Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fantastic Four (2005) Blu-Ray

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stretchy appendages

Plot Synopsis:  Reed Richards wants to study a cosmic phenomena so he goes to Doom for cash.  This leads the titular (and in the case of Jessica Alba, tit-u-lar) incredible four, and Doom, for some reason, up in space where they are bombarded by the rays cosmic.  Hijinks, and mutations, follow.

The Good:

-The very opening, a statue of Doom being welded that looks like his mask.

-“Same old Reed, always stretching.” I love stuff like that.

-“Reed: Worlds dumbest smart guy.”  I’m no Fantastic Four expert but I think that really encapsulates Reed Richards.

-Johnny Storm, seems to be a pretty good interpretation of The Human Torch.  Cocky, thrill seeking, woman chasing fire jerk.

-Fantastic 3 plus mediocre one.  Everyone puts in great performances (Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, Micheal Chiklis as Ben Grimm) with their characters and they seem to be having fun.  Except Jessica Alba who seems to be fulfilling a studio obligation and collecting a paycheck.

-Thing dialing the phone.  Hilarious.

-The relationship between Thing and Johnny, contentious but ultimately caring.

-The special effects hold up remarkably well.

-The final form of Doom looks cool, that’s about his only positive.

The Bad:

-Doom: victim of cosmic radiation.  I can sort of understand why they moved away from the magic and 
science Doom but this just doesn’t seem right.  Lightning powers and metal skin are just as unbelievable as super sciencey armor and mystical powers.

-Doom: baron of business.  Instead of ruler of Latveria we have the American CEO of a major corporation.  It just doesn’t seem right.

-Thing is very short.  I understand they had to work with what they had in actor Micheal Chiklis but Thing should be tall and hulking, standing above all the other members.  But he does such a good job in the role that it’s easily forgivable.

The Ugly:

-Jessica Alba’s acting, god bless her, she tries hard.  There are moments when it’s good and there are moments where you think she thinks she’s doing good but overall it’s just sort of a decent performance surrounded by excellent performances.

-Dooms acting is okay.  He starts out quiet and intimidating but at no point does he get really bombastic.  Also the actor, Julian McMahon looks like a total douche nozzle.  He has a quiet menace about him and he gets the antagonism down but not the bombastic, over the top threat that the real Doom is.

Final Thoughts:  This movie was way more fun than I remembered it being.  I was sort of dreading this one actually.  I remember it being a terrible, humorless, long swamp of a movie.  I figured I’d slog my through it and if nothing else it would provide good hate material.  But it’s actually pretty fun in a check your brain at the door kind of way.  It doesn’t really do anything special, it doesn’t even really do anything well.  The fact that I totally forgot all the good stuff about this movie tells you the kind of impression it left me with.  But I’m glad I picked it up again, although I doubt it will go in my regular rotation.

The cast does a good job.  3 out of the 5 main actors seem to be enjoying themselves and if they aren’t fans of the comics then they are at least fans of acting.  By that I mean they would get into their character no matter what the role and bring something authentic to it.  However I can’t same the same for both Jessica Alba and Julian McMahon.  Jessica Alba isn’t so bad that she brings anything down, she’s ok and it’s compensated for by her co-stars who bring it up.  However both those performances are why I think if you can’t get a fan of the comic, or a fan of comics in general, you need to get a fan of acting.  They’re both there because they wanted a paycheck not because they wanted the role.  I wouldn’t believe them if they were to say otherwise because that would mean the director or producers prevented them from doing their character while letting the other 3 run with theirs.  I just didn’t see any passion.  Also Julian McMahon plays the same douchey rich hot guy in every role so it sort of feels like someone spliced an episode of Nip/Tuck in with the movie.  I would love to see Reed and Ben reprise their roles, get a different Sue and Chris Evans makes a much better Captain America so you’d have to get another Johnny but really, if you were to reboot the franchise you got half of a great Fantastic Four.

This movie falls into the same trap as a lot of Marvel fare.  Good but not excellent, it lacks in story and in certain parts it lacks in acting.  There are some really good parts to be mined from it and the performances of everyone in it.  Except Julian McMahon, that dudes just a douche.

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