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FANTASTIC FOUR by Tim Story

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When a scientific experiment in space goes wrong, Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd – wooden), Sue Storm (Jessica Alba – hot), her brother Johnny Storm (Chris Evans – just right), Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis – good) and Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon – OK) are hit by a blast of cosmic energy and their DNA is transformed. Back on earth they discover new powers – Reed can stretch his body like rubber, Sue can make herself invisible and create force-fields, Johnny becomes really hot – he can ignite himself and he learns to fly, Ben – who was exposed the most to the radiation – is transformed to a creature of solid rock – and Von Doom transforms into a metal-man and can control energy.
While super-scientist (but bad businessman and emotionally handicapped) Reed works on repairing the damage to himself, his former love Sue (who is now with Von Doom), rebellious and immature Johnny (who is the only one who thinks his powers are super-cool and is not really interested in being ‘cured’), and desperate Ben (whose own wife is terrified of his appearance and won’t let him come near her), Von Doom fights for his company which is in deep trouble after the failed space mission.
But while Ben, Sue, Johnny and Reed are soon dubbed the ‘Fantastic Four’ by the media when they use their powers to rescue people, Victor turns evil and uses his powers to exact revenge on his former business-partners – and he is after ‘Mr. Fantastic’, ‘The Invisible Girl’, ‘The Human Torch’ and ‘The Thing’.

Jessica Alba The newest addition to the genre of comic-picturization, ‘Fantastic Four’ luckily has more of ‘Spider-Man’ or ‘X-Men 2’ then of ‘Hulk‘ or ‘Daredevil‘. Being the first film of a probable franchise, it spends enough time to characterization but doesn’t forget about the action. The acting is far from superb – Gruffudd delivers a wooden performance (which just might be deliberate considering Reed is an emotionally underdeveloped brainiac), Chris Evans is believable as formulaic juvenile hothead, Ben Grimm makes ‘The Thing’ human, and Jessica Alba is … harrumph, revealing as ‘The Invisible Girl’ (setting up a nice gag – admittedly, an old one, but it perfectly serves the purpose of communicating Reed’s lack of emotion to the audience in a non-obtrusive way). Julian McMahon delivers your standard oily, greedy bad guy.
The CGI-action is a bit shoddy (especially Reed’s stretching) – just like the acting – and the soundtrack added to the action is just painfully tacky, but somehow the combination of mediocre acting, shabby special effects, awful music, well-known superheros and Jessica Alba manages to be better than it’s ingredients. It’s a guilty pleasure – but it’s entertaining enough and never boring. Not a match for BATMAN BEGINS or SPIDER-MAN, but plays in the same league as HELLBOY and comic-fans shouldn’t miss it!

2 Responses to “FANTASTIC FOUR by Tim Story”

  1. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » GHOST RIDER by Mark Steven Johnson Says:

    […] Brought to the screen by Mark Steven Johnson, the man who already slaughtered DAREDEVIL, Ghost Rider is another Marvel comic film that reeks of a cheap cash-in. As comic-adaptations go, there is an A-League (Superman Returns, Batman Begins, Spider-Man), a B-League (X-Men, X2, Fantastic Four or Hellboy), and there is a C-League, reserved for the likes of Daredevil, Catwoman, or Batman and Robin. Sadly, Ghost Rider is clearly C-League. Reportedly, the production cost of Ghost Rider was $ 110 million. It looks like most of the money was spent for Nicolas Cage’s and Eva Mendes’ salary, and the rest for creating clunky CGI (Ghost Rider moves like he’s bored stiff by the lame action. The flaming skull is decent for a B-movie but far from spectacular). No budget seems to have been wasted for a decent script or good supporting actors. The supposedly powerful Nephilim are dispatched as easily as the next bagsnatcher on the street, Blackheart’s most threatening assets are pale skin and red eyes, and suspense only arises when the trailer for SPIDER-MAN 3 is shown before the main feature. Not only the villains are crappy, it’s also hard to care for the heros when Mark Steven Johnson’s idea of communicating the feelings between Johnny and Roxanne is letting them stand below a tree surrounded by blossoming flowers in an otherwise desolate CGI-landscape … not only once, but twice! […]

  2. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER by Tim Story Says:

    […] Fans of the Silver Surfer have waited a long time to finally see him on the big screen, and now they may be a bit disappointed by some details in the movie – his power cosmic coming from his board, the non-appearance of Galactus in his giant-human form and the lack of any philosophical debate between the Surfer and Galactus. But on the plus side there is the appropriate depiction of his general appearance, his elegance, and his almost ultimate power. Oh, and almost forgot, the Fantastic Four are also in this movie. And they are much the same as in Fantastic Four, which means Ioan Gruffudd is still a bit wooden (and the FX when he stretches still a bit shoddy), but less than in Part 1, Jessica Alba still looks great (and has another nude in public-moment – but you don’t see anything, of course!), The Thing still doesn’t look like rock, and Johnny/Chris Evans is still the coolest of them. Victor Von Doom/Julian McMahon also returns, but is pale compared to the Surfer. Nice guest appearance by Stan Lee, though! Acting and characterization have not been, are not, and probably won’t ever be the strength of the F4 franchise, but the action/FX-scenes are decent enough (but not overwhelming) to entertain the fan for the moderate running time of 92 minutes. And the film score by John Ottman has definitly improved over the first Fantastic Four. […]

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