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Friday, July 22, 2005

4...is the magic number

Did something I haven’t done in 25 years…went to a matinee movie….alone
I just HAD to see the Fantastic Four movie and as evenings are filled with taking care of the kids and absolutely nobody I knew was the slightest bit interested in seeing the movie, I went to a 3PM showing and was (by far) the oldest person at the screening (and the only one sitting by himself).
Anyway most of the 8-14 year olds must have thought I was some sicko as I had the whole row to myself, nobody even came near the “strange old man

I liked the movie, preferred it to Batman Begins, :but maybe that’s just the fan-boy talking.

Acting was decent all-round, Jessica Alba surprised me as I was expecting a really dire performance from her, but except in the action scenes were she was hamming it up, she did ok.

Story-wise I was satisfied as well, I don’t mind when movies retcon the comic book origins, as most origins are dated and not always geared towards non-comic book fans.
The origin with the space-station and the radiation was up to speed and I also liked that they made Johnny a tad older than in the comic books, as a 15-year old Johnny Storm going along on a rocket ride in FF#1 always bothered me. The public loving the FF, but fearing Ben was also well done.
The first hour or so dragged a bit but the final 45 minutes zipped by and I was surprised the movie was already over (always a good sign)

Effects were very good, only once did I notice something that could have been done better (Reed stretching on the bridge in the beginning) but the rest was solid. A LOT better than Spider-man #1 (which I think is a better film, but which was plagued with cheap CGI)
The effects for both Torch and Invisible Girl were believable, as was the Thing “suit”.
Throughout the movie I noticed we didn’t get a lot of clear shots of Reed stretching, so I thought they were masking it as it couldn’t be done realistically and they’d rather leave a lot to the imagination. But then during the showdown with Doom I was pleasantly surprised when reed turned into a human blanket, comic-style. Really well done !

The part I had the most trouble with was the characters. Being an FF-fan, this was always going to be a sore point for me.

The Thing was perfect, absolutely spot-on. Tragic, heroic and unpolished but with a heart of gold. Couldn’t have been done better

The Human Torch was cocky, self-assured and full of spit and vinegar, reassuringly stupid at times as well. The “cool” factor of the movie. Again spot-on

Mr.Fantastic was so-so, the nerdy brainiac part was done well, except Reed was never this shy and lacking in confidence. The Reed Richards of the comics is a man who knows he is the top brain around and hardly ever has self-doubts. But it’s an origin story, so we’ll let it slide

Invisible Girl, got her powers a lot faster than in the books and learned to control them in record time. A good evolution, as Sue was nothing more than “filling” in the first issues and only got a place in the spotlight due to fans calling out for more “action-Sue”
Only problem I had was that Jessica Alba was just too good looking to play Sue. You can’t stop staring when she’s on screen and miss a lot of her personality…but maybe that’s just me.

My biggest gripe is with Dr. Doom or Elektro/Colossus/Doom as he seems to have become.
I really had a problem with the “power from the fingertips” mutation. I could have lived with the steel skin, but Doom is on a par with RR so he would use science (or magic) to defeat the FF. Electrical rays are ok, but please let Doom invent them and build them into his armour and not just ‘have them”
I also had a problem with the middle-American accent Doom had, not a trace of Eastern-European in there….a pity.
And the mask just didn’t work. Just like the movie Green Goblin it was Power Ranger time. Maybe a more boomier voice would have worked. Doom just wasn’t regal enough for me.
Doom isn’t a mean person, he doesn’t hurt people because he can, he hurts people because they get in his way. So the shoving of the doorman in the Baxter Building’s lobby was totally out of character.

I didn’t get shivers down my spine at all from Doom, like I did from Ben and Johnny (it’s clobbering time, flame on) or from Reed (unstable molecules) or from that perfect ending, the flaming “4” in the sky.

Bring on Galactus, The Watcher and the Surfer for the sequel (oh and the Fantasticar)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

SPOT on review!! Except for Alba...to me she was eyepoppingly surprisingly entertaining!!!

Richard Boom

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Médard said...

I was a bit disapointed by the movie myself.
I didn't expect much of it but it just, mostly, left me empty.
I did like the Thing and Human Torch. Especially the latters humor.
The action was also pretty good but I was hoping for a bigger climax towards the end. For me it ended a bit anit climatic.

Maybe I'll be more to my tastes the second watching. Who knows.

8:45 PM  

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