Elektra

Jennifer Garner, who played the Marvel Comics superhero Elektra in Daredevil (2003), returns to the role for this sleek action adventure, protecting a father (Goran Visnjic) and daughter (Kirsten Prout) from the nefarious schemes and ninjitsu techniques of the Hand. This doesn't exactly set the world on fire, but I was charmed by its old-fashioned storytelling, which is refreshingly free of archness, self-consciousness, or Kill Bill-style wisecracks. Some of the effects recall vintage Ray Harryhausen, the villains all perish in puffs of green smoke, and Garner's sincere glumness suggests Buster Crabbe in Flash Gordon. Rob Bowman directed; with Terence Stamp as Elektra's blind guru. PG-13, 85 min.

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