The Fantastic Four

2005 / cinema

SF elements



This is the story of the genesis of the Fantastic Four: stern Reed Richards [Ioan Gruffudd of Hornblower fame] as Mr Fantastic with his stretchability, Sue Storm [Jessica Alba, now blonde, so only occasionally looking Dark Angel -ish] as the Invisible Girl with her invisibility and force field, reckless Johnny Storm [Chris Evans] as the Human Torch, and sensitive Ben Grimm [Michael Chiklis] as The Thing good only for clobberin'. And, of course, their arch nemesis, Dr Doom [Julian McMahon].

[Dr Doom attacks Sue Storm]

There are some nice touches to bring things up to date, such as Sue Storm's indignant reaction when she hears her brother name her character on live TV. The attempts to "explain" the superpowers with modern science (it's changed their DNA!) make things worse, of course -- it goes from "I don't know how that could be" to "it couldn't be like that ".

The SFX are great, and The Thing's makeup is superb -- being simultaneously stone-like and expressive. But on the whole, this suffers the same problem as many comic book to screen translations: too much time spent establishing the backstory, and not enough on the plot. So we will have to wait for the second episode for that. At least there are no secret identities risking exposure to make tedious subplots.

Rating: 3.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 3 August 2005