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This one was released when Marvel was still finding its voice as a brand. The X-Men movies came before as well as Spider-Man but they still weren't established as the name in quality that they've come to be known today. If memory serves the mainstream critics dismissed it out of hand for some unbeknownst reasoning. Who knows. Maybe Jessica Alba's presence in the cast drew their ire. Too bad because she is quite good here. Chris Evans flashes the same charisma as the fans of Captain America came to know him for. Michael Chiklis delivers poignancy as the Thing. Lone quibble is the villain is pretty generic. Plotwise pretty serviceable as an origins flick. Ditto for the FX. Not as transcendent as later Marvel efforts but I enjoyed it a lot.
The Fantastic Four along with Spider-Man, Ghost Rider and Blade were Marvel’s earliest attempts at getting into the movies before the Marvel Cinematic Universe took off. The story focused upon the origins of the group and their arch nemesis Dr. Doom. While the movie got panned by some it wasn’t bad.
First what the movie got right was capturing many of the core elements of the comic books. For instance, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) was portrayed as immature and impetuous. It had Reed Richards promise Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) he’d reverse his condition when he turned into The Thing. It also played with the characters’ powers like Grimm not being able to pick up utensils because his rock hands were too big or Johnny making popcorn by holding a popcorn bag in his hand and heating it up with his superpower.
There were still some problems. Casting Jessica Alba as Sue Storm and making her dye her hair blond was not a good look. The make up they did on Chiklis to transform him into The Thing also needed a lot of work. He didn’t look big or menacing like the character was supposed to. They also had some bad writing like Grimm’s fiancé dumping him on a bridge after he just saved some people or Johnny getting bored so he decides to take part in a BMX event on ESPN.
Still, the story overall was good with them facing off against Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon) at the end. People could hold their nose through the questionable parts and enjoy the movie overall.
I saw the remake first, some years ago, and was not impressed. I'm not actually impressed with this version either, but it does make a bit more sense and left a better impression on me. I am not a comics reader, and so I have no idea which film better follows the "official" situation. If there even is one; apparently, everything changes every so often, so what does it matter what a film does? If you skipped this one and didn't like the remake, you might want to try the original. You might like it better.
I like this movie. I'm 37 years old and not a superhero fanatic or anything, but this movie has a charm that takes it beyond the ordinary bang-zoom superhero thing. And it's appropriate for my kids, there is no torture, rape, blood, shooting, and very little violence. As a result, when the villain kills even one person, it's appropriately shocking and sufficient evidence of his evil. He doesn't have to have a huge body count or level a city. I am so tired of super-villains smashing New York City. We had real planes smashing us, people. It's too soon. Anyway, the four main characters are refreshingly real, they have feelings and flaws and hopes and dreams, all derailed by their exposure to a weird space storm of some sort. They slowly begin to realize that they have been altered, and their reactions differ based on what their mutations are and what their personalities are. Usually in these movies there is one person dealing with their super-mutation alone, but in this case there are four, and they have to learn to work as a team when the fifth mutant decides he wants to get rid of them and, presumably, take over the world. By the end they have come to terms with their new states, and even the guy who got turned into a rock monster has chosen to continue that way rather than be mutated back. So, the plot is primarily about the process of discovering and coming to terms with new superpowers, and it's a good metaphor for anyone's coming of age story. And the progression to superheroes is sufficiently believable, even explaining the practical reasons for their matching suits. I give it 5 stars because in its human-centric story and lack of violence, it accomplishes what movies like Man of Steel could not, even with all the eye-popping smashing.
Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2014
I love Marvel comics in all of its various forms. I have watched every single Marvel comic blockbuster film that has ever been done. Some are fantastic, and some are not so good. Thankfully the Fantastic 4 falls into the fantastic category (and yes, this time the pun was intended.) This is a fun, feel-good, superhero movie that hooks you right from the get go. At the core is the story of 4 individuals who have to put aside egos and/or personal histories in order to come together and become a team. Each actor played his and/or her role perfectly and the result is a rousingly fun movie that keeps you cheering for the heroes all to way to the end. Julian McMahon was a maniacal, power-hungry Dr. Doom, Ioan Gruffudd plays the part of the "dumbest smart person" extremely well, Michael Chiklis makes you feel for his character and the burden he must bare, Jessica Alba's Invisible Woman is easily the heart and soul of the team, and Chris Evans plays the human torch to perfection. I was so upset to find out that Chris would be playing Captain America, because that meant that there would be no more Fantastic 4 movies (although, I do have to admit, he is also brilliant as Steve Rogers). The Fantastic 4 is a great film that will just make you feel good. Keep em coming Marvel!
I won't get bogged down with all the talk about the Fantastic 4 movie not hitting the mark in terms of the original comic books. Stan Lee was involved in the making so any artistic liberties that he is happy with are ok with me.
The Story tells of the formation of the Fantastic Four and the Evil Dr Doom, all of whom develop genetic modifications to there DNA, as the result of a freak storm in space that they had gone out to invesigate and perform experiments in, arrives early and catches the four unaware. The resultant storm gives each of the four there super powers. Stretchy, Invislbity, Fire and "The Thing" who is super strong and tough as his body has become stone! What the 4 don't intially realise is that the Victor Doom who was on the station also, and footing the bill for all this out of space experimentation, is also affected by the storm, and as his mutli billion dollar empire starts to crumble his evil persona start to take root.
So lets look at the Blu Ray and what you get.
Picture quality is very good with lots of the usual shiny effects and dazzling images. The sound is excellent quality too though as seems to be a constant gripe with me and blu rays the extras are noted by there abscence! This is rather annoying and I know adopt my own Blu-Ray mantra which is "Standard Definition Extra's are better than none!" Please Please Please Blu-Ray makers head my plea!!!
Over all a good romp and although quite camp acting its well within the characters of the film. What else would you expect from a hero whos tag line is "Its Clobbering time" :) Enjoy:)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2015
I just got it after watching the pretty awful remake which I thought was pretty terrible. All though this earlier version is dated a bit and perhaps not quite as polished style-wise,it's far superior than the reboot and a fun, coherent and enjoyable superhero movie.
4.0 out of 5 starsGood film with great special effects
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 24, 2006
Fantastic Four is a film that shouldn't be taken too seriously. It's a good film with amazing special effects and action sequences. The cast is good, particularly Jessica Alba. She's great as Sue Storm. Some scenes and dialogue could have been left out of the film. If you're expecting something like X-Men, you'll be very disappointed. The DVD set is great too. Plenty of special features and things to watch. The limited edition packaging is nice too.