Elektra is lucky that Grace watched it with an unprejudiced eye and gave it two stars. After seeing Daredevil, I was ready to preemptively give it no stars for guilt by association. I know, I know, it’s a different director, and Elektra has the massive advantage of lacking Ben Affleck. But it’s written by the same person, and Daredevil really, really sucked. I have never been so retroactively glad that a movie I tried to see in theaters was sold out and I was too lazy to go back while it was still playing.
If I had made it into the theater to see Daredevil back in 2003, I would have discovered that it is an achingly bad movie. It was so bad that Cody and I were downright angry by the time we finished watching it. The dialogue was atrocious, I didn’t care about any of the characters, and it moved so slowly I thought I might die before it ended.
To add insult to injury, the amount of heroine content in this movie is approximately zero. By the time I saw it on DVD recently, I had heard it was bad. But I thought that if it had Jennifer Garner kicking ass, there must some redeeming value. You might be having the same thought right now.
My advice: stop having that thought.
Daredevil finds the beautiful Elektra even more attractive because she can fight him to a draw. Sounds like it could work, right? Respect for a woman as an equal? Unfortunately, that only works when the man in question isn’t one of the shallowest men alive. He’s a mack daddy who uses his disability and pick-up lines to collect phone numbers, and the look on his face when they’re fighting is way more about “Hey, she’s a hottie AND she kicks ass, I definitely need to get some” than it is about deep personal transformation.
I know I’m supposed to believe that he connects with her in a way he’s never connected with anyone before (cue power ballad), but I’ve dated enough shallow guys to know that they don’t just change overnight because they realize you rock.
Elektra served her real purpose in the movie by dying. Only then is Daredevil motivated enough to kill the bad guy. His love for her just doesn’t have enough kick. He needs the fury of revenge. She’s a convenient plot device, the event that moves us to the next chapter in the story. She’s disposable. He doesn’t care enough for her to save her life, but dammit now that she’s dead someone’s going to pay!
While I don’t often get into Movie Versus Comic discussions, check out the description of comic book Elektra from Wikipedia:
She was a love interest of the superhero Daredevil, but her violent nature and mercenary lifestyle divided the two.
Nope, that’ll never work on the big screen. Better kill her off instead.
No stars for you!
This post was originally published on Heroine Content, a feminist and anti-racist movie blog that ran from July 2006 to May 2012.