"I can't remember the film, but I'd seen an old movie once about a screenwriter who was complaining about the way the studio treated his little script about kids playing ball in the park. Once it was written and sold, the piece was later turned into a war film, ruing any care, attention or real labor that the writer had put into an otherwise fetching story. To say that this is what could have happened to the Fantastic Four is just an assumption. But, somewhere along the line, between writing the script and casting the film, somebody who didn't know a damn thing about Marvel's finest hero group took control and warped it into one of the stupidest pieces of cinema this side of SuperGirl. Either they didn't know or they didn't care. Take your pick.
When I heard who was cast as Ben Grimm, the Thing, I was really excited. I had never even once thought of Michael Chiklis, but there could not have been anyone better for the role. Hyped up, I learned about who would take the role of the Human Torch. Whatever, I'd never even heard of this kid. Then, Jessica Alba, and I said, "Oh no." Not as the....Invisible Woman??? How can it be worse!?! Then, it got worse with some guy who's name I couldn't even pronounce as Mr. Fantastic, with gray dye on his temples. Not even looking anywhere near the real age of Reed Richards, this guy meant doom. But not all by himself. No, the real doom would come from the smug actor, Something Whatisname, who would destroy the character of Dr. Doom forever. Not only did this guy look like he couldn't play Doom but he played him in a really stupid plot device. Here...
Reed and his ilk want to go out into space for a science mission. I halfway believed him as a smart guy, but never are we made to believe that he is a genius. Victor Von Doom is the billionaire who finances the project and tags along - with Sue Storm as his girlfriend (!) and Johnny and Ben to tag along as pilots. Now, what is wrong with this story?
FIRST: Reed and Doom were friends in college until Doom blew up his own face in a science mistake and blamed it on Reed, hating him forever. This was waaaaay before Reed even knew the Storms.
SECOND: Johnny Storm was much younger in the comic book, at least by three or four years. AT LEAST. How he unbelievably managed to take the trip into space at that age, I will never know, so it's good that they fixed that part.
THIRD: I don't think Sue was a scientist in the book - in fact, I'm positive of it. Either way, Jessica Alba, being a major hottie, gets away with her hotness when being in ANY movie. But she will never get away with playing a scientist.
FOURTH: Doom never went into space with Reed and his ilk and he sure as heck wasn't dating Sue.
FIFTH: Ben Grimm ROCKS! Can't diss that part.
So, there. Before the film even starts, not only do they manage to smartly create a timely story about their origin which manages to incorporate Doom, but they DO IT BADLY AND STUPIDLY! Trying to crunch in the important themes was a good idea but it was left in the hands of bad, bad, bad storytellers. Doom ends up getting zapped in space with the rest of them and that's why he has armor? BECAUSE IT'S HIS SKIN? LAME!!!!
I won't go into much more of my personal hatreds, but I will tell you that I despise the director, Tim Story of "Barbershop" fame. Not only is he not competent enough to take on a story like this one, but he doesn't know enough about it to care. With a name like his, I half expected at least a good visual "story." Instead, we seemed to get just a pile of smoking junk, as if he didn't know a good story if it bit him in the butt. Now, some directors just do what they do because it's payday or because they don't have the clout to flex any muscles. If he were Spielberg, he would probably have said, "NO! TAKE THIS GARBAGE BACK AND LET WHEN KNOW WHEN YOU HIRE SOME REAL SCREENWRITERS!" (this from the guy who made "Jurassic Park" - which only floated thanks to CGI. But CLOUT reigns supreme) But, Story is not Spielberg, he's the guy from "Barbershop." But the film just reeks of not even trying. If he was powerless and had to succumb to the studio's demands, I take it all back. The studio should have backed off, not him.
Ben's latext skin was good, but it really should have been better with a little CGI touch-ups. There were times when I cringed at how obviously fake his orange suit was. Still, Chiklis handled the job really well, but the scene where Ben's wife leaves him was totally laughable. Still, not his fault. Furthermore, not that I'm hating, but I could have sworn that Ben's blind girlfriend in the comic book was white.
Sue Storm and Reed Richards sucked almost as bad as Doctor Doom. Doom is a super-intimidating figure and it did not play out here well enough. He said some mean things, smacked some people around, but he was by no means the insane mastermind from paper pictures. Sue's powers looked super-cool but Reed's seemed a bit silly at times. But during the BIG FIGHT SCENE, I forgave a lot and just enjoyed myself. For a few minutes there, it was totally FANTASTIC FOUR material.
The Human Torch could not have been better. Not how I imagined him, but he surpassed all my expectations and actually proved me wrong in some places. He is cocky and arrogant and, like Dash from THE INCREDIBLES, seemed to be the only one to relish the idea of having super powers. Nice change of pace, differing from Batman, Blade and Spiderman, who do what they have to do like it's a curse or a reason to be bummed out all the time.
If I were to rate it from one to ten, I would give it a four. One because it's a superhero movie. Two, because Alba is hot. Three, because I loved Grimm and Johnny and their constant bickering. And four, because some of the effects, like the Human Torch's fire, were top notch. Keep one thing in mind though, after the "Incredibles" came out and everyone saw how cool a person with stretch powers could be, rumor has it that the FANTASTIC FOUR went back and shot "better" scenes of Reed stretching around. Still....no competition. Not even enough competition for a cartoon."
THIS version DESERVES to be watched because of the JACK "KIN
JONATHAN MANKUTA | Hollywood, CA United States | 03/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll be honest...this movie doesn't need an "extended cut" version...sure it's a fine movie, but most of you already have an acceptable version of it, and an extra 20 minutes of footage is fine, but to most of us, not quite enough to justify buying an entire other DVD version of it... So WHY am I reviewing this version of the DVD as a 5-star "MUST BUY" version? SOLELY because the "extras" DVD has a feature reflecting and honoring JACK "KING" KIRBY, the man/legend who co-created the entire Marvel universe (among other superheroes), with Stan Lee, but got almost NONE of the credit (or money) that Stan did... KIRBY was a creative FORCE for both Marvel and DC comics over his lifetime career, and not only was he the world's greatest comic book creator and artist, but an amazingly warm, wonderful person, family man, and treated his fans as if they were close friends...never in the world was a man more deserving of a documentary than Kirby was, and while it should've been included in the original release, this feature alone is WELL worth watching and well worth as well the cost of buying this DVD...you will NOT be disappointed by watching the KIRBY documentary...he WELL deserves this honor, and it's VERY interesting for comic fans and non comic fans alike..."
Tuvan Uner | Virginia,United States | 11/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie-despite poor reviews by the critics-lived up to my expectations and deserved to do better at the box office. The story of four astronauts whose lives are forever changed by cosmic radiation that changes them into super-beings.
Lots of courageous actions undertaken by the foursome who come to be known as the fantastic four. Reed Richards becomes Mr. Fantastic a human that can stretch and bend at will, Sue Stom the Invisible woman, Johnny Storm the Human Torch, and Ben Grimm the Thing, a large and powerful stone-like creature with super-human strength.
The film has a good sense of humor and also shows how each character struggles to deal with his/her newfound power.
Ultimately they must work together to stop the diabolical Dr. Doom and his evil plans.
The ending was quite satisfying and leaves the door open for a sequel. But dont take my word for it, go out and see this film for yourself it is simply fantastic!!!"
Lee Neville | London, ENGLAND | 08/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I so expected this movie to suck. I mean the Fantastic Four are not my favorite Marvel heroes, and past attempts to bring them to the screen has proved unsuccessful.
Still, I enjoyed this one. The movie may be considered a little slow since quite a bit of time is spent on the origin story. Of course that's what I'd expect since this is supposedly the first in a potential franchise. It's also interesting to see them all finally come together with their powers, in a scene (around the middle of the film) quite reminiscent of the first time Superman saves Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman movie. In regards to pacing, Dr Doom (once he discovers his powers) is dealt with in one battle at the end of the film pretty swiftly. Unlike for example Spider-Man 2 where Doc Ock made a few evil appearances before the final battle, in Fantastic Four Dr Doom discovers his powers during the extended origin and then our heroes get straight to it and that's the end of the movie.
This may unsettle some audiences but I consider it to simply be a change to the formula we've expected in recent years. Good for them!"
The first superhero movie that surpasses the comic
Donald A. Ketchek | Rochester, NY USA | 12/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm surprised at the amount of negative reviews that have surrounded this movie. Perhaps, like most opinions of movies made from books or comics, it depends on whether the viewer was a fan of the original material. If you didn't read the original Lee-Kirby Fantastic Four of the the 1960's, then maybe this movie doesn't do it for you. But if you did read those comics, then I think you will love this movie. It captures the mood, the interplay between the characters, and most of all, the tragic nature of Ben Grimm almost perfectly. And, I hate to say it, but the state of the art effects are even more impressive than the pulse-pounding excitement of a Kirby fight scene. Unlike a lot of special effects extravaganzas of the last few years, this movie is about the characters. It is both funny and moving. Just like the Fantastic Four that I remember."