Saturday, February 12, 2005

Comical reaction

One thing I've recently learned about comic to film adaptations is that there is so many ways to judge them. It's quite similar to book adaptations. They either maintain the main storyline (like The Joy Luck Club, LOTR, Pride & Prejudice), the characters, the characters' origins and motivations, or try to recreate the emotional aspect of the respective book (like Cold Mountain and Beloved).

And just like book adaptations, comic adaptations has its hits and misses.
Hits: Spider-man, Batman,
Misses: Catwoman, Elektra, Daredevil

But what I want to discuss now is a recent adaptation of a comic character, Elektra. There were many various reasons given as to why it was a miss, but these are my reasons. The action scenes were not as thrilling as I expected it to be. Various interviews of the cast and crew were talking about how the fighting scenes are done by them and not stunt doubles. But I'm sorry to say I couldn't see it. If I didn't see those interviews I would still think they are done by stunt doubles. The villains are interesting just like what Garner said, but then I only see them in about 10 minutes of screen time altogether. And the final showdown got me saying "So what?" And do I need to mention the cliches? I thought that Hollywood by this time has learned something like "not all succesful action films need to have a kissing scene." But they do it anyway with no apparent motivation in both characters. Just because they were alone on the balcony and she was feeling vulnerable and he was there, they just have to kiss. I was expecting the orchestra to strike up at any moment.

But after I read an article by The Star's Kaleon Rahan I realized something. If Elektra the movie was to stay true to Elektra the comic, then wouldn't that make the movie a success? Kaleon said that the assasination scene, how she interact with the Millers and the Chaste, and her flawed/emotionally-disturbed character is similar to its original counterpart. On the other hand another reviewer from the same paper said that her obsessive compulsive behavior in the movie is absurd. I think that's not fair. She should at least make a comparison to the Elektra that her creator wanted her to be and not just what the movie portrays.

The movie makers must have a certain purpose in bringing Elektra to the silver screen. I believe that this time they were just trying to bank in on Garner's appeal. Daredevil was too small for her so she has to have her own movie. Elektra was not one of my must-see movie but after seeing the making-of and interviews, they got me interested. Not to see Elektra, but the fight scenes and the villains that they were talking so greatly about. Since those two didn't rise to the occasion I find the movie a miss.
But if I were an Elektra comics fan I might find the movie acceptable, provided that the original Elektra do go around kissing guys on balconies.

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