Fantastic Four

release year: 2005
genre: superhero action
viewing setting: theater, 7/8/05

synopsis: Four friends are exposed to radiation in space, and gain powers which they must learn to control and use for the good of all.

impressions: All things considered, this was a pretty good adaptation of the comic book series. I feel highly qualified to comment on such authenticity since I was collecting this comic in the 1970s and own about $5,000 worth of old back issues. As always with this sort of thing, there are so many ways to screw it up; fortunately, this movie's fairly solid. My only gripes are minor: the villain Dr. Doom has different (and undefined) powers in this movie, and there's an awful lot of drama/talk that could have been action. Having said that, I'll also comment that there was plenty of action, as well as special effects. It's just that, after seeing superhero movies, I always come away thinking that there should have been even more action.

things to watch for: The battle(s) near the end.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A guy who can heat himself to the temperature of the Sun.

acting: Ioan Gruffudd makes a good brainy-to-the-point-of-insensitive Reed Richards. Jessica Alba didn't seem very scientist-like as Sue Storm, but this is probably because of her looks. Chris Evans was great as the young, reckless Johnny Storm, who sees only the fun potential of having powers. Michael Chiklis does a great job, most of it under heavy makeup, as a hulking monstrosity who still learns how to be a hero. Julian McMahon is suitably snotty and power-hungry as Victor Von Doom.

final word: Good comic/hero adaptation, worth seeing.

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