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Fantastic Four

A movie directed by Tim Story

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Marvel franchise is back in good hands

  • Oct 26, 2005
Rating:
+2
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 changes their DNA and gives them remarkable powers: invisibility, fire, stony strength and, um, stretchiness.

There isn't as much action in the movie as one might expect, but the steady pacing gives characters time to develop and come to grips with their abilities before matching them against their first arch-foe. The movie doesn't have the best dialogue I've heard in a while, but when the cosmic storm hits, the special effects get wickedly cool.

Let's look at the team. The brilliant scientist Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards is neatly played with heavy doses of idealism and social awkwardness by Ioan Gruffudd. Jessica Alba is reserved, even chilly, as the Invisible Woman/Sue Storm, until circumstances force her back into the pliable arms of ex-beau Reed. Chris Evans, as the hotshot Human Torch/Johnny Storm, is flashy and arrogant, having way too much fun with his powers and sudden celebrity. As the mighty, rock-faced Thing/Ben Grimm, Michael Chiklis is a gruff and loyal mook with big muscles, sad eyes and some serious need for a pick-me-up.

As for the the villainous Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), he's been reinvented as a handsome and charismatic industrialist. The movie plops Doom in the middle of the action, and his own exposure to cosmic rays soon has him developing super-hard metal skin and tricky new electrical powers. (Still, for all his icy calm and unsatiable ambition, the love triangle set up to create additional tension between him and Reed is cliched and unnecessary.)

There's also a fascinating glimpse of those tricky little "unstable molecule" outfits the superteam wears. The way my wife elbowed me in the ribs when Sue displayed them, you'd think there was something else to see. (On one of her early attempts to go invisible, Sue flashes a bridge full of bystanders in a lacy bra and panties? Of course, the lingerie was of the "stable molecule" variety.)

The cast is good all around, and the special effects are expertly applied. So why, when the FF makes its first public appearance -- at a rather spectacular traffic pile-up initially caused by the Thing -- does the public seem completely unsurprised? Have New Yorkers become so jaded by Spider-Man and the X-Men that a rock man, a flame man, a putty man and a beautiful woman in her underwear don't warrant a raised eyebrow?

Fantastic Four has garnered plenty of mixed reviews, but I hope the studio doesn't give up on it just yet. Now, with the characters in place and their powers revealed, the team is poised for a more action-packed sequel, and I hope to see this cast return to do the job.

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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.   …
review by . August 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
GOOD FOR WHAT IT IS
      FANTASTIC 4      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 …
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 …
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Tom Knapp ()
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Wiki

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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Details

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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