Fantastic Four

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Five scientists get caught in some ball of light thingy that changes their DNA. The good ones become the Fantastic 4 while the bad one becomes Dr. Doom.

Another comic book movie where I really know nothing about the comic books, so all the characters are new to me and I can’t compare if the movie did a good job with the translation or not. I can only judge it on its pure entertainment value.

I think the story had the potential to be good, but the acting teetered on unbearable, including actors that I know can act. Michael Chiklis has won acting awards for The Shield, but he just seemed uncomfortable in his Thing costume and when he did act tough, it came across as silly. At one point, he said “It’s clobbering time,” which is something that came from the comic book, and I don’t know if there was a way for it to not sound cheesy, but it did. Even though he has the body type, I think he was miscast.

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I have read good reviews about Ioan Gruffudd from his PBS movies, Horatio the Hornblower, but I thought he was horrible in this movie. He had no chemistry with Jessica Alba, and I’m not sure how that is possible with any guy actor and her. She had more chemistry with her brother in the movie, which was potentially icky. Speaking of Jessica Alba, I’ve never thought she was a fabulous actress, but I liked her in Dark Angel and Sin City. I didn’t like her here. Julian McMahon can play cheesy convincingly in Charmed and Nip/Tuck, but here it was just really bad. They all seemed miscast in this movie.

I would blame the director for all of them, except that I liked Chris Evans, some guy who I don’t him from anything else, but he fit into this movie perfectly as the Human Torch. It was like he was the only one that knew the movie was cheesy and decided to not play it straight. I think it would have been more fun to watch if everyone else treated it that way.

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The special effects were pretty cool. Watching Doom slowly turn into Dr. Doom was cool, except I have no idea why he had a mask of silver already made. It was a tad convenient when he had metal showing through his skin, so he put it on to hide that. Mr. Fantastic, whose name makes no sense since he stretches (and what makes him more fantastic than anyone else?), should have had a better name. I liked the scenes when he was fighting and stretching all over the place. Those were cool to watch. I laughed at Invisible Girl making her energy shield by grunting and throwing her body forward in a lunge. I think it would have been less laughable if she used her hands as a visual for making a see-through shield.

There were some things in the movie that made no sense to me though. The Thing had a great wife that they established up front, but she not only freaked out when she saw him turn into the Thing, she took off her wedding ring and never spoke to him again. I would have bought that if he just started dating someone, but someone you are married to freaks out because you suddenly look different, even though the rest of the world views you as a super hero?

Finally, there were the scenes put in there just to show Jessica Alba in her underwear. They needed to get past the police during an accident and she hadn’t mastered her invisibility yet. She started taking off her clothes to be completely invisible, but then she came back into view (undie shot!). Then she was finally invisible, ran into the area that she needed to sneak into, and was followed by Mr. Fantastic and Human Torch. Why did she need to sneak in, if they just ran in behind her? No sense!

I would recommend watching this movie while either having a conversation with someone else or just doing something else at the same time. It would be much better if you weren’t paying full attention to it.

Rating: C+

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