Fantastic Four Review
“Jessica Alba Looks Fantastic; Michael Chicklis Is Hugely Fantastic. It's None Other Than The Fantastic Four!”
July 8th, 2005
Seeing Jessica Alba in her tight blue leather outfit, her bra and underwear, and pretty much anything else she wears is reason enough to go see the new super hero film "The Fantastic Four." The former Dark Angel plays Susan Storm, who later becomes the Invisible Woman. She has the ability to turn invisible as well as set force fields around things. It's not just Jessica that makes this a good film; the entire group gelled from her brother, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) aka The Human Torch, who has the power to make fire and turn into fire, and British actor, Ioan Gruffudd, who is Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic who can stretch his body into anything. But it's the transformation of The Shield's Michael Chicklis who really becomes the show-stopper. A former NASA pilot and Reed's right-hand man, Ben Grimm, turns into The Thing, a man made of rock. The four are out to stop Vicor Van Doom or Dr. Doom, played by Nip/Tuck's Julian McMahon, from destroying them essentially.
Now, they obviously didn't start out as these super hero's. The film does a very good job of explaining how the five of them became who they are. Victor Van Doom and Reed Richards are old college rivals; Reed taking in the book smarts, Victor getting the street smarts. Years later, Reed comes to Victor with a way to learn more about human DNA. It involves space travel; Victor reluctantly agrees and puts up billions of dollars for the project. The five people chosen for the mission are Reed, Victor, Ben, Susan (who is also Victor's love interest and Reed's former girlfriend), and Susan's brother Johnny (a once NASA employee).
Once in space, the crew fails its mission when they incounter radiation blast. When they return to Earth, they start to turn into supernatural beings. Without knowing why this happened to them, Reed designs a machine to try and re-create the blast to reverse the impact. Victor loses millions of dollars after the unsucessful mission, turns on Reed and his newly-formed foursome. His body is also starting to change; his skin starts turning into medal and he also has the ability to attract electricity. He ultimately wants to get rid of the Fantastic Four.
The film has a few good one-liners. It was nice to see Chris Evans in a role where people will actually see him. Of course, no one saw him steal the spotlight away from Kim Basinger in "Cellular" or his starring role in "The Perfect Score." As I said before, Michael Chicklis nails the part of The Thing; every time you see him on screen, you feel a different kind of emotion for him - from humor, sadness, fear, and even disgust.
And, you can't have a Stan Lee/Marvel comic movie without a cameo from the man himself; Stan plays Reed's mailman in one scene, and he has a few speaking lines too!
Overall, I the film has lots of action, some laughter, it's a little cheesy, but the good guys come out on top. And, of course, they left it very wide open for a sequal - big surprise there! You can't say this very often: you can take the whole family to see it. Just cover the little ones faces for a few of the 'scary' parts.
"Fantastic Four" opens July 8; it's rated PG-13.