Repetitive, brutally edited and almost suicidally somber, Marvel's first spinoff movie is nonetheless several shades more watchable than Daredevil. Admittedly, that's like saying a poke in the eye with a blunt stick is preferable to a poke in the eye with a sharp one. Enter-tainment is a relative quality in this story of a cold-hearted assassin's road to (wait for it) redemption a personal journey that eventually incorporates such audacious accoutrements as living tattoos and a hilariously prolonged Lesbian Death Kiss. But before we can get to them, the movie makes us swallow a heaping bowlful of action-picture expectations. In the first 20 minutes or so, we get to see the scarlet-clad antiheroine stalk and kill a victim who, resigned to his fate, never rises from his chair; shortly thereafter, she organizes her collection of toiletries. Director Rob Bowman (The X-Files) clearly intended to emphasize brooding humanity over the FX-happy nonsense that drives the genre, but he takes the experiment too far i.e., it's hard to fully respect a movie while it's boring you to shit.
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