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Fantastic Four (2005)

Rothe Blog Fantastic FourThree Stars

Mmm Boy. Well, now a days there seems to be a lot of positive buzz about comic book movies, but for every good one there seems to be at least one bad one. Fantastic Four isn’t bad per say, but isn’t isn’t great, which is too bad for such a group of well known characters.

The main problem with the movie is story and casting. No small thing, I know. I kind of wondered about Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, and I left the theater not really having noticed her. She seems too young, wanting to be a strong character but not really, only stronger than Reed Richards, and really only gives good performances when she is arguing with Johnny. Who does not look like her could ever be her brother. Not convincing in love, and really not convincing as some super intelligent M.I.T. grad. Bad choice.

Ioan Gruffield. You don’t know that name, unless you saw the lost Bruckheimer movie King Arthur. He played lancelot there, and he wasn’t very good. This isn’t any different. You see fleeting glimpses of Reed’s brilliance, but it isn’t convincing. His character Reed, never becomes a leader that the movie is trying to push, and although a weak argument, he doesn’t look the part. A couple of gray streaks really don’t do anything. Plus, him as an elastic man, those special effects look a little silly.

Ben Chiklis and especially Chris Evans as The Thing and Johnny Storm the Human Torch were good and perfect respectively. If you read around the internet, you will hear that The Thing was awkward, stumbling, and unbelievable in costume. I didn’t think he was bad, I think it would have been hard to do a non CG Thing, and they did a pretty good job. He had some pretty good fighting scenes, and some pretty good emotion trying to deal with the raw hand he had been dealt. Torch was perfect. Not to take away from Chris Evans, but I don’t think that role would be very hard. You act arrogant, you say the snappy lines, and you get the girls. But he does do the Torch to a T, and it is amazing to see that character come to life. They did an amazing job with the CG on that one.

Then, Julian McMahon for Dr. Doom. Who? You ask? Exacctttly. Just like is too common today, you get an unknown and count on them to take the film forward. That is true for most of the cast in this movie, relatively unknown at the very least. But it does show that star power doesn’t always pan out either, like Jessica Alba.

To a comic fan, it is all about the translation, the characters, and their stories. This movie has a lot to do with telling the stories with a cast of five completely different characters. But Bryan Singer did it so well with so many more in X-men, why couldn’t Tim Story (Barbershop Oy!) do it too? The middle of the movie deals with the characters waiting around for Reed Richards to finish a little pod that will turn them back to normal. Then, 3/4 of the movie in, Dr. Doom turns to complete metal and decides that the F4 are the reason that his commercial empire has crumbled and that he is going to kill them with government weapons. Not very creative or villainous, and really an injustice to such a feared and intelligent character.

Don’t get me wrong. I like to see the eye candy. I like to see the characters brought to life and see the vision of transforming them for a modern audience. That is a battle that can have an exciting payoff. But that is all this movie was. When done right like Batman, and you love the characters, a movie can come to life. This one just seems to have gone through the motions.

If you liked Road Trip, this is a lesser shell, with less depth, but has it’s own good qualities if you like these type of movies.

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