Saturday, July 16, 2005

Fantastic Four

I went to see Fantastic Four the other night, partly because I wanted to, partly because I needed to vet it for my daughter, who wants to see it for her birthday.

This is a full review with spoilers. You were warned.

First, let me say I never read the comic and have very little knowledge of the mythology of these superheroes. I got a little background from my husband, and they seem to have followed it for the most part.

The movie overall wasn’t BAD. Not like, you know, Catwoman. It didn’t have the unbelievably poor acting by actors we know are good, the incomprehensible storyline and missing logic, or the cheesy special effects (I know, I’m very spoiled that way). The plot was pretty believable, though simple, and the acting was mostly decent. Michael Chiklis wins all comparisons, hands down, in or out of his latex.

The main problem for me was that these characters were all pretty unlikeable. Johnny Storm wasn’t an amusing and endearing smartass, he was a smartass you wanted to punch in the face with brass knuckles. Susan Storm wasn’t repressed because of hurt, she was snotty and superior (though she did get better as the movie went on, mainly when her ugly hairdo came down). Reed Richards was sweet, but very spineless, and needed to become a real leader much, much sooner. Ben Grimm was the most sympathetic, but I was very annoyed that he would believe Victor Von Doom (stupid name, but what can you do), a man he detested, over his friends, no matter what he was feeling. And his pain and eagerness to believe the worst about his friends therefore makes his decision to transform back into The Thing all the more unlikely.

Von Doom was consistently evil and rude, though superficial and cliché.

I was appropriately on the edge of my seat during the space scene, which was well done. But they skipped ahead to the hospital after they were back. It was a short movie, so they could have done the aftermath of the storm. Johnny’s lame joke at Ben’s expense just annoyed.

The end of the movie was much better—the climactic ending, that is, not the wrap-up. The four of them coming together to use their powers to contain the evil against them would have been a bit more satisfying, though, if their main obstacle hadn’t been fourth-grade bickering.

So far, this summer hasn’t been very fulfilling, Indulgence-wise. Oh, for the Year of The Matrix Reloaded and Pirates of the Carribbean and The Bourne Identity. THAT was a good summer.

I hope to see Wedding Crashers this week and The Island after that and have higher hopes for those. Especially The Island, which I learned was rewritten by Alias scribes. All of them know their stuff.


MJFredrick said...

Have you seen Batman Begins and Mr. and Mrs. Smith? I thought those were great movies.

Plan to see War of the Worlds tomorrow.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I did see those, Mary. I enjoyed both, too, but neither one inspired me to go see it again. I think I saw Pirates three times just in the theater, and half a dozen more on DVD. I'll rent both when they're on DVD, but I'm not eager to catch them on the big screen again.

There are several I am looking forward to later in the year, Elizabethtown and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire chief among them.

Let me know what you think of WOTW.