Insomnia File #41: Elektra (dir by Rob Bowman)

What’s an Insomnia File? You know how some times you just can’t get any sleep and, at about three in the morning, you’ll find yourself watching whatever you can find on cable? This feature is all about those insomnia-inspired discoveries!

If, around 2 in the morning on Saturday, you were having trouble getting to sleep, you could have turned over to Cinemax and watched the 2005 film, Elektra.

Elektra (Jennifer Garner) used to be dead but now she’s alive again.  She was killed during the 2003 film, Daredevil, but, two years later, she was resurrected by a blind martial artist named Stick (Terence Stamp).  Stick taught her how to not only fight but also how see into the future, which I guess is helpful if you have to decide whether or not to throw one of those little knife things at someone.  (As you can tell, I’m definitely the expert when it comes to martial arts and ninja assassins.)

Elektra uses her training to become the world’s most deadly assassin, which is probably not what Stick had intended but what’s he gong to do, right?  However, when Elektra is ordered to kill a totally hot guy and his 13 year-old daughter, she starts to have doubts about whether or not being a murderer-for-hire is really for her.  And can you blame her?  Not only do you not get to make many friends but I imagine that you’re also constantly having to buy new arrows for your crossbow and that has to get expensive at some point.

So, Elektra decides not to kill the hot guy or his daughter but it tuns out that an evil group of ninjas called The Hand are determined to kill the guy anyway and apparently his daughter is perhaps destined to maintain the balance between the forces of good and evil.  (Don’t ask me, I didn’t write the script.)  Elektra has to take it upon herself to defeat the Hand and hopefully ensure that the hot guy’s daughter gets to enjoy her adolescence without having to worry about balancing killing people with school work.

Elektra was released with a lot of fanfare back in 2005.  It didn’t do particularly well at the box office, which apparently led to Marvel getting into their head that no one would pay money to see a comic book film with a female hero.  (This belief was disproven 12 years later, with Wonder Woman.)  Today, in the wake of the MCU and whatever DC calls their cinematic universe, Elektra feels almost like a relic.  It’s a film that lacks of the self-awareness of the later comic book films but it also never matches them in their scope or their ability to make us feel as if we’ve entered into a separate, fully functioning universe.  Elektra is from the age when comic book movie didn’t want to admit that they were comic book movies.

It’s a silly film but, at the same time, it can be kind of fun if you’re in a particularly undemanding mood.  Watching it last night, I was shocked to be reminded of the fact that there was a time when Jennifer Garner actually kicked serious ass.  The fight scenes are fun to watch, mostly because it’s a woman who gets to beat everyone up.  The dialogue is fun to listen to because it’s all so terribly written.  (All of the bad guys refer to the title character as being, “the female, Elektra!,” as if it was felt that there was some sort of danger of the audience forgetting who the star of the film was.)  It’s an enjoyably dumb movie, which makes it perfect for insomnia-fueled viewing.

Previous Insomnia Files:

  1. Story of Mankind
  2. Stag
  3. Love Is A Gun
  4. Nina Takes A Lover
  5. Black Ice
  6. Frogs For Snakes
  7. Fair Game
  8. From The Hip
  9. Born Killers
  10. Eye For An Eye
  11. Summer Catch
  12. Beyond the Law
  13. Spring Broke
  14. Promise
  15. George Wallace
  16. Kill The Messenger
  17. The Suburbans
  18. Only The Strong
  19. Great Expectations
  20. Casual Sex?
  21. Truth
  22. Insomina
  23. Death Do Us Part
  24. A Star is Born
  25. The Winning Season
  26. Rabbit Run
  27. Remember My Name
  28. The Arrangement
  29. Day of the Animals
  30. Still of The Night
  31. Arsenal
  32. Smooth Talk
  33. The Comedian
  34. The Minus Man
  35. Donnie Brasco
  36. Punchline
  37. Evita
  38. Six: The Mark Unleashed
  39. Disclosure
  40. The Spanish Prisoner

19 responses to “Insomnia File #41: Elektra (dir by Rob Bowman)

  1. Oh my God, I love Jennifer Garner! I have an Electra poster on one of my doors and flew to NYC 12 years ago to see her when she was in Cyrano de Bergerac on B’way. I will have to check Cinemax. She also kicked ass as Sydney Bristow.


  2. Parts of the Trailer look like an old Shaw Brothers movie – which is no bad thing. As I grew up watching the greatest heroine of all, Mrs Peel, I’ve never had trouble with heroines. It looks like a fun movie and the sort of thing I’d have been watching on CineMax at 2 a.m. on a Friday night.


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