Fan Four Not Fantastic but Still Good

This year’s Fantastic Four has been one of the most anticipated “comic book to film” movies. While the movie isn’t always faithful to the comic book and cartoon, it’s still an action-packed, fast-paced thrill ride.

The movie starts off with Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Ben Grimm (Micahel Chiklis) trying to get Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) and his company to finance a space experiment. The three, along with Susan Storm (Jessica Alba), Reed’s former girlfriend, and her brother, Johnny (Chris Evans) all go to the space station together. Things, of course, go horribly wrong.

The result of the botched mission wreaks havoc on everyone’s DNA. Reed, a.k.a., Mr. Fantastic, now has the ability to stretch to extraordinary lengths and contort his body into any shape; Susan, a.k.a. the Invisible Woman, can disappear (with heightened frustration or anger) as well as form and throw force fields; Johnny, a.k.a. the Human Torch, bursts into flame, flies and can throw fireballs; and Ben, a.k.a. The Thing, is transformed into an indestructible, “Hulk-ish” figure who is externally and internally solid rock.

After an incident on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the group is thrust into the spotlight and dubbed the “Fantastic Four”. However, while trying to work on a remedy to their conditions, a nemesis raises his head in the form of Victor Von Doom who was also affected in space. The shielding that was protecting him on the space station is slowly becoming part of his skeleton and allowing him to conduct massive amounts of energy. It’s up to the group to stop Doom, who is now bent on revenge against them.

One of the pluses of this movie is the cast. Not only is it a good cast but one filled with fresh faces. Each person also brings an impressive resume to the movie. Jessica Alba is really coming into her own with this movie as well as having a starring role in this year’s earlier hit, Sin City.

Chris Evans is also an up and comer having appeared in last year’s flick, Cellular Ioan Gruffudd from Titanic and the Horatio Hornblower series and Julian McMahon from TV’s Nip/Tuck not only shine in this movie but are also supposedly two of the top contenders to inherit the James Bond role. Michael Chiklis is also a seasoned actor and has gained exposure as well as an Emmy for his work on “The Shield”.

The pace and the plot in general are also good. The plot is not overly technical or complicated and carries a nice blend of action and comedy, especially a shaving crÃ?¨me incident between Johnny Storm and the Thing. The pace of the movie rarely allows for a dull moment. It keeps your attention from the moment it begins and doesn’t let it go until the credits are rolling.

What could the movie have worked on? The emotional aspects of the characters could have been drawn out more. Chiklis, as the Thing, did this well. However, most people would be a little freaked out if they suddenly burst into flames unexpectedly. The characters seemed to take these changes as if they were an everyday, normal occurrence.

The movie could have shown more and explained the personal relationships between some of the characters. Was there some sort of relationship between Doom and Susan? At the beginning there appeared to be but later she said there wasn’t. Was there a particular reason Doom didn’t like Reed Richards? Some background information on that would have been interesting. It also would have been nice to see more of the friendship between the Thing and his new girlfriend.

Supposedly the cast has signed on to film a total of three movies so maybe some of these questions will be answered in time. However, the “Fantastic Four” is a good starting point. Is it going to be winning a Best Picture Oscar? No. But for a fun movie for the entire family, it doesn’t get any better than this.

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