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Overall Rating
2.12

Awesome: 4.52%
Worth A Look: 10.05%
Just Average: 20.6%
Pretty Crappy: 22.11%
Sucks42.71%

16 reviews, 103 user ratings


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Fantastic Four (2005)
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by Mel Valentin

"Skip 'Fantastic Four' and watch 'The Incredibles' instead. I wish I had."
2 stars

In describing the latest (but sadly, not the last) “comic-book” adaptation, "Fantastic Four," In describing the latest (but sadly, not the last) “comic-book” adaptation, "Fantastic Four," an online thesaurus turns out to be an indispensable ally. Start with the catchall word pedestrian, and the following related synonyms sprint across the internet to your computer: banal, dreary, inane, jejune, mediocre, mundane, ordinary, plodding, prosaic, uninspired, and let’s not forget a close corollary, dull. In an apparent effort to safeguard their investment and make "Fantastic Four" as palatable as possible to as widest an audience as possible, the producers commissioned a risk-free, formula script, hired a competent if anonymous director, Tim Story ("Barbershop," "Taxi") with no experience in handling complicated, effects-driven action scenes, and obtained the services of actors/performers with name or face recognition.

As Fantastic Four opens, Reed Richards is penniless, an inventor without financing, forced to beg his college rival, Victor, for help with one of his projects, tracking an imminent solar storm and its possible effects on human DNA. Victor is apparently in the vanguard of commercializing space (he has a private space station). Forcing Reed into a hard bargain, he agrees to Reed’s plans. Within minutes, the future foursome plus Victor are in space, preparing for the solar storm. It comes early, before special shields can be fully activated. Everyone, including Victor, is affected.

At first, however, our returning heroes appear normal. Only gradually, Reed discovers his ability to stretch and contort his body into impossible shapes, Sue discovers her powers of invisibility (and the ability to generate a protective force field), Johnny discovers he can light himself on fire (and possibly fly), and Ben, seemingly normal at first, awakens to discover a complete, irreversible transformation into a rocklike creature (which Johnny later dubs “The Thing”). Reed’s first response is to seek a way to reverse their physical transformations. Johnny, as the hothead/frat boy in the group, revels in his newfound powers, and later, becoming the object of media attention and public adoration (audiences will be surprised to discover that these minor-league superheroes don’t have secret identities).

Ben’s transformation acts as a catalyst for the main plot (and the only subplot worth following). His despair (his wife understandably runs away at their first reunion) leads, conveniently, to a fateful meeting with a suicidal city dweller atop a bridge, which, in turn, leads to a semi-spectacular automobile pileup, and media attention for the entire group, newly dubbed the “Fantastic Four.” Even as his company tanks, Victor too finds himself transforming into something more, or less, than human (a metal exoskeleton combined with the ability to control electricity).

Comic book and action fans, of course, will immediately ask: what about the action set pieces? Sadly, due to a lack of financial (or imaginative) resources (probably a combination of the two), Fantastic Four’s action scenes are surprisingly prosaic, offering little in the way of surprises or ingenuity. They also shortchange the audience, delivering nothing in the way of tension or suspense. Outside of two scenes with Johnny engaging in sports (cue generic, flavor-of-the-month rock band to accompany his activities) there are only three full action scenes in the entire film: the space station scene that sets the plot in motion, the bridge rescue scene, and the final, protracted confrontation with Victor Von Doom. That’s it for the action scenes. And frankly, for a supposedly big-budget, Hollywood comic book/action film, audiences are bound to feel cheated (and they have every right to feel like they overpaid for their meager filmgoing experience).

Apparently, the producers paid little attention to the fit or fitness of performers to their respective roles (e.g., Jessica Alba and Ioan Gruffudd). Alba, sadly, is miscast, less for her acting talent or range, than for her relative youth and obvious inexperience. Gruffudd, a Welsh actor, spends more time attempting a generic American accent than showing any spark (to be fair, his character is woefully underwritten). Only Michael Chiklis, as Ben Grimm/The Thing and Chris Evans as Johnny/The Human Torch, manage to make or leave any kind of impression. Surprisingly, Chiklis manages to squeeze pathos from his role and Evans, while essentially duplicating his frat boy-turned-hero role in last year’s underappreciated and underseen Cellular delivers his cornball lines with energy and enthusiasm.

Shorter review, skip "Fantastic Four" and revisit the better, earlier (if unacknowledged) version about a superhero family with superhuman abilities (along with a few all-too-human shortcomings of their own), "The Incredibles" instead. It'll be time (and money) better spent.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12567&reviewer=402
originally posted: 07/28/05 18:00:47
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User Comments

8/05/10 Dr.Lao Could have done with less angst and more action. Oh yeah, and Doom was a huge misfire. 3 stars
8/21/08 The Dork Knight I actually liked Dr Doom despite what everyone says 2 stars
8/06/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was funny!! 5 stars
6/21/08 David V Not good...not good at all. 2 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT NEVER GOES DEEPER THAN THE INK OF A COMIC BOOK 1 stars
9/25/07 dude yawn 1 stars
7/16/07 MaDmAN Nice looking movie, i liked the villain just too much whining and moaning 4 stars
6/19/07 mr.mike not bad at all (on video).... 4 stars
6/05/07 Blizz POOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
5/24/07 Tracey Chambers boring, ugly, and stupid 1 stars
5/23/07 action movie fan disappointing adaption of very good marvel comic superheros 3 stars
5/15/07 967 What a horrible movie, they try to get get rid of their powers the whole film. WTF? 1 stars
3/19/07 dude crud 2 stars
2/21/07 johnnyfog I liked Dr Doom, but that's about it. Still better than Superman Returns 2 stars
2/20/07 Angie OMG!! How did this ever happened. Not saying it's the end of the world, but seriously. 1 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega It's like reading a comic book. 3 stars
11/26/06 Austin Wertman A BIT OF A BORE. TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
11/02/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
10/16/06 Anthony Feor This movie and X-Men 3 should never have been made 1 stars
10/07/06 ed terrible on just about every level 1 stars
9/18/06 bullit16 So bad, on so many levels 1 stars
9/02/06 Tricia Not perfect, but not entirely horrible either, IMO.I 4 stars
6/23/06 George It was okay, but The story is undeveloped. 3 stars
5/03/06 Cuenzie Wunzie It's a Joke, right? 1 stars
4/05/06 Fred WOW ! very informative ...and i like those pics of ur nephew , so cute !! can see that u pu 5 stars
4/02/06 JM Synth Not as annoying as it looked from the trailers 3 stars
2/22/06 Indrid Cold Not very good, but neither was SpiderMan, and everyone liked that for some reason. 3 stars
1/28/06 Quigley This movie is so, so bad. it makes the hulk look like a movie worth watching. 1 stars
1/07/06 Jim Not as bad as I expected. Is that praise? 3 stars
1/03/06 AM It sucked! I'm so glad I'm not American. I was a little ambivalent about the comics, but 1 stars
12/30/05 tony BORING!! Why was this movie made? Marvel comics is going down the drain 1 stars
12/24/05 The Grinch Chiklis and McMahon are good, Ian's wasted, Alba can't act, enternaing enough I guess 3 stars
12/07/05 tatum Christ, Stan Lee, sell the rights to your grocery list, too 3 stars
12/04/05 WSH One of the worst movies ever made! 1 stars
11/29/05 Jeff Anderson The worst superhero film to date & I've SEEN Albert Pyun's boring as hell CAPTAIN AMERICA!! 1 stars
11/28/05 Ming Jessica Alba and the spectacular visual effects save this from being a disaster. 3 stars
11/23/05 Angela Renee Garrett I totaly agree with you Mel 1 stars
11/09/05 Erik Van Sant Took a Fantastic concept and shit all over it. Avoid like the plague. 1 stars
11/08/05 Stan L good efx, but not much of story, rent Xmen1or2, Batman, or Spiderman 1or2 instead 2 stars
11/06/05 Angela Garrett I totally agree with Mel Valetine ON Fantastic Four 2 stars
10/31/05 PAG OK, decent film. 3 stars
10/26/05 deadwiz Should and could have been so much better! 3 stars
10/26/05 chris a very poor film indeed a waste of my time and money at the cinema 1 stars
10/11/05 Quigley if it had made like batman begins it would havce rocked, but story didn't watch Incredibles 1 stars
9/19/05 alexander somarriba okay 4 stars
9/18/05 Jonathon Holmes Tim Story should watch "Batman Begins" and hang his head in shame 1 stars
8/18/05 green gremlin Rent the "Xmen" DVD instead !!! 1 stars
8/14/05 .:*paris*:. i was expecting something fantastic but quite dissapointed,but certainly entertaining and f 4 stars
8/10/05 Rob S. Why didn't they follow the original story? Victor Von Doom was not a rich businessman. 2 stars
8/10/05 ES Story should have watched the incredibles and then went back to the drawing board on this 3 stars
8/08/05 jada so bad my 10yr old asked to leave, which i gladly agreed 1 stars
8/06/05 Aaron McGraw Poor camera work, they spent more time fighting one another than the mediocre badguy. 3 stars
8/02/05 Brandy Harrington The only comic book movie that is worse than this crap, is Batman & Robin. 1 stars
8/02/05 Quigley Not engaging like spider-man, and mostly not funny. watch something else, please 3 stars
8/02/05 Clatz Absolute pants 1 stars
7/31/05 Helen Greatest Comic book brought onto the big screen. 5 stars
7/29/05 Anders Torp Maybe even a worse disaster than "The Hulk" (if that's possible). 1 stars
7/29/05 PK Chris Evans is on fire! If he'd keep his shirt off the whole movie, I'd give more stars. 3 stars
7/29/05 Moctezuma More of a monstrosity than an actual film 1 stars
7/25/05 M i just wasted 2 hrs of my life!!!! 1 stars
7/24/05 Snakeboy Lots of gaps in the story but still fun 4 stars
7/22/05 Duffyboy666 SHIT! 1 stars
7/21/05 Quigley good special effects cannot save this movie. it had potential and it failed 3 stars
7/20/05 William Vollmer not bad; not great between xmen & Hulk 3 stars
7/20/05 leta Marshall I loved it ! 5 stars
7/18/05 FFlovr u critic hacks! this movie is ure gold, this instantly became my favorite movie 5 stars
7/18/05 Brandy Harrington Damn, this was worse than HULK. 1 stars
7/18/05 fernando thisw movie is bull shit and fuking movie 1 stars
7/18/05 Dave It could've been better, but it had enough fun moments. 4 stars
7/17/05 Matt Thiel Much better than Catwoman. If you want to see F4, do NOT pay to see it!!! 2 stars
7/16/05 John Bell Sometimes we have to set our high sensiblities aside as ask ourselves: did I enjoy the film 4 stars
7/14/05 tony What a rip off. I should have rented Speed 2. At least i would have enjoyed that. 1 stars
7/14/05 B.E. Total garbage. 1 stars
7/13/05 Anus FANTASTIC BORE! Too much whiny drama, not enough action 2 stars
7/13/05 DK i don't pay to hear slogans from bad tv+comercials.got refund of ticket. 1 stars
7/13/05 Tim O! I actually liked the film. I like the friend/family story line. 4 stars
7/12/05 C.E. Can comic book movies get any worse? 1 stars
7/12/05 Peter Griffin There's no reason for a superhero movie to be this lousy. 1 stars
7/12/05 Ole Man Bourbon Pretty bad, but I've seen worse 3 stars
7/11/05 Jorge Lizarazo Good movie, brings the F4 to life. 4 stars
7/11/05 Robin Lent Fantastic Four is far better than the reviews by maintream media 4 stars
7/11/05 Uncle Salty How about... Duuuuuuuuuuuuuh! 1 stars
7/10/05 KELLEN MATHERS Not enough action, unless you count setting up a sequel 2 stars
7/10/05 8=====D shitty just like the comic 1 stars
7/10/05 Peteca It's great dude!~5 origins in one! You can't ask for more! Go see it!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/10/05 Naka Sucked ass. 1 stars
7/10/05 Burt Ward It's okay, you should see Batman Begins instead though 3 stars
7/10/05 FFFan Holy Crap, not horrible, but not quite mediocre either 2 stars
7/09/05 Lord Jiggy It doesn't cure cancer...not bad for light fun.. Lame story, decent work on characters 4 stars
7/09/05 Dustin Low expectations though made for more enjoyment. Seriously, it wasn't that bad. 4 stars
7/09/05 Charlene Javier It's not as bad as it sounds. 3 stars
7/09/05 Brian chiklis shouldn't be wasting his time on this crap... 1 stars
7/09/05 Dan I don't know what movie you all watched. This was better than Spiderman. 5 stars
7/09/05 RoyAgain The End of the Marvel Era 2 stars
7/09/05 Derek I love my 1985 buick better than this movie!!!! 1 stars
7/09/05 Genericus I really liked it! All these reviews are anti-hype 5 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma Fantastic Flop 2 stars
7/08/05 BrianWilly I actually really liked it. People need to stop being such snobs. 5 stars
7/08/05 Johnnybgoode Humorous. I found it a welcome relief from this year's consistently dark, tragic fare. 4 stars
7/08/05 Kristina Williams straight up doodoo 1 stars
7/08/05 malcolm better than i expected. alba's gorgeous but should really work on her acting skills. 3 stars
7/08/05 Ray Anyone could see this coming. 1 stars
7/08/05 Sugarfoot All of a sudden Roger Corman doesn't look to bad now. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Jul-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 05-Jun-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
  07-Jul-2005




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