The Fantastic Four 2.5 / 5
Completely underwhelming “origin” movie.
Chris Evans, last seen in 2004’s Cellular, gives the best performance as the extreme sports playing, attention seeking, women chasing, Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch. He’s the wise-cracking life of the movie. He has the funniest lines, like the one about how parts of Mr. Fantastic tend to be limp.
Michael Chiklis is also very good as The Thing. Watch for the tender moments when he reaches for his wife’s wedding ring when his four fingers (four – in true comic book fashion) are far too large to pick it up.) Jessica Alba has as much screen presence as Katie Holmes and performs without much depth. Ioan Gruffudd (Lancelot from King Arthur plays Richard Reed, the nerdy scientist who lost girlfriend Susan Storm (Alba) due to his lack of risk taking. He plays the nerd role fairly well, but totally lacks the confidence and resolution to attract someone like Susan Storm in the form of Hollywood’s hottest sex kitten, Jessica Alba. Richard Reed in the comic series looks older, too.
Victor Von Doom, the brilliant scientist billionaire palyed by Julian McMahon, is the cool and calculating power hungry tycoon, also after Susan Storm. When he becomes Dr. Doom, you can’t help but think of Darth Vader crossed with Magneto, from the X-Men series. They site Latveria as his country of origin when in the comic series, it’s Latvia.
The romance between Richard Reed and Susan Storm is not credible at all, and Reed’s longing for her is enough to induce vomitting. The dialogue is as cheesy as you can imagine, perfectly suited for 8 year-olds but horrendous for the rest of us.
When you add it all up, you have what Marvel hopes will be the begining of another superhero franchise. They are bound to make a sequel if this one makes money, even though it is not as exciting as it could have been.
Look for Marvel’s Stan Lee as the postman in the Baxter Building, and Terry David Mulligan and Ben Mulroney as reporters.
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