Tom Russo
April 05, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Jennifer Garner came back from the dead for this? When last we saw the steely she-ninja, in Daredevil, she was being skewered by Colin Farrell. Although nominally publicized as a spin-off, Elektra doesn’t care nearly as much about tapping Marvel Comics mythology as its predecessor did. Veteran X-Files director Rob Bowman instead makes this one a generic action vehicle, spiced up with such novel effects as a ninja expiring in a noxious vapor cloud and a mystical tattooed villain with literally killer ink.

EXTRAS The moment fanboys have been waiting for: a deleted cameo by Daredevil Ben Affleck (cut presumably to avoid more Ben-and-Jen marketing stickiness) is a fleeting throw-away. The faithful may feel cheated by Garner’s ”presentation” at the comics biz’s San Diego megaconvention — not a personal appearance but a standard clip reel dispatched from the Vancouver set. But take heart: An assortment of brief production featurettes offer abundant replays of that fabulous red bustier in action.

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