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Fantastic Four (2005)
Written by Michael France and Mark Frost
Directed by Tim Story
Runtime 106 min.
3.5 out of 5

Five people are endowed with superpowers after an accident on a space station. Four become a force for good. One becomes a force for evil. That’s pretty much it.

 

This is a fun movie and I liked it. It had a solid origin story, some good action, and pretty good SFX. Each character was clearly defined, even stereotypical, but that’s the Fantastic Four for you.

A lot of people griped on this movie. It was not bad. Wasn’t as “cosmic” or over-the-top as I would’ve liked, but it wasn’t a bad flick by any means. It was a great translation of comic book to screen and carried that vibe with it from beginning to end.

The invisibility effects of the Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba) were awesome, a sweet combination of complete I-can’t-see-you-at-all invisibility with the glass-like, transparent humanoid figure so we can see her enough to know what she’s doing.

The Human Torch (Chris Evans) looked like a man on fire, which he is, but animated enough so we can make out his actions, his costume, facial expressions and anything else we needed to in a given scene.

Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd): at some points he looked like a real-life stretchy dude, at others the CGI was very clear (i.e. that scene when he stretches his hand under the door to unlock it from the outside).

The Thing (Michael Chiklis), arguably the hardest costume because you didn’t want to run the risk of making him look like a cartoon character by going all CGI (as good as the Hulk looks even in The Avengers, there’s still an animated quality to it), but you also didn’t want bad prosthetics either. The Thing in this movie looked amazing and looked real. Well done.

Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon) was fine as is, his costume something like an elaborate cosplay. I would’ve liked more detail in the cloak, some sort of pattern, but the whole how-he-got-his-armor thing was pretty cool.

What worked especially well was the dynamic of family and all the love, bickering and craziness that goes along with having one. There was real chemistry between all the main players and it added a dynamic to the team that made the whole scenario believable.

What also makes the Fantastic Four different is they’re public superheroes without secret identities, that is, though they have codenames, everyone knows who they are. While Iron Man did this, too, having a whole family who everyone knows who they are changes the game. It’s also different because, unlike Iron Man, they didn’t decide, “Hey, let’s be superheroes,” but instead it’s something that kind of happens and they discover how important it is they use their powers to help people.

For me, Fantastic Four was a good movie that I like popping into the DVD player now and then.