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Fantastic Four

A movie directed by Tim Story

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  • Aug 11, 2010
Fantastic Four (Full Screen Edition)


When this film first came out there was a lot of high hopes for the film, and why not it is one of the most beloved comics of all time. There has been a lot said about this movie some being positive some negative, I think for the most part that both sides are right. This movie is flawed especially if you are a fan of the comic series but if you a casual viewer I see no reason why you would not like this film. I have been a fan of Marvel Comics since I was a little kid, and while this series was not my favorite I still read it. That is why I have mixed feelings about this movie, on one hand I am upset with how it turned out while on the other I enjoyed it.

The story is all about five unlucky people who take a little trip into space to conduct an experiment, of course since this film is based on a comic you know that something goes wrong. After being hit with all kinds of nasty stuff [cosmic rays] the team wakes up a little later back on earth and everything seems fine, at first. But after a while Reed Richards starts to feel a little stretched, Suzanne Storm feels a little invisible, Johnny Storm begins to feel a little hot, Victor Von Doom feels electrified, and poor Ben Grimm feels a little solid. Of course all of you know what I am talking about with each character; four become fantastic while Doom becomes just that, doomed. It is these events that start to set in motion what should be one of the greatest show downs of all time, more on that later. Reluctantly Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch [not so reluctantly] and of course very reluctantly The Thing except who they have become and join up to become the Fantastic Four. That is really what the movie is all about, all of them coming to terms with what they have become. Torch and Doom are really the only ones that like what has happened to them, strangely for similar reasons.

A lot of the fans of the comic have spoken out about this movie saying a whole lot of different things, different reasons why they dislike this movie. One reason and justly so is the fact that the film is not really true to the comic all that much, such as the character story lines like Doom was never with Sue that I can remember. Also weren't Reed and Doom friends in college and became enemies once an experiment went wrong and messed up Victor. There are also some other points to be made about storylines and such but you get the idea of what I am trying to say. Something else that is discussed a lot is the casting of the film, from what I can tell most people disagree with most of it. Ioan Gruffudd is cast as Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic and a lot of people disagree with this casting decision. It is true that Reed was a genius that was full of confidence and never really self doubting like he is in this film, that is true I can't really argue that point. Also Jessica Alba as Sue Storm aka Invisible Woman has had a lot of critics about her being cast in that role, once again rightful criticism since Sue was never that prissy and stuck up and love sick. Chris Evans as Johnny Storm aka Human Torch has had mixed reactions, people say that Torch was never that cocky but I disagree. He may not have been that cocky originally but I do remember this Torch from his guest appearances in the Spiderman comics, maybe not that cocky but pretty close and has far as entertainment purposes I think they went the right way. Michael Chiklis is really the only one that has had the most praise as Ben Grimm aka The Thing, and rightfully so as he portrays his character perfectly and fulfils a childhood dream by being in this film as The Thing. And of course our villain is played by Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom aka Dr. Doom, he has been plagued with criticism as well but I liked him as Doom.

I really believe that all of the actors did great jobs for what they were given, I mean think about it they portrayed characters that were written for them and acted as directed. If there ever was any one to blame it would be director Tim Story and writers Mark Frost and Michael France. They seem to have wanted to make this film more about the characters and drama between them more important then a film about the action. I can understand that decision but they could have balanced both much better just look at the Spiderman films. Also people complain about how they changed the origins and story around, but like Stan Lee said the big screen is much different from the pages, and some times the film needs to be made different to reach a new audience. As a fan I can both understand this and except it but at the same time be upset by it. Still I don't like that the final battle between the Four and Doom is way to short and not as epic as it could have been. Still though Tim and the writers obviously had a certain vision they wanted to go with for the film and they followed through with it. And what you get is what you get take it or leave, am I overly excited by the finished product, no. But I do think that the film is worth a watch, maybe even a purchase.

All the actors did great jobs with what they had written for them, Chris Evans really did a good job adding to his character. His fights with Michael Chiklis are great entertainment and remind me of the comics, and I think Doom looked cool and Julian McMahon did a great job regardless of whether his character was written for the screen right. Michael Chiklis steals the show in my eyes; his portrayal is great and really heartfelt, that is how I would react if I was turned into that and lost my wife. Ioan Gruffudd is in the same vein as Julian McMahon in that he does a great job with a character that was not written right; same can be said for Alba who does a good job with her character [she is also super hot, really a beautiful woman]. The only thing is that she at times like in the action scenes kinda looks out of place, but that suit fits so right on her so I'll forgive that [sorry but that is the guy in me coming out].

Tim, Mark, and Michael although they did not really stick to what the comic was did an ok job with this new version of the team. Sure I would prefer it a different way but the finished product is still kind of a fun movie, perfect for a lazy Saturday or something. Maybe it is because I am a fan of Marvel [Stan Lee cameos] and that they Ok'd it makes me forgive its short comings, or maybe it is just mindless fun that I think this film is ok. This film will never be my favorite movie or even favorite super hero movie but still it is not unwatchable. Whether you hate this film or not as a fan you should still support what you grew up loving, this is not a film just for the people who came to love the comics. This film at least what I think they were going for is a film that has enough of the old to please the old fans and enough new to reach a new audience. I think it worked kinda because the film made money, and as long as these films make money the more we will get to see them. Even if they are not done correctly I would still rather see these characters being created for new generations, which is really the only way the characters will live on.

The DVD comes with a nice cast commentary with Chiklis, Gruffudd, and Alba; also included are a lot of great behind the scenes extras including a great documentary. Also on a side note, I actually like the first movie from the 90's that was produced by Roger Corman. I wish that would get a real release on DVD or something, the bootleg quality is not to great.

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August 20, 2010
That's why you keep a couple of VCRs around--not everything gets a DVD re-release. As far as I recall most people complained about Jessica Alba being invisible. Why cast a good looking girl in the film and then spend half the film not being able to see her? Or at least a couple of pro critics griped about that. I guess they had the hots for her. =)
August 11, 2010
I actually thought that the extended edition of this movie was better and elevated my 2 star rating to a 2.5-3.0 Alba does look good in that skin-tight outfit ;)
More Fantastic Four (movie) reviews
review by . December 19, 2010
Out of all the superhero franchises, this one gets the biggest shaft. It's a shame, because Fantastic Four is a popular comic series and seems to have a strong fanbase. I was never really into them, but I still knew who they were, and I actually wanted to see this film when it came out. Fifteen minutes into the film, I was incredibly disappointed. I could see that it was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek approach to one of the most famous superhero teams in existence, but it tried, and failed.   …
Quick Tip by . September 14, 2010
Showed us all how a family can work together (even if one of them is stretchy, another invisible, another composed of rocks and one is highly combustible)!
Quick Tip by . May 10, 2010
Silly and almost actionless superhero movie showcasing one of Marvel's earliest hero teams. They deserved better.
review by . May 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I really hoped this movie would resemble the X-Men Trilogy (X-Men/ X2 - X-Men United/ X-Men - The Last Stand), which I thought was a model of how to transform a comic book into a movie.     Unfortunately, Fantastic Four falls a bit flat. That casting is part of the problem. I thought Chris Evans was funny as Johnny "Torch." However, Jessica Alba as a scientist? I'm sorry, that's just casting so against type that it doesn't work. There's also no plot or emotional depth. The film …
review by . July 15, 2009
Jessica Alba's super power is turning her orange skin clear.
Fantastic Four I always looked at as the sunny side of X Men.  This is the world where mutated humans are loved by the rest of mankind instead of being obstracized from society and feared.      Reed Richards is a brilliant but bankrupt scientist and his associate Ben Grimm need funding for a scientific discovery in space and resort to turning to an old aquaintence, Victor VonDoom. (wonder if he's a bad guy?)  Doom approves of the project provided he get a juicy …
review by . March 28, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Cool to see the Fantastic 4 in action     Cons: Basically a movie for character development (sort of); Jessica Alba     The Bottom Line: I can understand why it didn’t sit so well with the public, hence it could have been dealt with a little better.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. When I saw the previews for The Fantastic 4 I was excited. I didn’t know much about them aside from the …
review by . September 22, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Based upon the comic book series of the same name, FANTASTIC FOUR is a sci-fi action movie about a group of scientists who gain superpowers from a powerful cosmic ray while aboard a laboratory and observation space station above Earth. Their powers aren't apparent immediately and are dormant upon re-entry. However, towards the end of their quarantine upon re-entry the five individuals become aware of changes in their bodies: Dr. Richard Reed (Ioan Gruffudd) has the ability to stretch his body into …
review by . January 04, 2006
Pros: Great special effects, Jessica Alba looks good in a Victoria’s Secret garb.      Cons: Too much time spent on back-story and emotional stuff.     The Bottom Line: While Fantastic Four is not something I would run to the theater to see, it is perfect for those rainy, cloud shrouded, lazy Saturday’s in between work days.      I grew up in the age of Marvel and D.C. comics; at a time when the thin colored wonders were a mainstay of the …
review by . December 02, 2005
It's a good movie but also has room for improvement. One of the pluses of this movie is the cast. Not only is it a good cast but one filled with fresh faces. Each person also brings an impressive resume to the movie. Jessica Alba is really coming into her own with this movie as well as having a starring role in this year's earlier hit, "Sin City". Chris Evans is also an up and comer having appeared in last year's flick, "Cellular" Ioan Gruffudd from "Titanic" and the "Horatio Hornblower" series …
review by . October 26, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
I went to see Fantastic Four with low expectations, which allowed me to be pleasantly surprised. While FF was nowhere near the quality of recent Spider-Man and X-Men movies (let's just ignore Daredevil and Hulk), it certainly allows me to believe the Marvel Comics franchise is in good hands.     The Fantastic Four is often considered the flagship title for Marvel. In short, a group of friends blast into space for scientific research when they are caught in a cosmic storm that …
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Fantastic Four (titled Fantastic 4 on the DVD/Blu-ray release) is a 2005 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics comic Fantastic Four. It was directed by Tim Story, and released by 20th Century Fox. This is the second live-action Fantastic Four movie to be filmed. The previous attempt, a B-movie produced by Roger Corman only for the purpose of retaining the film rights, was never intended for a theatrical release.

The film was released in the United States on July 8, 2005. It was the third superhero film of the year, after Elektra and Batman Begins.

Marvel Comics' first family of superherodom, the Fantastic Four, hits the big screen in a light-hearted and funny adventure. It begins when down-on-his-luck genius Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd,Horatio Hornblower) has to enlist the financial and intellectual help from former schoolmate and rival Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon,Nip/Tuck) in order to pursue outer-space research into human DNA. Also on the trip are Reed's best friend, Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis,The Shield); his former lover, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba,Dark Angel,Sin City), who's now Doom's employee and love interest; and her hotshot-pilot brother, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans,Cellular). Things don't go as planned, of course, and the quartet becomes blessed--or is it cursed?--with superhuman powers: flexibility, brute strength, invisibility and projecting force fields, and bursting into flame. Meanwhile, Doom himself is undergoing a transformation.


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Cast: Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Kerry Washington, Gina Holden, Kevin McNulty, Ioan Gruffudd, David Richmond-Peck, Nicole Muñoz, Tony Alcantar, David Parker, Dave Holmes, Peter Bryant, Brian Deegan, Leonard Thomas, Stan Lee, Daniel Bacon, Andrew Airlie, Doug Abrahams, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Hamish Linklater, Laurie Holden, Maria Menounos, Penelope Corrin, Aonika Laurent, Paul Belsito, Morgan Reynolds, Danielle Dunn-Morris, Bobbi Bysouth, Marlaina Mah, Tre Verhoeven, Juanita Mirehouse, Stefanie Singer, Jamie Little, Barbara Christabella, Sanja Banic, Jason Kaufman, Preston Peet, Steven Fulani Hart, Maurice Tyson, Jaimie Mcvittie, Jenni Squair, Lia Salmond, Ellen Ewusie, Ylenia Aurucci, Michelle Kulas, Kate Mullan, Georgia Dewson, Sienna Rose, Hector A. Leguillow, Benedict Mulroney, Jon Brady, Taryn Winter Brill, Sara Edwards, Heidi Eng, CB Hackworth, Sam Hallenbeck, Mike Waco, Marian Etoile Watson, Richard Ho, Andrew Hunsaker, Taylor Johnson, Bonnie Laufer-Krebs, Lisa Fuller Magee, Bret Martin, Liam Mayclem, Scott Patrick, Shaheem Reid, Maria Salas, Devon Soltendieck, Anthony Toscano, Terry David Mulligan, Kenny Bartram, Sam Rubin, Patrick Stoner, Lorena Gale, Jason Schombing, Michael Kopsa, Colin Lawrence, Mark S. Allen, Douglas Weston, Brenda Crichlow, Jim Ferguson, Peggy Gormley, Ed Hodson, Deejay Jackson, Ron Chartier, G. Michael Gray, Ronnie Renner, Donavon Stinson, Bethann Schebece, Jason Diablo, Jennifer Lothrop, Pascale Hutton, Louise Lemoine Torres, Lauren Sanchez, John Speredakos
Director: Tim Story
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: July 8, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2005
Runtime: 1hr 46min
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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