Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Movie Review: Fantastic Four

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Realistic look at how powers would effect normal people, great special effects
Cons: Lack of action scenes for an action movie.
The Bottom Line:
Fans might like this one
But casual comic fans
Won't be that impressed

Where's the Action?

Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) has a brilliant idea he wants to test in space involving human DNA and radiation. To do that, he swallows his pride and turns to his old rival, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon). Victor agrees, and soon five people are traveling to a space station, hoping to get their experiment set up before a cosmic storm arrives.

Unfortunately, they don't make it, and the five of them are caught in the storm. At first, there don't appear to be any effects. But then they begin to change. First, it's Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) who becomes a rock creature. But then Reed discovers he can flex his body into any shape desired. Siblings Sue and Johnny Storm (Jessica Alba and Chris Evans) also find they have powers. Sue can turn invisible and create force fields while Johnny can turn his body into fire and use that to fly.

Johnny is the only one of the four who is excited about their new found powers. He wants to use them for good, sure, but also exploit them for profit. Ben is the most reluctant to embrace their new found powers since he's a giant rock. Reed tries to find a way to reverse the process while all of them attempt to deal with the powers.

Meanwhile, Dr. Doom is also undergoing a change. But he wants to use his powers to satisfy his own greed and take over the world. Now, the Fantastic Four will need to accept their powers in order to stop him.

I had heard of the Fantastic Four, but didn't know what to expect going into this movie. The things I did expect were good special effects and lots of action. I got one of the two. The special effects were incredible, especially for Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch and Reed as Mr. Fantastic.

Instead of being an action movie, this was more a character drama giving the origins and background on the characters. There were some action scenes, but they were few and far between and mostly came at the end. Frankly, I left the theater disappointed because it wasn't what I expected.

That's not to say that the story wasn't interesting or entertaining. Four ordinary people suddenly having these powers thrust on them will turn their lives upside down, and I enjoyed how it was handled. I especially felt sorriest for Ben who had his entire life changed forever by his new form.

Fantastic Four gives good background on the characters and sets things up for the inevitable sequel. But on its own, it's a rather disappointing superhero movie because of the lack of action.

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