Elektra (2005 film)

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Elektra teaser.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRob Bowman
Produced by
Written by
Based onElektra
by Frank Miller
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyBill Roe
Edited byKevin Stitt
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • January 14, 2005 (2005-01-14)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
100 minutes (Director's Cut)
  • Canada
  • United States
Budget$43-65 million[2][3]
Box office$56.7 million[2]

Elektra is a 2005 Canadian-American superhero film directed by Rob Bowman. It is a spin-off from the 2003 film Daredevil, starring the Marvel Comics character Elektra Natchios (portrayed by Jennifer Garner). The story follows Elektra, an assassin who must protect a man and his prodigy daughter from another assassin who was hired by The Hand.

For the screenplay, Zak Penn, Stuart Zicherman, and Raven Metzner received "written by" credit. Mark Steven Johnson received credit for "motion picture characters" and Frank Miller for "comic book characters". Filming started around May 2004 in Vancouver.[4]

The film was released on January 14, 2005. Upon its release, Elektra was a commercial and critical failure, grossing $56 million against a production budget of $43-65 million. It received negative reviews from critics, who found the script and storyline lacking, but many praised Garner's acting as well as the action sequences.[5]


After being killed in Daredevil, Elektra Natchios is revived by a blind martial arts master called Stick. She is brought to his training compound to learn Kimagure, an ancient martial arts discipline that provides its practitioners with precognition as well as the ability to resurrect the dead. Elektra soon is expelled because of her inability to let go of her rage and fear from seeing her mother's killer as a child. She leaves and uses her training to become a contract killer.

Years later, Elektra infiltrates a heavily guarded area and succeeds in slaying her target DeMarco. Elektra's agent McCabe receives an unusually large offer from an anonymous client wishing to hire Elektra's services. The only stipulation; she must spend a few days in a rented home on the island where the assassination is to be performed before the names of the targets are revealed. During the wait, Elektra catches a girl named Abby trying to steal her mother's necklace. She sends her away, and later meets and befriends her father, Mark Miller. Abby later invites Elektra to dinner on Mark's behalf. Elektra develops a romantic interest in Mark, but soon learns that he and Abby are the targets she has been hired to kill. Elektra spares them and leaves, but later returns in time to protect them from assassins sent by The Hand, a crime syndicate of ninja mercenaries.

Meanwhile, Roshi, master of The Hand, learns of the failed attempt and permits his son Kirigi to lead a new team of assassins to kill Elektra and return with Abby, referred to as "The Treasure". Elektra tries to leave Abby and Mark with Stick, but he scolds her and tells her to protect them herself. She then drives Mark and Abby to McCabe's country house, but is followed by Kirigi, Typhoid, Stone, Kinkou, and Tattoo. Elektra flees with Mark and Abby through a secret underground exit to the orchard, while McCabe sacrifices himself to allow them to escape.

Kirigi and the assassins hunt down the trio in a forest nearby. Elektra manages to kill Stone, while Abby and Mark kill Kinkou with one of his own daggers. As Elektra is distracted by the revelation that Abby has martial arts skills, Typhoid gives Elektra the "Kiss of Death". Abby is captured by Kirigi. Suddenly, Stick and his Chaste ninjas arrive, forcing Kirigi, Typhoid, and Tattoo to retreat. Stick manages to save Elektra from death and takes them under his protection.

Stick confirms that Abby is a martial arts prodigy which is the "Treasure" of martial arts, whom the Hand seek to use. Elektra learns that she was a Treasure herself and her mother was a casualty of the fight between The Chaste and The Hand with herself as the reason. She also guesses that Stick set up the hit on Mark and Abby in order to test Elektra's propensity for compassion. Elektra is not pleased, but does not follow up with that line of inquiry after being told that some lessons must be lived. Elektra astrally projects herself to a meeting with Kirigi and challenges him to a fight; the winner claiming Abby for their own purpose. Elektra returns to her childhood home to face Kirigi, and finally remembers he was her mother's killer; whom she had been seeing as a horned demon in nightmares all this time.

Elektra is at first defeated by Kirigi, but Abby arrives and engages him long enough for Elektra to recuperate. Elektra and Abby then escape and hide in a hedge maze, but are separated when Abby is captured by snakes dispatched by Tattoo. Elektra finds Tattoo and snaps his neck, freeing Abby in the process. Elektra engages Kirigi a second time and manages to stab and kill him. Typhoid poisons and kills Abby, before Elektra throws her sai into Typhoid, killing her. She then finds Abby's body and takes it back to her childhood home, where she desperately tries to wake her to no avail. Elektra lets go all of her rage and performs Kimagure on her, succeeding in resurrecting Abby. Elektra gets ready to leave and she and Mark share one final kiss. Elektra tells Abby to live a normal life and the two share an embracing hug saying that they each gave each other's life back. Abby asks Elektra will she see her again to which Elektra replies "we'll find each other." She gives Abby a kiss on her forehead and leaves hoping that Abby won't grow up to be like her. Stick then says that she didn't turn out so bad. Elektra bows to Stick to thank him to which he bows to Elektra and while leaving Elektra smiles and Stick disappears when Elektra leaves her childhood home knowing that Abby and Mark will be okay.


Ben Affleck filmed a cameo reprising his role as Matt Murdock that was cut from the final film. The scene was included on the DVD as a deleted scene[7] and was reinstated in the director's cut.


The film was made during a Jennifer Garner's hiatus from the television show Alias, and production was limited by that timeframe.[8] Garner reportedly did not want to do the film and only did it because she was legally required due to contractual obligations from Daredevil.[9]

Rob Bowman stated that the film was "literally 12 frames of film from an R-rating" due to MPAA objections to several death scenes.[8]


Box office[edit]

Elektra opened on January 14, 2005 in the United States in 3,204 theatres. In its opening weekend, it ranked fifth, taking $12,804,793.[2] In its second weekend, it took $3,964,598, a drop of 69%.[10] Domestically the total gross was $24,409,722, at the time the lowest for a film featuring a Marvel Comics character since Howard the Duck.[11] The film had a worldwide total of $56,681,566.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film received largely negative reviews from film critics. Based on 164 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes the film has a score of 10%, with an average rating of 3.82/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Jennifer Garner inhabits her role with earnest gusto, but Elektra's tone-deaf script is too self-serious and bereft of intelligent dialogue to provide engaging thrills."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[13] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B on scale of A to F.[14]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 1.5 stars out of a possible 4. He writes: "Plays like a collision between leftover bits and pieces of Marvel superhero stories. It can't decide what tone to strike." [15] Helen O'Hara at Empire magazine gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, and says "Despite oozing star quality, Garner struggles to rise above the limitations of the script."[16] Brian Lowry of Variety writes: "Elektra” proves no more than fitfully satisfying, a character-driven superhero yarn whose flurry of last-minute rewriting shows in a disjointed plot."[17] Claudia Puig of USA Today writes "Her (Garner) grace and mystical abilities make for a lonely burden, and we are supposed to feel her pain. Instead, we feel our own for having to sit through this silly movie." Puig concluded that Garner "is far more appealing when she's playing charming and adorable, as she did so winningly in 13 Going on 30.[18] Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader writes: "This doesn't exactly set the world on fire, but I was charmed by its old-fashioned storytelling, which is refreshingly free of archness, self-consciousness, or "Kill Bill"-style wisecracks."[19]


Jennifer Garner and Natassia Malthe were nominated for Best Kiss at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards.[20]

Garner was nominated in the category Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure/Thriller at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards.[21]


Film critic Scot Mendelson blamed the film for ruining Jennifer Garner's career, and said it killed off the notion of a female lead superhero movie for a decade.[22] In an email released because of the Sony Pictures hack, Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter cited Elektra as an example of an unprofitable female led superhero film. He wrote: "Very bad idea and the end result was very, very bad."[23][24]

In 2016 Katharine Trendacosta at io9 reviewed the film and called it "Somehow So Much Worse Than You Remember" and said that the version of Elektra in Neflix's Daredevil could only be an improvement. [25]

Home media[edit]

The DVD of Elektra was released on April 5, 2005. It featured several deleted scenes, including one featuring Ben Affleck reprising his role from Elektra's predecessor, Daredevil (2003). It was released on VHS on May 2005.

Director's cut[edit]

An extended and slightly refined two-disc unrated director's cut DVD was released in October 2005, featuring a cut detailed for home video release. Unlike the Daredevil director's cut which added about thirty minutes of material not in the original theatrical release, this version added only about three minutes of footage. It was also criticized for poor video transfer.[7]

A Blu-ray of Elektra was released on October 19, 2009 for the United Kingdom (and France) only. The US version was released on May 4, 2010. It contains only the unrated director's cut of the film.


Elektra: The Album
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJanuary 11, 2005
GenreAlternative rock
ProducerVarious producers
Marvel Comics film series soundtrack chronology
Blade: Trinity – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Elektra: The Album
Man-Thing: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[26]

Elektra: The Album was released in 2005 by Wind-up Records. As with many Wind-up soundtracks, almost none of the songs featured on the album were actually used in the film. "Sooner or Later" is played briefly in one scene and a remix not included on this album of "Hollow" is also played. The end credits feature "Wonder", "Photograph", and "Thousand Mile Wish (Elektra Mix)": but other than this, none of the songs on the album were used in the actual motion picture. A score album was released by Varèse Sarabande containing selections of Christophe Beck's original music from the film.[27]

1."Never There (She Stabs)"Strata3:44
2."Hey Kids"Jet2:58
3."Everyone is Wrong"The Donnas3:28
4."Sooner or Later"Switchfoot4:09
5."Thousand Mile Wish (Elektra Mix)"Finger Eleven4:00
6."Wonder"Megan McCauley3:53
7."Your Own Disaster"Taking Back Sunday5:42
8."Breathe No More"Evanescence3:48
9."Photograph"12 Stones3:58
10."Save Me"Alter Bridge3:27
11."Beautiful"The Dreaming3:03
13."Angels With Even Filthier Souls"Hawthorne Heights2:55
14."5 Years"The Twenty Twos3:52
15."In the Light"Full Blown Rose4:13

Video game[edit]

Elektra was also supposed to have a video game based on the movie with support from the comics. The game was never released, as publishers felt it would not be popular enough. A game based on the film that was released for mobile.[28]


  1. ^ "ELEKTRA (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. January 7, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Elektra (2005)". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ "Elektra (2005) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Keck, William (April 15, 2004). "For '13' rollout, 'cute' sums it up". USA Today. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  5. ^ "Never Mind 'Suicide Squad,' Here Are the Worst 20 Superhero Movies Ever (According to Critics)". Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  6. ^ "Elektra Boogaloo. Jason Isaacs joins Marvel adaptation". 18 Jun 2004.
  7. ^ a b Peter Schorn (October 18, 2005). "IGN: Electra (Unrated Director's Cut) Review". Elektra. Archived from the original on 2005-10-21.
  8. ^ a b Head, Steve (October 31, 2005). "Interview: Rob Bowman". IGN. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "Jennifer Garner deemed 'Elektra' awful". San Francisco Chronicle. January 27, 2005.
  10. ^ "Elektra (2005) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
  11. ^ "Marvel Comics movies". Box Office Mojo.
  12. ^ "Elektra". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  13. ^ "Elektra (2005)". Metacritic. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  14. ^ "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Elektra Movie Review & Film Summary (2005)". Rogerebert.com. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  16. ^ O'Hara, Helen (January 1, 2000). "Elektra". Empireonline.com. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  17. ^ Lowry, Brian (January 12, 2005). "Elektra". Variety.com. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  18. ^ Puig, Claudia (January 13, 2005). "'Elektra' is a fight to the finish". USA Today. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  19. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Elektra". Chicago Reader. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  20. ^ Azzopardi, Chris. "Jennifer Garner Talks Emotional Reaction to 'Love, Simon,' Her Drag Queen Hairstylist and the Lesbian Role She Almost Had". Pridesource.com. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  21. ^ "The Teen Choice Awards". FOX. Archived from the original on January 8, 2006.
  22. ^ Mendelson, Scott. "Ben Affleck Survived 'Daredevil,' But Jennifer Garner Never Recovered From 'Elektra'". Forbes.com. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  23. ^ "Marvel CEO Doesn't Believe in Female Superheroes - Women and Hollywood". Web.archive.org. May 5, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  24. ^ "Marvel CEO: Female Superhero Movies Have Been a 'Disaster'". Time.com. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  25. ^ Trendacosta, Katharine. "The Elektra Movie Is Somehow So Much Worse Than You Remember". Io9.gizmodo.com. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  26. ^ "Elektra - The Album [Music from the Motion Picture] - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic.
  27. ^ "Elektra - Varèse Sarabande". Varesesarabande.com.
  28. ^ Avery Score (June 3, 2005). "Elektra Review. Unless you're a fan of the Elektra continuum, there's no reason to choose this game over similar and superior offerings". GameSpot .

External links[edit]