Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Fantastic Four is fluff

>>>I am writing reviews in a paper nearby, here is my review for The Fantastic Four.<<<

Hollywood’s latest foray into the world of comic book adaptations, The Fantastic Four, raked in around 149 million bucks over the weekend. Its strategy was clear: go for the light hearted vein of summer cinema rather than the more introspective big budget releases such as Batman Begins, Star Wars or War of the Worlds.

The Fantastic Four ends up being a harmless fluff-a-thon action blockbuster that should appeal to the masses (hence the huge opening box office) while not reaching the status of the much superior comic related films such as Spiderman I and II, X-Men or Batman Begins. The masses sure are stupid sometimes.

The film wastes no time with character development as within minutes we’ve met the villain (Victor Von Doom) and are in space. While in space, a group of scientists, are struck by an unexpected radiation storm. After they return to earth, the scientists realize they have odd new skills such as invisibility, turning to flame, elastic ability and super strength. The fantastic four are soon saving lives and fighting crime!

Unlike the comic book films I mentioned earlier, there is no attempt at developing a character arc in how the scientists are altered on earth except for Ben Grimm (aka "The Thing"—I was glad to see actor Michael Chiklis in a large body suit rather than going the CGI route). We get to see how turning into “The Thing” costs Grimm his wife and what he perceives as kind of a public sideshow. It’s the only moment in the film where there is any heart in the story.

You certainly won’t find any surprise or spark in the predictable love relationship between “Mr. Fantastic” and the “Invisible Girl”. The movie tries to engage the viewer in their story as they were once in love, but it’s so obvious the course the story is taking that these forays are just distracting to what’s happening overall in the movie. The two leads--Jessica Alba (who can't act a lick but fills out the F4 suit rather nicely) and Ioan Gruffudd (who can't act either based on his performance in F4)--recite hokey dialogue all the way through the film that is a waste of time.

The big showdown with Von Doom (which should have been good considering his name resembles a nasty pro-wrestler) was completely lacking in suspense and was one of the most underwhelming face-offs between good v. bad I’ve seen in a long time. When it was over I was thinking to myself, “Is that it?”

The Fantastic Four attempts to create such a lighthearted, feel good, funny action film that it forgets to ratchet up any kind of tension whatsoever. Rather than delivering humorous quips maybe we could have seen that The Fantastic Four were in actual danger when the showdown hits. Never did it seem that Von Doom was capable of doing anything to them or the city.

If you like your summer action blockbusters full of lighthearted fun and fluff, then The Fantastic Four is for you. However, if you want to see more character development, tension and action scenes that deliver thrills and apprehension, look elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

r u crazy

Xtine said...

great review

Anonymous said...

i agree, BUT i'll never regret the hours spent watching Dark Angel, Sleeping Dictionary, Honey, Sin City, and all the rest of her stuff- though i've never seen her episodes of Flipper.

-yer cuz!

Anonymous said...

just harmless fun, with chiklis getting an oscar nod for this one. when i watched it the kids in the audience applauded. just fun!