2 items from 2005
Bollywood star Gulshan Grover has confirmed he'll be the latest Bond baddie when 007 returns in Casino Royale. The My Bollywood Bride star revealed all to newspaper The Times of India, but insisted he, like the rest of the world, has no idea who will play superspy Bond in the new movie, which will start shooting in the Czech Republic in January. He says, "I met the (Bond) producers in LA a week ago. They are yet to announce this on their official website. That's because they first want to announce the next Bond. As of now, they haven't zeroed in on who will play the central role. At least 300 actors have been considered for the role." Goran Visnjic and Aussie actor Julian McMahon are among the favourites to land the 007 role, while rumors persist that Pierce Brosnan will return for one more movie. »
Given Daredevil's general critical reception, it was naturally assumed that any sequel or spinoff would have nowhere to go but up.
Deftly defying those odds, along comes Elektra to effectively lower the bar for Marvel Comics page-to-screen transitions.
While Jennifer Garner's Elektra Natchios was responsible for lending what little spark 2003's Daredevil had, her own vehicle is a ponderously inert, disjointed drag that's anything but live action.
With the core comic book audience likely to give this one the cold shoulder, overall boxoffice results should be similarly static, leaving Fox to hope for better things from its summer release of Fantastic Four.
Looking no worse for wear considering she was killed off in the last movie -- a series of flashbacks reveal that she was brought back to life by her blind mentor, Stick (Terence Stamp) -- the resurrected Elektra is morosely living the life of a contract killer.
But when her next assignment turns out to be the man, Mark (Goran Visnjic), and his teenage daughter, Abby (Kirsten Prout), who happened to have invited her over for Christmas dinner the night before, Elektra is abruptly drawn out of the catatonic trance that is her current existence.
It turns out her would-be targets are on the run from the Hand, a nasty crime syndicate whose members, with names like Typhoid, Tattoo and Stone, practice the deadly martial art of ninjitsu.
Seeing a lot of her young self in Abby, Elektra takes on the Hand while reflecting on the traumatic childhood events that made her the lone-wolf, conflicted, cynical heroine without any tangible superhuman powers that she is today.
As she briefly demonstrated in Daredevil, Garner was up for much more than wearing a permanent scowl and offing the occasional bad guy with one of her lethal blades. Watching her bide her time here, you keep thinking if this was Alias, her Sydney Bristow character would have ditched the dull Elektra disguise in favor of something a lot more fun.
According to the credits, there is a script (by Zak Penn and Stuart Zicherman & Raven Metzner), but it seems to have been jettisoned in favor of ragged plot fragments and the dream sequence/flashback combos favored by director Rob Bowman.
Bowman is best known as the director of numerous episodes of The X-Files and the X-Files movie, which should come as no surprise given that so much of Elektra looks like it could have been shot on the series' same Vancouver set.
When all the endless posturing is finally interrupted by an actual fight sequence, the perfunctory choreography barely finds a pulse, while the cost-conscious visual effects do little to lift the listless production out of its murky funk.
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox and Regency Enterprises presentin association with Marvel Enterprises Inc.A New Regency/Horseshoe Bay production
Director: Rob Bowman
Screenwriters: Zak Penn and Stuart Zicherman & Raven Metzner
Producers: Arnon Milchan, Gary Foster, Avi Arad
Director of photography: Bill Roe
Production designer: Graeme Murray
Editor: Kevin Stitt
Costume designer: Lisa Tomczeszyn
Music: Christophe Beck
Elektra Natchios: Jennifer Garner
Stick: Terence Stamp
Abby: Kirsten Prout
Mark: Goran Visnjic
Roshi: Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Kirigi: Will Yun Lee
Tattoo: Chris Ackerman
Kinkou: Edson T. Ribeiro
Typhoid: Natassia Malthe
Stone: Bob Sapp
MPAA rating PG-13
Running time -- 97 minutes »
2 items from 2005
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