Fantastic Four

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Fantastic Four
Review (4/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Fantastic Four is the comic book adaptation based on the story of a group (that includes astronauts, scientists and an entrepreneur) who head off to space to investigate some sort of cosmic rays that apparently may be beneficial to mankind. Unfortunately, the group is unexpectedly zapped by cosmic radiation and they return to earth with superhuman powers.

Reed Richards (Ioan Guffudd) can stretch his body parts in ways that the human body should not be able to stretch. He has become Mr. Fantastic. Ben Grimm's body has turned into solid rock. He is The Thing. Sue Storm can turn invisible and create force fields. She is Invisible Woman. Her brother, Johnny Storm, can create fire with the flick of a finger and in fact, turn his whole body into a flying ball of flames. He is now the Human Torch. And finally, Victor Von Doom has become Dr. Doom. His body has turned into metal.

Fantastic Four basically focuses on Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and The Thing coming to grips with their newfound powers while Dr. Doom plots to destroy them (or something like that). Based on what we have seen in terms of comic book movies over the last three or four years, including the likes of Spider-Man 2, Sin City and Batman Begins, Fantastic Four is a colossal failure. It's not that the movie is an absolute failure. It does have its moments of excitement and comedy and a couple of the characters are decent (particularly Michael Chiklis as The Thing and Chris Evans AS Johnny Storm) but really, Fantastic Four does not even come close to holding a candle to most of its comic book predecessors, with perhaps the exception of the dreadful Catwoman.

Where this movie fails is in its script. It is horrible. You get the feeling that this script might have been written by a twelve-year old boy. And perhaps if this movie was being made to entertain twelve-year old boys, that would be understandable. But when you are making a comic book movie, you better be making a movie to appease the comic book fanatics and most of these fanatics range from the ages of 15 to 35. I will be very surprised if the majority of these fanatics are satisfied with Fantastic Four. The cheesy lines, the weak story, the terrible villain in the movie (Dr. Doom was not even remotely close to being menacing) - this movie has all the ingredients for failure.

From a personal standpoint, I will say I did not totally despise Fantastic Four. But it just had a very amteurish feeling to it and one of the worst scripts to come along in a comic book movie in years. For example, seeing how a New York City crowd reacted when Sue Storm turned invisible right before their eyes was laughable. Like I said, this movie has a 12-year old mentality to it. If it does well amongst the 8-12-year old crowd, all the power to it. But if you want to make a Fantastic Four sequel, and all signs are pointing towards this being a possiblilty, you had better get damn serious and get a new director and new writers. Otherwise, this movie franchise is going to end up right where this movie belongs - in the proverbial toilet.

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