Four astronauts have their lives changed forever, when they end up being hit by a cloud of cosmic radiation. Reed Richards now has the ability to stretch his body like elastic. Sue Storm (Alba) is now the invisible woman. Johnny Storm becomes the human touch and Ben Grimm becomes the 'Thing', a man made out of rock. But there is one problem. The journey's sponsor, Victor Von Doom has also been affected and with full power, is a dangerous force which needs to be stopped, before it's too late.Written by
(at around 1h 2 mins) When Johnny Storm is coming out of the motorcycle show, he has his arms round the shoulders of two women. In the next shot he is linking arms with them then in the next shot, his arms are back round their shoulders. See more »
Typical of Victor Von Doom to build a 30 foot statue of himself.
See more »
There is a scene in the closing credits: Dr Doom is seen on a ship heading to his home country Latveria. See more »
In the US/UK a modified version was released on DVD. For example, the UK release has scenes, dialogue and effects shots different to the Hong Kong, French and German versions. There are reports of the Canadian version being affected also. These changes include:
Reed and Sue rekindling their romance is shown in a scene with the pair walking and talking, with the Statue of Liberty in the background. The Hong Kong version loses this scene and replaces it with one where the two are seen in a planetarium, whereby the scene ends rather abruptly before the pair kiss
Dr Doom saying "Goodbye, Ben" is missing from the final fight scene in the Hong Kong release, but present in the UK edition
When Dr Doom is engulfed in the fire at the end, his yell has him emitting a fiery breath in the Hong Kong release but this effects is missing from the UK edition
Dr Doom's line as he emerges from the fire is cut short in the Hong Kong release. The words "A little heat?" do not appear, but are in the UK edition
During the final confrontation in the UK release as The Thing uses his foot to direct water at Dr Doom, Mr Fantastic helps by using his powers to direct the water from the fire hydrant onto Dr Doom. However, he is not present in the Hong Kong version and The Thing seems to defeat Doom by himself
Reed's proposal to Sue is also different. In the UK version, he bends down on one knee by stretching himself, whilst maintaining eye contact with Sue. In the Hong Kong release, he actually gets down on one knee for real
Dr Doom's voice is different in both version. In the UK version his voice sounds normal, whilst in the Hong Kong edition his voice takes on a more eerie quality, and sounds like he is talking from behind his mask
Captures a time when superhero films were more joyful
Fantastic Four is one of the last superhero films, that I can recall, that wasn't insufferably bleak or incredibly serious to a point where any shred of humor was seen as obtuse to the film's narrative. Yes, Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is an indisputable breakthrough in superhero films, but it also made the seriousness of superhero films standard, something that would follow into the late 2000's and early 2010's as Marvel built up The Avengers. Fantastic Four reminds of the quirkiness superhero films were once predicated upon, and while it may get a bit too corny at times, and its focus can never really settle, it's also a very commercial film that satisfies on some level of entertainment when it gives every card in its deck a fair time to shine.
We open by looking at a physicist named Dr. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd), who is convinced evolution was triggered millions of years ago by stray elements of cosmic energy in space, some of which will pass near Earth very soon. His pal, astronaut Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), works by his side on this potentially revolutionary discovery by helping him convince their old classmate Dr. Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), the CEO of Von Doom Industries, to allow both of them access to his private space station to further experiment with the effects of these cosmic energy particles. While Doom agrees, he winds up walking away with most of the profits that this experiment will bring, affirming Reed's desperation to make his project work.
Still, he persists on and brings his close friends Susan Storm (Jessica Alba) and her brother Johnny (Chris Evans) along for the ride. However, when a trip to outer space goes awry, exposure with the cosmic energy results in the four receiving deformities and enhanced human abilities that have never before been seen: Reed possesses the ability to stretch every limb of his body, Susan has the ability to disappear and reappear at her leisure, Johnny can have his body engulfed in flame simply by reciting the phrase "Flame on!," and Ben turns into a hideous, orange rock monster.
Following the four's mutations, writers Michael France and Mark Frost focus a great deal of their time on the agony that these mutations bring, particularly The Thing, who experiences his wife leaving him shortly after revealing his deformity. While this agony is a solid angle (one I'd argue necessary in most superhero films), too much of the time is spent profiling The Thing and not enough on the remaining characters of the film. Reed and Ben, who are ultimately the film's main focus, wind up monopolizing too much of the picture, and any time we see Johnny is when he's right in the middle of making a smug comment or being his typical, womanizing self.
The action in Fantastic Four has a colorful commercial look to it, brilliantly bold and very vibrant in a way that makes many of the scenes pop with life. It manages to achieve a comic book aesthetic without resorting to picture-in-picture editing. One particularly involving scene takes place on a suspension bridge, where The Thing is seen pummeling everything in his sight and the remaining three members of the team must resort to either relaxing him or protecting drivers and innocent bystanders.
The goofiness in Fantastic Four, however, in an age of dark superhero films that come with slick aesthetics and brooding characters, is a delightful change of pace. Yes, there is a point when one wishes director Tim Story, France, and Frost would command a tighter grip on the seriousness of the writing, but the pulpy fun of Fantastic Four, in addition to the effects and the neatly choreographed action, keep it a moving, satisfying spectacle that is more than just colors flying around on screen, trying to find their place.
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, and Julian McMahon. Directed by: Tim Story.
37 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this