By: The Dweeb
The Hollywood drum beat marches on, another film based on a comic book from Marvel. Sure, Spiderman and its sequel is great, The X-Men and its sequel are also great, and Fantastic Four? Well, its not as horrid as Catwoman, but its not fantastic either. Oh sure it has its moments, but you have to get past some awful and cheesey dialogue and frankly a rather long origin story that doesn’t take us very far from that point.
Too much time was taken up by the initial setup of the movie, the so called origin portion. It is my recollection that the infamous Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon) was not on board the spacecraft in the comic book, he just sorta is there from the start. I guess its a matter of convenience to the script to have him on the space station so he gets his powers too. Bleh, lame. Then from there, it seems like it takes forever for his transformation to comeplete to the evil guy, as well as the Fantastic Fours full capabilities. Too much time was spent trying to ‘cure’ them of these powers and it didn’t have enough, in the words of The Thing (Michael Chiklis) “Clobberin Time!”. I wanted to see these guys in action, we get some, but not enough. The addition of a convoluted love triangle between Doom, Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) didn’t help matters much either. The climax of the film wasn’t anything to write home about, and naturally there is a setup for a sequel. It can only go up from here, hopefully.
There are many bright spots in the film however, saving it from becoming a total trainwreck. Although much dialogue in the movie is fairly high on cheese, some of the character interactions are hilarious. The rivalry between Johnny “The Human Torch” Storm (Chris Evans) and The Thing is spot on. Johnny is a brash young hothead constantly needling Ben Grimm providing many a laugh. His special effects were also pulled off quite nicely, and in general the effects in the film are pretty good. The soundtrack chosen is also different from most comic adaptations. Fantastic Four has a more mainstream rock sound, more emphasized over the traditional musical score. Actually that is a nice refresher, something different at least.
I thought the casting was okay for the most part, but there were just too many pretty faces. Jessica Alba as Sue, Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm and Chris Evans as Johnny Storm fit their roles quite well. Although Chris is a bit young to be a shuttle pilot me thinks. The same goes for Ioan Gruffuld as Reed Richards and Julian McMahon for Doom. The comic book portrays them as much older, so its hard to convince me these two underwear models went to MIT together. George Clooney would have been a good choice for Reed Richards, probably not within the budget though.
The technical quality for this DVD is very good. You have your choice of either DTS or Dolby Digital and the picture transfer is excellent. I’m not sure if Fox is planning to release another version six months from now, as there are quite a few items in the extras department. Accompanying this film is the usual assortment of promotional items, deleted scenes, interviews, music videos etc. Much of it is the standard fare, although do watch the Home Video documentary shot by Jessica Alba. An interesting peek into what its like going on a worldwide press junket to promote the film. Looks exhausting, and those damn paparazzi are everywhere! All zeroing in on Jessica of course.
Fantastic Four is your standard super hero action flick, which in time will probably blend in to the back of the class. Still it is fairly decent and wouldn’t be a complete waste of time for one evening.