By Philip Ellwood - Monday 25th July 2005
‘The Fantastic Four‘ is the latest comic book adaptation to hit cinemas following the huge success of the ‘Spider-man‘ franchise and the newly reinvented ‘Batman Begins‘. It is with extreme caution that I went along to see this movie. As a fan of comic book movies I threw caution to the mountain of bad reviews and decided to make up my own mind. After all ‘Elektra‘ was critically mauled earlier in the year and I ended up being pleasantly surprised by the movie.
The premise is that a group of scientists venture into space to carry out a project. Inevitably the project goes wrong and the crew are affected. This disaster alters the group‘s DNA and they begin to realise they have acquired special powers. Back on earth as they learn to use and control their new powers one of the group decides to use his powers for bad. Will the Fantastic Four be able to defeat him and save the day?
‘The Fantastic Four‘ isn‘t a bad movie. I was expecting it to be unbearable and ridiculous but I couldn‘t have been more wrong. The film is a classic comic book romp - thin on plot and logic but full of breath-taking set pieces and eye candy. The movie isn‘t ‘Batman Begins‘ or ‘Spider-man 2‘ but it isn‘t trying to be. The fun thing about the movie is that like its audience it doesn‘t take itself seriously. It aims to be the kind of movie the whole family can go to and lose themselves in for 100minutes. It‘s a popcorn movie in the traditional sense.
The performances are as solid as can be expected. Chris Evans provides light relief as the rebellious Johnny Storm (aka The Human Torch) whilst Jessica Alba is sure to keep the teen boys and dads happy in her figure hugging Lycra costume. Julian McMahon (from Nip/Tuck) shows that he can take charge of the big screen and puts in an obsessive, creepy performance as the villain Von Doom.
It‘s a shame that ‘The Fantastic Four‘ has been so widely criticised. Following a stream of serious, character-driven comic book adaptations this movie was never going to be well received. If you fancy kicking back and leaving your brain at home then ‘The Fantastic Four‘ is the movie for you.
Director - Tim Story
Distributor - 20th Century Fox
UK Release Date: 22nd July 2005
Celebrities Worldwide Rating: 7 out of 10