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Rated PG-13; running time of 1 hour 50 minutes
Genre: Comic Book/ Action
Written by: Michael France and Mark Frost, based on the comic book by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Directed by: Tim Story
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
Dr. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) is flat broke. So broke that he finds himself and his best friend, Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), standing in front of his former college rival, billionaire Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), and asking for money. Reed has calculated that there is a mysterious cloud of cosmic rays that is coming into the atmosphere and he wants to borrow Victor's space station So he can collect samples of the cloud. Reed believes that this cloud contains the ground work for at stronger sting of DNA. If studied, he believes it could cure everything. Victor agrees for a small fee Ė 75% of the profits. Reed accepts the deal because he wants to help people. He only cares enough to make sure he can at least get out of debt, but not become a billionaire.
Reed and Ben are not going alone on this trip. Victor insists that he goes, because well itís his stuff. With him is, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), who once had a relationship with Reed but now is Victorís main squeeze, and her brother, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans); a funny loving adrenaline junkie who really needs to grow up. As we already know all five of them get caught in the cloud and as a result, their DNA is altered. Reed's body becomes gooey like rubber or elastic. Sue learns that she can become invisible at will and she can conjure up a force shield if she needs to. Poor Benís body turns into what looks like clay rocks, but his altered skin, he has super strength. Johnny can completely engulf his body in flames and manipulate fire. Victor learns how to manipulate electricity (and I think metal)
While the Four immediately use their new found powers for good, Victor seems to taken a different path and right away he using his ability to better his station in life. It puts the Four in a difficult position. Do they try to stop Victor, or do they try to cure themselves?
Let me start by saying that I have NO attachment to the comic book at all. I used to watch the cartoon and have fond memories of it, but thatís about it. Iím looking at this movie without comparing it anything previously presented for consumption. That said, it was cheesy beyond belief, that much is true. And truthfully, at times it was a jumbled mess. I would have completely thrashed this movie had it not been for a few things; the special effects; Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm. Johnny is the bad boy you love to hate. You want him to grow up and be a man, but only when youíre not laughing at him clowning around. Ben was so grim and gruff, but wrapped in a rye sense of humor, until The Thing was almost cute. And finally some of those special effects were very cool. But that is about all the praise I can muster.
We have been inundated with comic books characters being put up on the big screen that the bar has been risen and unfortunately, Fantastic Four doesnít bring anything new to the table other than special effects. For me itís starting to no longer cool enough to show me a superhero on screen. Iím beginning to want a little more depth to these stories and much better acting than what we were presented with in Fantastic Four.
Iím sure the kids will like this one and if these is your genre, then by all means check it out, but the general public should spare themselves and just rent the DVD.
Almost fantastically bad.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2005
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