Fantastic Four (2005)

Fantastic? How About Pretty Good?

Main Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans

Director: Tim Story

Superheroes are the name of the game in Hollywood these days. Pick a comic, any comic! And while your favorite might not be up on the screen as yet, better believe me when I tell you that a script has been written for it and it is probably circulating through endless agent offices and studio desks.

This script concerns the Fantastic Four, a group of pretty normal folks who happen to have a variety of powers. They eventually receive them from a freak accident (are there any other kinds that do this?) up in space. But first let’s set this up. See, Dr. Reed Richards (Gruffudd) wants to develop his theories in order to feed the hungry and heal the sick (and yes, he says this all with a straight face). But he needs the money of his old friend, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) to get up and running. Reed brings along his best friend Ben Grimm (Chiklis) and old girlfriend Sue Storm (Alba), currently the head of research in Von Doom’s company. Sue’s younger brother Johnny (Evans) also comes along for the ride. And yes, I must admit I smiled to see Alba playing a brainy scientist. But she at least manages to pull it off, which is more than I can say for Tara Reed in Alone in the Dark.

Anyway, the accident happens, and the five (yes, Von Doom also gets zapped) have to deal with their newfound powers. I liked the way Johnny used the whole situation to win fame and adoration. The others felt a more serious investigation was in order 24/7, but he cut loose once and a while and had some fun. He also added a lively spark to an otherwise serious, and in some cases gloomy, cast of characters.

The story? Umm. there really isn’t one. It’s mostly about the four (five) main characters, how they interact with each other, and how they use their powers. There is, of course, a battle at the end, and there is plenty of action, but there is also some good character development going on as well. These four may be fantastic, but they end up bickering among themselves as much as they rest of us normal humans.

I can sort of recommend it. It has action, a good cast, and good effects. Not deep and certainly not one for any brain power, it moves along briskly and is pretty to look at.

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