The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Terence Stamp, Goran Visnjic, Will Yun Lee, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Directed by: Rob Bowman
Music by: Christophe Beck
Written by: Zak Penn, Stuart Zicherman, Raven Metzner
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 4, 2010
"Looks can kill."
Restored to life after sustaining mortal wounds in Daredevil, Elektra now lives only for death as the world's most lethal assassin. But her latest assignment will shape her final destiny in the climactic battle between good and evil!
Elektra (Garner) is murdered by a ruthless killer but brought back to life by Stick (Stamp), a blind martial arts master. Stick trains Elektra in the martial art of Kimagure, whose practitioners can control the flow of life and death and live to destroy the evil organization known only as The Hand. After several years of intense training, she leaves her order and becomes a hired assassin. Upon receiving a contract for $2 million to kill Mark Miller (Visnjic) and his daughter Abby (Prout) Elektra finds herself in a quandary regarding carrying out her deadly mission. For reasons she can't explain she opts out, kills the assassins sent in her place and helps Mark and Abby escape. This places her on a collision course with The Hand and the most deadly foes she has ever faced. The outcome will result in a climactic battle between good and evil over possession of The Treasure.
Prior to receiving this for review I had only seen bits and pieces of Elektra on cable. I know that there are many who don't care for Daredevil but I am not among them as I happen to like it. I was hoping that this film which many don't like as well would fall into the same category but unfortunately it doesn't. Its underdeveloped script which includes a paper thin plot and shallow characters left me disinterested in the story. The only thing left in a film like this is the action. There aren't any engaging martial arts duels and the less than intricate slow mo kicks leave little room for amazement. The sword play is respectable and Garner who is very physically fit comes across well. The special effects are reflective of a big budget production and help to enhance the action.
There just wasn't enough substance on Elektra's background for me although I understand that it was a creative decision not to go that route. I disagree with that. There was potential in the super powered bad guys but the majority of them didn't have enough screen time to have any real impact. I also thought that most of them displayed abilities or powers that exceeded Elektra's, which called her defeat of them into question. The final sequence that begins when Elektra returns to the house where her mother died was the cherry on top of a sundae that was already melting. It just got more ridiculous as it went along and the melodramatic ending was mawkish and unnecessary.
This Director's Cut adds 3 minutes to the original's runtime but this being my first full viewing I could elaborate regarding what it adds if anything to the story. It probably wouldn't be accurate to say that I completely disliked Elektra. This is largely due to the presence of Jennifer Garner and it's not just because she is drop dead sexy (although it doesn't hurt). She has proven herself capable of carrying an action oriented role like this and she had no trouble here. I am admittedly a fan which in the end made Elektra a bit more enjoyable than it probably would have been otherwise.
This unrated version contains intense sequences of action and violence, and brief suggestive content.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Elektra comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.9 Mbps.
This is a superb looking high quality Blu-ray offering from Fox. The video has tack like sharpness with a slightly edgy but otherwise pristine quality that is visually engaging. In all but a few instances detail perception is nearly flawless with lucid visual acuity and fine rendering. Colors are deeply saturated with wide variable textures and eye catching quality that is accentuated by the video's bold use of contrast. Whites are occasionally on the hot side which mildly affects detail perception in brightly lit backgrounds. Flesh tones are on the warm side but otherwise look natural. Shadow detail is good enough that I could make out plenty of discernible texture in the low lighting and dark backgrounds. The CGI based and green screen photography softened some shots but its effects are minimal and appear innate. Grain is well preserved, never obtrusive, and gives the video a noticeably textured and enriching filmic quality.
Like the video quality The 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack doesn't disappoint. This is an active and reference quality presentation that utilizes the entire system to create a theater like experience. The front and rear channels are smoothly integrated as sound effects traverse the room during the fight sequences. Dynamics are energy filled and impact felt with discerning articulation and resolute clarity. This sound design can be aggressive in its use of the subwoofer to accentuate its already strong dynamics. The result is that all points of contact seem to resonate with palpable low frequency effects that fill the room with deep, hard hitting bass extension. Dialogue has definitive presence with clear, refined vocal character and excellent room penetration. This is a terrific audio/video presentation that offers demonstration worthy material for those who like to show of their home theater systems.
- Commentary by director Rob Bowman and film editor Kevin Stitt
- Relentless: The making of Elektra - Part 1: Production - 77 minutes
- Relentless: The making of Elektra - Part 2: Post-production - 53 minutes
- Elektra: Incarnation Mythology - 53 minute Documentary
- Elektra: in Greek Mythology - 15 minute featurette
- 3 Deleted/6 alternate scenes with optional director commentary
- Showdown at the well: Multi-angle dailies
- Theatrical/Teaser trailers
Elektra is a film based on the popular Marvel Comics character that first appeared in 2003's Daredevil. While I found Daredevil to be an enjoyable popcorn flick I had trouble getting get past Elektra's anemic plot and shallow characters. On the bright side the action sequences aren't bad and Jennifer Garner in the title role helps ease the pain. Fans of the film are in for a treat with its debut on Blu-ray as Fox has done an excellent job with its technical presentation. Its reference quality audio and great looking video might prove enticing to enthusiasts who crave quality source material to show off the potential of their home theater systems. The fan friendly (and comprehensive) bonus supplement package from the 2005 Unrated Director's Cut DVD is included which makes this a highly recommended upgrade. Otherwise it probably only qualifies as a rental for those who are curious or want to check out its audio/video chops.
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