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PCR # 251  (Vol. 6, No. 2)  This edition is for the week of January 10--16, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

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20th Century Fox     
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Kirsten Prout and Terence Stamp
Directed by: Rob Bowman
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 32 mins

When I first heard that there was going to be a movie featuring the Marvel Comics character Elektra one thought immediately popped into my head: Didn't she die in "Daredevil?" Well, foolish me. I forgot that where there is a will in Hollywood there is a way.

The film begins with a brief history of all things magical. Apparently there are two sides in the world of super heroes. One is called "The Hand." The other is "The Other Hand." No, not really. Anyway, those on the side of "The Hand" can defeat anything. Even death. A little concentration, a little rubbing of the hands like Mr. Miagi in "The Karate Kid" and presto. Goodbye Ben Affleck, hello Jennifer Garner in the title role.

The story concerns our heroine, Elektra (Garner), recently revived by "The Hand" and back under the watchful eye of her instructor, Stick (Stamp). With a great tan and a shock of white hair, Stamp brings to mind an English Jack Palance. Of course, both are comic book movie veterans, Stamp having appeared in "Superman II" and Palance in the first "Batman" film. Elektra is chosen to protect a recently widowed man (Visnjic) and his daughter (Prout). However, things aren't what they appear to be and soon it's Elektra against "The Other Hand." Sorry, I couldn't resist.

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  • Let me say right here I've never read an "Elektra" comic, so I'm not really sure of her origin. In the film "Daredevil" she was presented as a woman bent on revenge after the death of her father. Here she has abandoned the world she knew and appears to be a mercenary for hire, often killing many more people then she was asked to. Garner does the best she can with the material she's given. She's a fine actress but all of the talent in the world can't overcome the very loosely written character she's given. Sadly, that's the problem with everyone concerned. None of the characters are really fleshed out. The villains are very one dimensional. Plus, how many ninjas do you need to cram into one film before it's overkill. Stamp does seem to be having fun recalling his earlier days in a comic book movie. Several times I kept waiting for him to break character and yell, "Kneel before Zod!" On the positive side, the various CGI effects and wire work choreography are well done. And I must say that not since Rafael kicked butt with the rest of the Ninja Turtles has a character wielded a sai the way Garner does!

    If you are a fan of the comic, you may enjoy "Elektra." If not, like me you can look ahead to the opening of "Batman Begins."

    On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Elektra"  Two stars

    This week's movie review of "Elektra" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.