By Mark Ramsey | 2005/01/17

Whenever a movie opens with “Since time began…” you can bet the next words will not be “…the Academy showered movies like this with Oscars.”

In a world where hair extensions are licensed to kill, where thongs are certified combat-ready, where Fredericks of Hollywood is the official outfitter of vigilante justice, in that world you’ll find Jennifer Garner as Elektra - armed. lip-glossed, and dangerously pouty.

“Like Medusa, one look at my elevated cheekbones and mortal man turns to stone.” Elektra warns, “Well, the part of elektra_bustierangry.jpg

him that drives my box-office, anyway.”

“She’s a motherless daughter, a lost soul tipping the balance between good and evil,” the narration continues, as the audience sinks deeper into the kind of despair that’s inevitable whenever humanity’s last best hope is fighting evil in a lace-up bustier.

How is it that this Elektra company is powered by so much hot air? Elektra, the movie, is mopey, dopey, and dumb.

Didn’t this woman die the last time we saw her on screen? Well, sure. But an ancient Asian meditation discipline resurrected her – along with greed-soaked studio hopes for a lot of ill-gotten box-office coin.

Hey look, it’s one-time renowned actor Terence Stamp again extinguishing a diminishing career by discriminating between roles the way most folks discriminate between Macaroni & Cheese.

Elektra cleans her apartment lair, scrubbing the floor to remove all traces of her DNA. As for boyfriend Ben Affleck’s DNA, that stuff blows through the Hollywood Hills like tumbleweed through Death Valley. “Of all the Hoovers in all the world, you had to suck that man’s DNA into mine,” said a disgruntled Stamp.

Elektra is in a funk. Such is life lived with the guilt of being born beautiful. Haunted by flashbacks of the trials and tribulations of growing up drop-dead gorgeous, Elektra displays a misery so deep and dark one fears a fingernail might have recently been broken, a tiny blemish erupted, or – let it not be so – a hair a millimeter or two out of place.

Now, knife-wielding Elektra is facing her toughest adversary yet: A mystical, evil gang of wire-working Kung Fu movie fans and Hollywood club-goers called “The Hand,” a elektra_tattoo.jpg

dangerous crew whose powers of evil are surpassed only by their knowledge of hip tobacco bars and top-shelf liqueurs.

Elektra’s heart is pure and her complexion is pure Revlon. But will that be enough to thwart ‘The Hand’?

Beware “Tattoo,” the ‘Hand’-mate whose body art peels off his chest, springs to life, and chases our heroine and her posse through the woods. “If only I studied less cutlery and more laser removal!” Elektra whines.

Another ‘Hand’-maiden kills by breathing on people, a skill she shares with my dog.

It turns out that old Terence Stamp is supposed to be blind! And here I just thought he was sleepwalking through yet another hum-drum role. “I see more than any of you because I don’t look,” says Stamp who turns his back to reveal Frank Oz’s hand up his Yoda-Muppet ass.

Elektra polishes her knives in readiness for the climactic battle where good faces evil and ruby-red lingerie faces the most malevolent self-propelled bedding ever seen in a major motion picture.

Listen and hear that crazy Congo drum soundtrack – it’s got a good beat and I have ants in my pants to it.

“And when I kill you, the little one is ours,” the bad guy warns our heroine.

“Back off, Hand-man,” says Elektra, “I’m dating Ben Affleck, so I already get the little one.”

“We are not intimidated by your peek-a-boo thong and low-slung ass-kicking pants!” ‘The Hand’ shoots back.

One thing leads to another and a hundred sour, glum minutes later, ‘The Hand’ may be defeated but ‘The Hips’ live on.

“There’ll be more coming,” Elektra reminds us, “and what’s coming next will be worse.”

Let’s hope she’s not reading the sequel tea-leaves.

Photos Copyright ©2005 20th Century Fox

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