Fantastic Four Movie Review
Let me start by saying that I have been a Fantastic Four fan for many years and as such my hopes for the big screen adaptation were very, very high. Sadly however with Hollywood you never really know what you're going to get and I fully admit that I entered the theater knowing those hopes could easily be dashed by poor characterization, writing, or a myriad of other factors, and that the view the world would get of my favorite super hero team might be less than optimal. I worried that the cast and crew wouldn't be able to capture the spirit of team and family that so symbolizes what the Fantastic Four is and what the Fantastic Four stands for, and I was very nervous about what people would think of me for my devotion to the comic book art form in general, and the Fantastic Four in particular, if the movie bombed or stunk up the theater. I think going in that perhaps my expectations were too high and looking back now I see that I was already steeling myself to be disappointed before I even sat down with my popcorn.
I could not have been more wrong.
This movie is a non-stop action packed thrill ride that meets and somehow exceeds all of my hopes and dreams for what it could be. It stays faithfully true to Stan & Jack's original vision while updating in a believable and logical manner the things that have changed since the comic book debut in 1961 and I really believe that King Kirby is looking down smiling, proud and honored that the original spirit of his co-creation shines through so brightly. I just wish he were still alive today so he could have played the doorman of the Baxter Building to go along with Stan's role as Willie Lumpkin.
All five of the principle actors, Ioan Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic, Michael Chiklis as The Thing, Jessica Alba as The Invisible Girl, Chris Evans as The Human Torch, and Julian McMahon as Doctor Doom capture their respective characters with realism and feeling and really bring to life the constructs of pen and paper that I and so many others have enjoyed for nearly half a century. The scripting, dialogue and direction are likewise nearly flawless as evidenced by the little things like Johnny's shaving cream prank, Ben's loyalty and protectiveness of Reed, Sue's strong will, the look in Doom's eyes, and the way the team bands together working to compliment each others abilities when faced with Doom's incredible power bent on destruction.
Sure the origin is different than it was back in 1961, especially for Doom who back then was a victim of his own arrogance resulting in voluntary exile where he learned much of the dark arts, but the original premise of the team rushing to beat the communists into space is no longer applicable following the collapse of the Soviet empire. Sure the comic book never had Johnny serving under Ben in the military or Ben playing second fiddle to Johnny as a pilot but neither of those things detracts from the movie. Instead the differences only serve to explain and solidify the reasons they work so well together and have such a "friendly" rivalry.
My heartfelt congratulations and thanks to the entire cast and crew, and to all of the people over the years that have helped make the Fantastic Four what it is, the worlds greatest super hero team and The Worlds Greatest Comic Magazine.
9 out of 10 Stars! Highest Possible Recommendation!
Jessica please call me! :-)