Fantastic Four (2005)
Fantastic Four Review
Director – Tim Story
Cast – Ioan Grufuud, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon
– followed by Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
From Ghost Rider, which had a boring story but unique tone, we go to Fantastic Four, which has both a tremendously boring story and tone. With any movie this is a deadly combination, and this is no exception.
The heroes in this film get their powers after they are exposed to a cosmic storm, encountered while doing some very very sciencey stuff on a space station. (The science in this movie seem even more balderdash than usual, even for a superhero movie.) They all find themselves able to do some, well, fantastic things. One can turn invisible, one can stretch, one can fly and burst into flame, and the last guy… well, he gets the short end of the stick. While he finds himself with superhuman strength, his body is hardened and enlarged into a grotesque, rock-monster appearance.
It is this character, The Thing, that the movie centers around. Smartly so. Unlike the others, he cannot go out into public as “normal”, and his wife cannot deal with the physical changes to her husband. He finds himself isolated, and alone. This is the key to a good story line. A big reason superheroes can work dramatically is that their ability to do amazing things is undercut by the distance this creates between them and everyone else. When done well, this can work (some of the Superman movies, for example). It doesn’t quite work here; it’s clumsy and heavy handed. It’s still the best dramatic thing about the movie, which is a sad thing, really.
I wanted to like the characters, and if anything is redeemable about the movie it is that. Ioan Gruffuud brings a good quality to his character, the leader of the group, and Michael Chiklis is both affecting and humorous as needed. Jessica Alba doesn’t come out quite so well, she does her best, but her character is just boring. But Chris Evans… now he makes a great impression. This is one of his earliest hits, and we see glimpses of the star that he would become. He is cocky, funny, and is a highlight of the movie. In the end, if we needed to have Fantastic Four to have the Chris Evans we have today, I’m happy. Well, almost.
Fantastic Four is one of the most generic movies I have ever seen. Save for Chris Evans the cast is adequate, but rarely anything more. The story is deadly dull, and the movie’s cinematography is bight and cheap looking. It reeks of the corporate mindset… “Comic book movies are popular? Let’s make one of those. Just hire somebody, anybody.” It’s just all so adequate, and thus, dull.
NOTE: This review is part of a series called Superheroes: Bottom to Top, wherein I review every super-hero movie I own, from the lowest rated to the highest (according to Rotten Tomatoes). Next we bring the Snikt! with X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
“Fantastic Four” on other websites:
IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia
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