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Movie review: Fantastic Four

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Caught Fantastic Four over the weekend and as usual, here's my take on the movie. FYI, Fantastic Four is the comic book that gave birth to Marvel Comics, making it the big brother to such better-known titles as Spider-Man, X-Men, and The Incredible Hulk.

The movie starts off with genius scientist Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and his best buddy, Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis of the Shield), approaching billionaire Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) about financing a project. Reed wants to spend some time on Victor's space station and use the opportunity to study the effects of cosmic rays on living material. Comming along on the trip are, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), and her brother, hothead Johnny Storm (Chris Evans). Before long, like all Marvel superhero movies, things go wrong. All four are exposed to cosmic rays, and thus fundamentally altering their DNA. Reed's body becomes elastic. Sue gains the ability to turn invisible at will. Ben becomes a hulking rock creature with incredible strength. And Johnny becomes the 'human torch'. Victor, however, taps into the dark side of the cosmic rays and learns how to manipulate electricity.

The story seem to be written to atract a whole new audience (younger) rather than fans of the comic. For me, it is not as good as Spidey or the X-men, which is at a level of it's own. I guess, the writers dwelled too much on the origin of the Fantastic FOur, which is not really exciting! By the time Dr. Doom decided to destroy the Fantastic Four, it's already 20 mins from the end. (It took only 5 minutes to defeat Dr. Doom). Too bad for a lack of build-up. I guess with origin stories, the audience would like to see how the heroes discover their new powers and coping with it.

The actors are not bad. Most of them played thier part well but I think the casting crew should have done a better job with the Reeds Richard and Sue Storm role. Gruffudd doesn't seem to have the charisma to play a leader, he seem to be soft. While Alba, altough visually enjoyable to watch, doesn't seem to fit the role well. Nonetheless, many will agree that Michael Chiklis played the Thing perfectly with his accent, attitude and a good heart. I was watching the credits and yeah... Stan Lee, the co-creator made a cameo as a mailman. BTW, Stan turns up in every Marvel movie, including The Hulk, X-Men and Spider Man.

Overall, a fun movie with an under-developed story, just don't expect too much. For myself, I enjoyed the movie espeacially the corny dialogues! I reckon the movie could've been much much better if producers took the time to polish things up. Watch the movie ONLY if you have nothing better to do.

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 3.5
Sound : 3
Picture : 3.5
Storyline: 2.5

OVERALL : 3.2
posted by Ivan Choe, 2:01 pm

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