Despite what you may have read, this is not going to be the worst film of the year. It’s not brilliant, but it’s far from awful.
Unlike most recent superhero/action movies, it doesn’t revel in its fight scenes, and it doesn’t linger over the heroine’s anguished antagonism towards the bad guys. It does spend a lot of time in broody contemplation of Elektra’s sense of isolation and loss, and this is perhaps where the perceived rot creeps in: the film simply doesn’t have a strong enough story to support this meditative aspect.
It’s an Eternal Battle of Good Versus Evil kind of thing, with a Mark IV Chosen-One Prophecy Module strapped on, and powered forward by a 1.6 litre Wayward-Heroine-Makes-Good engine. But it suffices. The villains tread a fine line between vaguely unpleasant and slightly crap, and most of the time end up dead, instead. The climactic fight scene is surprisingly poorly staged, given modern cinematic standards for the martial arts, and the whole final act that surrounds it feels like it was chopped up and mixed together by a committee who didn’t like Jennifer Garner all that much.
It lacks depth and richness of plot, the characters are ropy, the dialogue frequently stinks, it drops the ball (repeatedly) on back story, and it fails to properly activate any sequel hooks. It’s like the producers lost heart half-way through the film, and couldn’t be bothered giving it a thrilling end. And yet, despite all that, I just can’t bring myself to call it bad. The first hour is very watchable, but it should have been followed by another hour. Instead, it peters out with a mere half hour, and little promise of more to come. Pity.