Remember Daredevil? It’s one of those pretty bad Marvel movies that came out in the early 2000s but kinda disappeared from our collective subconscious until Ben Affleck was cast as Batman. It’s not a great movie: it has bad CG, too many over-the-top performances and there’s a soundtrack of some pretty awful 2000s rock. It featured songs from bands like Nickelback, Saliva, Fuel and, probably one of my most hated songs ever, Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life.” Still, the film had some redeeming factors: Michael Clarke Duncan was a great Kingpin and the film legitimately has some amazing sound editing (and, to be honest, the Director’s Cut isn’t half bad). However, there is still one thing this film did very badly—it spawned a spin-off for Elektra. It’s time for another edition of Was it THAT Bad? and this time I’ve got Elektra in my sights.
The basic story with Elektra is that she overcomes being flat-out murdered in Daredevil and now she spends her time as a hired assassin. One day she gets a job to off a man and his daughter but she just can’t bring herself to do it. She quits the job but soon learns that the mysterious organization called The Hand will complete what she refused to accomplish. Now she finds herself protecting those who she was, not long ago, about to kill.
So, was it THAT bad?
Short answer: Yes.
There are only a few things that really kill the movie of Elektra and they stem entirely from the story. Sure, the fight scenes aren’t super memorable, the musical cues are fairly odd and the characters all have a sense of being slightly emo (there’s a lot of guy-liner on some of these dudes). But the film has some rich color to it and the acting isn’t really that bad—Jennifer Garner as the titular Elektra is actually quite decent in her performance. Hell, it’s even pretty easy to overlook that they adapt some of the characters from the comic books in unimaginative ways but what really harms this film and truly makes it that bad is the fact Elektra is super boring.
The story is poorly developed and the characters are very one-dimensional but even these elements shine when compared to how the plot barely putts along. The pace is so slow and lethargic that the ridiculous amount of musical montages in the first act almost seem like they were placed there in order to give the film at least some semblance of action and movement. Beyond that, the film is just shuffling along like it has no real destination in mind. And when you consider how this film really doesn’t want to develop on anything you see (the characters, the conflict, the organizations and mysticism shown), the whole film ends up feeling like this was made for reasons beyond crafting something for entertainment purposes and more out of legal reasons to ensure ownership of intellectual rights. In fact, contracts are the only reason we even have Garner reprising the role in the first place because she is on the record saying that this film stinks and she only did it because her contract for Daredevil required her to be in this.
Yeah, Elektra was truly THAT bad. While it’s not bad in the sense that the special effects look terrible (they’re not super great but definitely not horrendous) or the acting is cringe-worthy or the technical aspects of the film is much less than to be desired (although there are too many montages and those very odd musical choices kinda/sorta feel like comedy cues). It isn’t because, overall, the film isn’t put together terribly. The problem is that the movie is just dreadfully boring and contains a completely uninteresting story in pretty much every sense.