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Movie Review: Fantastic Four (2005) 
19th-Jul-2005 12:39 am
Sin City Nancy
The World's Greatest Comics Movie, or something like that

Fantastic Four (2005)

Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon

Directed By: Tim Story

I don't know if anyone realises this about me, since I hide it so well, but I'm a comic book geek. I've collected off and on since I was probably 12 or so. I was an X-Men fan primarily, but would dabble throughout the Marvel Universe from time to time, making me familiar with most of their characters. I stopped a few years ago, but the movies brought me back. I don't collect weekly titles, but do go in from time to time to buy back issues, trades, and Astonishing X-Men. As a result of my fandom, I've seen all of Marvel's recent theatrically-released movies other than Elektra and the Blade sequels. So when they announced the Fantastic Four movie, I knew I'd be seeing it, even though the early trailers looked terrible (but not Elektra-terrible).

I have a confession to make: I've enjoyed every comic book movie that I've gone to a theatre to see, other than the Batman-movie-that-shall-not-be-named. I loved the X-Men movies, the Spider-Man movies, Hulk, even Daredevil. I can't help it. They're my weak spot. Some people like spaghetti westerns, some people like teen slasher flicks, some people like gross out comedies. I like super hero movies, as long as they're based on super heroes that I grew up on (which is why I've yet to see Hellboy, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or Constantine), and as long as they stay true to the essence of the characters. I can't help it. When I see my childhood up on the big screen, I completely mark out and lose all ability to form critical thought. After subsequent viewings, at home, I eventually gain it back (as evidenced by my Daredevil review). But when I see the characters and powers and comic book nods for the first time, I geek out.

How'd I do with this one? Well, Fantastic Four is a big, dumb, action-adventure, special effects movie with hammy dialogue, a loose plot, and average acting. And... I really liked it. I want to see it again. Go ahead, flame me if you want, I don't care. I had a good time watching it. I liked how they used their powers for different things. It felt like the comic book. Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm fought. Reed Richards was really smart with science, but a hopeless dork elsewhere. Susan Storm was protective of her little brother. Doctor Doom wanted to get that damn Richards, and he was from Latveria (or at least his family was). The Baxter Building was there, complete with Stan Lee as Willie freaking Lumpkin! Johnny Storm was brash and cocky, Sue was shy, Ben was lovable and gruff. Things blew up. The Thing said "It's Clobberin' Time", and Jessica Alba looked good (another personal weakness of mine). The action was big, as it needed to be. The Fantastic Four the comic was always on the grandest scale in the Marvel Universe. Spider-Man fought weird smaller guys, the FF fought Galactus and Prince Namor and hung out with the Silver Surfer. I was happy.

So, was it a good movie? I dunno. I really couldn't tell you that right now. I have no objectivity. Maybe after a few more viewings I could. All I can say right now is that I enjoyed it, and that there will be repeated viewings for me.

Daredevil (2003)
Hulk (2003)
Top Five Marvel Comics Titles (Current)
19th-Jul-2005 07:07 am (UTC)
Huh. I dunno dude. I know we're tight and all, but I do feel your critical leetness drops when posting a review without any genuine objectivity on the subject. I mean, if you honestly felt like a 3.5, then by all means... but it sounds like you're admitting you know deep down that this movie really does suck.
19th-Jul-2005 07:08 am (UTC)
Basically, I'm admitting that it's possible that I may think less of the movie later, but right now, it's a 3.5 star movie for me. I'd go see it tomorrow though.
19th-Jul-2005 07:11 am (UTC)
Then it is simply the difference between you and I. I refuse to post a review without thorough research on the subject... even if does wind up as a one sentence review.
19th-Jul-2005 07:12 am (UTC)
Aren't you the guy who thinks I take too much time with album reviews and tries to review them after a couple listens?
19th-Jul-2005 07:19 am (UTC)
No. I review them after listening for at least a week. This includes listening on my stereo, computer, headphones, sometimes in the car... so a 'couple' of listens is not accurate. I HATED the White Stripes new one, but I fairly listened on many occassions to make sure I wasn't missing something. You know that ridiculous fantasy I have about being some kind of journalist one day... sometimes they're given much less time than a week to produce a review.
19th-Jul-2005 07:22 am (UTC)
In that vein, movie reviewers are given one viewing to produce a review. They have to react based on that one viewing, which is what I did here.
19th-Jul-2005 10:39 am (UTC)
I've been reading comic books since I've been 12 too.

When I heard about this movie/saw the ads I thought for sure it would bomb and that would be the final nail in the coffin on new comic book movies. Only so many Daredevils, Elektra's, Hulk, Punishers and Catwomans they can do before they give it up.

But it did very well at the box office (because of the London Bombings I think) and it wasn't a bad movie.

It wasn't great, but when you go in with low expectations it really helps.

Oh and you must see Hellboy. It's a good movie or better than FF and those other named movies anyway. Almost X-men level.

19th-Jul-2005 10:43 am (UTC)
My expectations were lowered, that's another reason why I liked it. I forgot The Punisher! That's the movie I least liked in theatres, but even then, it was alright by me on first viewing.

I thought I had a friend that I could borrow Hellboy off of, but learned today that she doesn't have it. I'll have to rent it sometime.
19th-Jul-2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
I saw DD in the theater, I didn't think it was that good, but figured it was okay.

Then I tried to watch it again and couldn't. It was just too dumb!

Hulk I've been able to watch repeatedly, or at least the Hulk parts. Had they done more Hulk and less Banner I think the movie would have been much better.

Punisher I've seen once, no strong interest in seeing it again. To be honest I'd rather see the 1st Punisher movie again. Elektra and Catwoman I haven't bothered watching.

Hellboy I've seen twice, I'm certain I'll watch it again. They've made two DVD's of it, the latest with more extras - that one I want to get.

20th-Jul-2005 05:16 am (UTC)
Elektra was extremely average, & Catwoman... fucking putrid. HORRID HORRID get it away from me!
20th-Jul-2005 02:35 am (UTC)
Hellboy was waaaaaaaaaay better guy.
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