Kudos to Twentieth Century Fox for realizing the only thing about Daredevil worth repeating was Jennifer Garner (alias the sexy secret agent in Alias) as Elektra, his partner in crime fighting. Elektra (PG-13), the spinoff from Ben Affleck's biggest hit in years _ a backhanded compliment, to be certain _ opens Friday, when a review will be published on Page 2B.
Affleck's Marvel Comics superhero role is apparently absent in the movie directed by Rob Bowman (Reign of Fire). Elektra could have seen that coming: She's gifted with kimagure, a Far Eastern ability to see the future. But the limber assassin apparently isn't a good judge of character; she turns against her mystic mentor Kirigi (Will Yun Lee) to defend her latest target (Goran Visnjic), who may not be a nice guy.
But, honestly, won't the stars of Elektra be those costume designers fitting sexy red leather around Garner's body? With solid support from crew members yanking around wires to fake martial arts, of course. We'll see if this the beginning of a franchise, or the second coming of Catwoman.
_ STEVE PERSALL, Times film critic