiatus from the television show Alias, and production was limited by that timeframe. Garner reportedly did not want to do the film and only did it because she was legally required due to contractual obligations from Daredevil.
Rob Bowman stated that the film was "literally 12 frames of film from an R-rating" due to MPAA objections to several death scenes.
In March 2005 producer Avid Arid told investors that Marvel had made a mistake rushing Elektra into release. "We will never do that again," he said.
Elektra opened on January 14, 2005 in the United States in 3,204 theatres. In its opening weekend, it ranked fifth, taking $12,804,793. In its second weekend, it took $3,964,598, a drop of 69%. Domestically the total gross was $24,409,722, at the time the lowest for a film featuring a Marvel Comics character since Howard the Duck. The film had a worldwide total of $56,681,566.
The film received largely negative reviews from film critics. Based on 164 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes the film has a score of 10%, with an average rating of 3.82/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Jennifer Garner inhabits her role with earnest gusto, but Elektra's tone-deaf script is too self-serious and bereft of intelligent dialogue to provide engaging thrills." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B on scale of A to F.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 1.5 stars out of a possible 4. He writes: "Plays like a collision between leftover bits and pieces of Marvel superhero stories. It can't decide what tone to strike."  Helen O'Hara at Empire magazine gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, and says "Despite oozing star quality, Garner struggles to rise above the limitations of the script." Brian Lowry of Variety writes: "Elektra” proves no more than fitfully satisfying, a character-driven superhero yarn whose flurry of last-minute rewriting shows in a disjointed plot." Claudia Puig of USA Today writes "Her (Garner) grace and mystical abilities make for a lonely burden, and we are supposed to feel her pain. Instead, we feel our own for having to sit through this silly movie." Puig concluded that Garner "is far more appealing when she's playing charming and adorable, as she did so winningly in 13 Going on 30. Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader writes: "This doesn't exactly set the world on fire, but I was charmed by its old-fashioned storytelling, which is refreshingly free of archness, self-consciousness, or "Kill Bill"-style wisecracks."
Film critic Scot Mendelson blamed the film for ruining Jennifer Garner's career, and said it killed off the notion of a female lead superhero movie for a decade. In an email released because of the Sony Pictures hack, Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter cited Elektra as an example of an unprofitable female led superhero film. He wrote: "Very bad idea and the end result was very, very bad."
In 2016 Katharine Trendacosta at io9 reviewed the film and called it "Somehow So Much Worse Than You Remember" and said that the version of Elektra in Netflix's Daredevil could only be an improvement.
The DVD of Elektra was released on April 5, 2005. It featured several deleted scenes, including one featuring Ben Affleck reprising his role from Elektra's predecessor, Daredevil (2003). It was released on VHS on May 2005.
An extended and slightly refined two-disc unrated director's cut DVD was released in October 2005, featuring a cut detailed for home video release. Unlike the Daredevil director's cut which added about thirty minutes of material not in the original theatrical release, this version only changed about seven minutes of footage, extending the total runtime by just three minutes. It was also criticized for poor video transfer.
A Blu-ray of Elektra was released on October 19, 2009 for the United Kingdom (and France) only. The US version was released on May 4, 2010. It contains only the unrated director's cut of the film.
|Elektra: The Album|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||January 11, 2005|
|Marvel Comics film series soundtrack chronology|
Elektra: The Album was released in 2005 by Wind-up Records. As with many Wind-up soundtracks, almost none of the songs featured on the album were actually used in the film. "Sooner or Later" is played briefly in one scene and a remix not included on this album of "Hollow" is also played. The end credits feature "Wonder", "Photograph", and "Thousand Mile Wish (Elektra Mix)": but other than this, none of the songs on the album were used in the actual motion picture. A score album was released by Varèse Sarabande containing selections of Christophe Beck's original music from the film.
|1.||"Never There (She Stabs)"||Strata||3:44|
|3.||"Everyone is Wrong"||The Donnas||3:28|
|4.||"Sooner or Later"||Switchfoot||4:09|
|5.||"Thousand Mile Wish (Elektra Mix)"||Finger Eleven||4:00|
|7.||"Your Own Disaster"||Taking Back Sunday||5:42|
|8.||"Breathe No More"||Evanescence||3:48|
|10.||"Save Me"||Alter Bridge||3:27|
|13.||"Angels With Even Filthier Souls"||Hawthorne Heights||2:55|
|14.||"5 Years"||The Twenty Twos||3:52|
|15.||"In the Light"||Full Blown Rose||4:13|
Elektra was also supposed to have a video game based on the movie with support from the comics. The game was never released, as publishers felt it would not be popular enough. A game based on the film was released for mobile.
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