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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 brianorndorf

"It's 'Catwoman' bad"
1 stars

After coming so far with comic book successes recently, all it takes is one “Fantastic Four” to sour the milk. A disturbingly misguided attempt at a superhero comedy, “Four” is a chore to watch from start to finish. It doesn’t pass a light comic fun, it doesn’t pass as eye candy, and it doesn’t pass as a good time at the movies. It’s a trainwreck.

In a last ditch effort to save his reputation, scientist Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd, “King Arthur”) launches himself and his friends Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), Susan Storm (Jessica Alba), Johnny Storm (Chris Evans, “Cellular”), and rich industrialist/project backer Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon, “Nip/Tuck”) into space to research cosmic rays. When the mission goes horribly wrong, and the crew is hit head on by the rays, they return to Earth with new powers. Reed’s body is now elastic, Johnny can turn into flames at will (dubbing himself “The Human Torch”), Susan can make force fields and turn invisible, and poor Ben finds his body is evolving into solid rock. As they struggle to return to normal, the team becomes the toast of New York City, where the media has dubbed them “The Fantastic Four” for their heroic efforts. However, Victor isn’t pleased, and as his body slowly turns into metal and he becomes the nefarious “Doctor Doom,” he plans to exact revenge on the mutant quartet, taking down anyone who dares to stand in his way.

Watching “Fantastic Four,” a certain thought comes to mind: what in the heck were Marvel and 20th Century Fox thinking? “X-Men?” Smash. “Spider-Man?” Blockbuster. “Batman Begins?” Hit. And what do these films have in common? They took the superhero genre seriously, building a sense of heightened adventure while keeping the tips of their toes on solid human ground. But “Fantastic?” The production has thrown that aesthetic to hell, and created a superhero comedy of the most offensive order. Oh yes, it’s “Catwoman” bad.

Marvel’s first mistake was hiring director Tim Story, the eye behind the reasonable “Barbershop” and last year’s disaster, “Taxi.” If anything “Taxi” proved clearly, it’s that Story hasn’t a clue how to merge action and laughs, and now handed a 100 million dollar franchise-in-the-making, it doesn’t shock that Story doesn’t even know where to begin with this material. “Fantastic” is a superhero movie in search of superhero things to do. The screenplay is basically an origin tale for the four heroes, and an incredibly dull one at that. The picture is stuck hopelessly in first gear the entire running time, with Story staging lethargic adventure sequences that bore the audience to tears, along with a distinct confusion on his behalf on when the fantastic four should become the Fantastic Four! Here’s a hint: before that last ten minutes, thank you.

This is pretty easy stuff handed to the filmmaker, but he bungles scene after scene, either going for nonstop slapstick and torturous pun laughs (just horrible puns too), or incompetently building the pace of his film in such a way that when it’s over, the film feels completely unfinished. Trust me, it’ll be hard to suppress the “that’s it?” that tickles your throat when the end credits come. The film is just relentlessly unremarkable.

And speaking of the jokes, would you believe the film contains both “Priceless” and “You’re Fired!” references? All integrity and genuine sillyhearted fun are thrown right out the window when a superhero film starts quoting ghastly Donald Trump television shows.

Story also fails a couple of his decent actors with his clown direction. Both Ioan Gruffudd and Michael Chiklis give the film a college try, but they can’t stare down the rancid screenplay, and their special abilities are failed by the visual effects department, who make the notorious 1994 Roger Corman version (made for pennies only to extend a contract and never released) of “Fantastic” look like “2001” in comparison. Jessica Alba just looks lost, and is the only member of the team with superpowers that are still questionable by the film’s end. Chris Evan’s portrayal of the Human Torch is the sorest point of the foursome, for the actor plants a lead foot on the character’s obnoxious pedal, and never lets up. The performance becomes unbearable after mere minutes (along with his lame “xtreme” sports background), with the promise of more Johnny bringing on a migraine in place of goosebumps. And as the evil figure of the film, Julian McMahon sleepily embodies Doctor Doom, looking about as pumped to slaughter the Fantastic Four as I look when I have to mow the lawn. As the villain to end all villains, McMahon doesn’t register in the least, and the film gives Doom little time to act on his impulses.

“Fantastic” reveals itself in the end to be merely a set-up for sequels to come, which might explain why the characters don’t really explore their powers or teamwork until the final reel. Story undercuts the film even further by cleaving away characters and subplots along the way, most notably a blind girlfriend character for Ben (played by Kerry Washington), who accepts his deformed body without much of a fuss, suggesting many scenes between the two were deleted in an effort to keep “Fantastic” moving as quickly as possible so audiences couldn’t catch on.

After all that has been accomplished with respectful and epic comic book adaptations, and in the face of the glorious flameout that was “Catwoman,” why does a bitter pill like “Fantastic Four” even exist? What are these executives thinking?

I guess “Fantastic” is really here to remind us all to see “Batman Begins” this weekend instead. Take the hint.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12567&reviewer=404
originally posted: 07/07/05 23:12:18
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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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