DIRECTED BY: Sebastian Gutierrez
WRITTEN BY: Sebastian Gutierrez
STARRING: Carla Gugino, Timothy Olyphant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emmanuel Chriqui, Arianne Palicki, Marley Shelton, Malin Akerman, Josh Brolin
RELEASE DATE: March 11, 2011 (limited)
We all choose different career paths in life, and sometimes our path chooses us. Some people become doctors or teachers, while others become janitors or sales reps. And some don’t take a path at all; they go off-roading with careers like, oh, say…a porn star. No guidance counselor sends you in THAT direction.
But the lifespan of a career in the adult entertainment industry is a brief one, and before you know it you’re out of work and trying to figure out what the hell to do with the rest of your life, which is the basis for director Sebastian Gutierrez‘s latest film, Elektra Luxx.
This is the story of Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino), a legend in the porn industry with countless film titles to her name and an army of fans who have made her a star. Unfortunately for Elektra, she’s getting up there in age and is blind-sided by the news that she’s also pregnant with the child of recently deceased rock star Nick Chapel (Josh Brolin), forcing her to shockingly retire from the industry she’s such a staple in.
To try and make ends meet, Elektra uses her experience and knowledge to teach a sex education class aimed at housewives at a local community college. While still trying to adjust to her new life, she’s approached by a woman named Cora (Marley Shelton), who, in exchange for the lyrics of some Nick Chapel songs (all about Miss Luxx), asks if Elektra would seduce her fiancée. Hesitant at first, Elektra realizes she has little choice if she wants to get the song lyrics back, but what she doesn’t expect is just how messy the situation is about to become.
To be perfectly honest, this is a movie I’m having a lot of trouble with reviewing. I didn’t hate , not at all, but I also didn’t like it all that much either and that’s making it difficult to put into words.
Things start out a little slow, but do look to be coming together and picking up pace at one point. After that, however, it all just feels a little flat. You know what’s going on and you understand the situations, but for one reason or another the whole movie feels off. Watching it I kept waiting for something to happen and take it to that next level, but it seemed content where it was and this was fairly disappointing.
One reason for this may have been a secondary storyline featuring two adult film stars (Emmanuel Chriqui and the new Wonder Woman, Adrianne Palicki) who are on vacation together. There’s nothing really wrong with these scenes and the actresses are great, but it didn’t feel related or significant to the primary plot. I later found out something I was not aware of while watching this movie: it’s actually the second film in a planned trilogy, the first of which is titled Women in Trouble.
Because there’s a first film I’ve not seen, I can only say that Elektra Luxx struggles to work on its own, but that doesn’t mean that all three movies won’t play well together in the future. We can only wait and see.
Though I did have issues warming up to this movie, as mentioned above, I didn’t hate it either. The characters are solid and all actors do a fine job in their roles, especially Gugino in the title role and perhaps even more impressive in a smaller role as her twin sister. I’m not sold on Palicki as the new Wonder Woman looks-wise, but I must say, it’s hard not to fall for her performance as a simpleton in love with her best friend, the always lovely Chriqui. Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s work as a sex blogger with no shortage of energy is also worthy of compliment.
All-in-all, yes, there were negative things for me personally while watching Elektra Luxx, but because I’m not familiar with the first film I can’t say you should avoid it. I’d suggest checking out Women in Trouble first (I might watch it just to see if some of these storylines click into place), and if you dig that one there’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy this one.