Elektra

The thing about being sick is that you kind of look forward to it. An excuse to not have to go to school, say. Or to work, which is even better, because the concept has been institutionalized. There are entire “sick days”, which are for the sole purpose of saying, ‘no thanks, I’m not going to work today, because I’m taking a sick day. It’s because I’m sick!’

It’s all a trick, though. The cold reality is that when you’re actually sick enough to not be at work, you won’t enjoy yourself. You’ll go to the doctor, get your prescriptions, get them filled over the course of an hour in which, sure, you have a book, but you’re sick enough that being in the same place all that time will start to make you more uncomfortable even than you started out, and it’s really hard to concentrate on reading for more than ten minutes at a stretch, what with the sinus headache, and on top of that, you get your first taste of just how bad the company drug insurance has become when they finally tell you it’s time to leave.

All of which is probably a close approximation of how Jennifer Garner felt in between Daredevil and Elektra. She had just been in a terrible movie, her character died, and… okay, that’s really all I know about her. I’ve never even seen Alias. So I guess the metaphor broke down, a little. I’m sick, sue me.

Luckily for Miss Garner, her quasi-sequel is substantially better than her last turn in Affleck’s doomed vehicle. It has a lot going for it. An old-school Campbellian plot about the motherless daughter at the heart of the ancient, hidden battle between Good and Evil, lingering, mood-setting camera work that mostly hides the TV episode-length story being stretched into a 90 minute feature, a crew of bad-ass enemies with spooky mystical powers, a boatload of ninjas, and most importantly, nary a hint of its Hollywood forebear.

All this plus decent sequel potential, and the obligatory child actor wasn’t all that bad. And did I mention the ninjas?

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