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Fantastic Four

USA/Germany 2005
produced by
Avi Arad, Bernd Eichinger, Ralph Winter, Michael Barnathan (executive), Chris Columbus (executive), Kevin Feige (executive), Stan Lee (executive), Mark Radcliffe (executive) for 20th Century Fox, Constantin Film, Marvel Comics, 1492 Pictures
directed by Tim Story
starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Laurie Holden, David Parker, Kevin McNulty, Maria Menounos, Michael Kopsa, Andrew Airlie, Pascale Hutton, G.Michael Gray, David Richmond-Peck, Penelope Corrin, Aonika Laurent, Jason Schombing, Jason Diablo, Colin Lawrence, Paul Belsito, Dee Jay Jackson, Morgan Reynolds, Gina Holden, Donavon Stinson, Douglas Weston, Tony Alcantar, Brenda Crichlow, Peter Bryant, Lorena Gale, Danielle Dunn-Morris, Nicole Munoz, Daniel Bacon, Bobby Bysouth, Ronnie Renner, Brian Deegan, Marlaina Mah, Tre Verhoeven, Juanita Mirehouse, Stefanie Singer, Jamie Little, Doug Abrahams, Stan Lee
screenplay by Mark Frost, Michael France, based on the Marvel Comics-comicbook created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist), music by John Ottman, special effects by Spectral Motion Inc, Meteor Studios, SW Digital, Soho VFX, Composite Image Systems, Pixel Magic, Giant Killer Robots, visual effects by Hydraulx, CafeFX, Kleiser-Walczak Digital Effects, Pacific Title and Art Studio, Evil Eye Pictures, Gentle Giant Studios, 3D models by Earthdata Solutions

Fantastic Four

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Scientist Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffud) and his buddy Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), who seems to be a bouncer or something, turn to Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon) because they want to go to his spacestation to experience some cosmic storm which might just take evolution to the next step ... and von Doom grants tehm permission, but only if they take him with them, and also Susan Storm (Jessica Alba), the woman he loves and Reed's ex, and her brother Johnny (Chris Evans), your typical annoying young hothead.

Up on the station, all five of them are exposed to the cosmic storm, which soon enough gives them special powers: Reed's body becomes immensely flexible and stretchable, Johnny can set himself on fire without harming himself at will, and he can fly, Sue can turn herself invisible and can ecreate forcefields, Vuictor von Dooms slowly turns into a metal organism, which makes him superstrong, and Ben turns into a monster, who is also superstrong and impervious to bullets - but he also looks pretty ugly (though he wasn't as handsome as the others in human form to begin with).

Ben soon starts having depressions, while Johnny uses his powers mainly for fun, Reed and Sue bore everyone to death by acting responsible and slowly rekindling their relationship - but Victor decides to use his powers for evil. Eventually, Reed figures out a way of how to turn Ben human again, but he lacks the courage to use it on his friend. Victor on the other hand wants to get rid of superhuman Ben, or the Thing as he is less affectionately called, and he uses Reed's invention to turn him back. Then he decides to go after the other three as well and soon they all engage in mortal combat (during which though noone dies). Ben soon realizes he's been had, and he uses Reed's invention to turn him into the Thing again, and then he unites with the other three to - as the Fantastic Four - put an end to Victor's evil deeds ...

And in the end, Reed proposes to Sue.

 


Oh boy, what a piece of trash, even among big budget superhero comic adaptations, this is one of the lesser ones: The script fails to feature any story of its own, mainly it's just a setup for events to happen, but then thesse events simply do not happen, instead we are treated to a collection of special effects that hardly even qualify as finale, in which the good guys battle the bad guy, who is a villain not so much by his deeds but by his cynical attitude. The whole thing is of course also not helped by a bunch of undertalented actors: True, Julian McMahon gives an ok performance as baddie, but his role lacks meat to have him show his talent in full. But Ioan Gruffud as Reed Richards totally lacks the charisma to play the leader of the group, and Chris Evans is totally annoying as the young hothead, made all the worse by the fact that his role is so badly written (along the lines he's a young cool guy so he has to be a snowboarder - and a stunt motorbike driver).

A total waste of time, and actually inferior to the (officially) unreleased 1994 quickie Roger Corman was commissioned to do by Constantin so they don't lose the movie rights (click here).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD