Monday, July 11, 2005

Fantastic Four (**)

Stupid and harmless comic book flick that misses the chance to be something more. I think we've been too spoiled by the comic book adaptations as of late: Spider-Man 2, The Incredibles, Sin City, and Batman Begins have all raised the bar so high that it's a bit of a disappointment to watch a film that hearkens back to mid-90's forgettable superhero flicks like The Phantom or The Shadow. While not as appallingly bad as Catwoman, this one's just cheesy and inconsequential. The special effects are really bad, but Jessica Alba may be even worse. The only actor who really nails his character and the tone this movie should have been going for is Chris Evans as the Human Torch. The script is pretty pathetic and at times, even comes close to reaching Batman & Robin levels of garishness. Julian McMahon of Nip/Tuck fame could have been a good villain, but the screenwriters failed to give him any discernible motivation for turning so evil. It seems like they just figured that with an hour and a half gone by, it might make sense to add some external conflict for the characters. I did like that the filmmakers used real makeup and costume effects to create The Thing rather than just go with some CGI creation like they did with the Hulk a few years back. In the end, this isn't really a hateable movie. Just a missed opportunity. A sloppy adaptation. The folks at Marvel and Fox let a potentially great franchise slip right out of their hands.


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