Scientist, Dr. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd). Stoic aide, Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis). Plus the brother and sister research team of Susan and Johnny Storm (Jessica Alba and Chris Evans). Are all called together by Victor Von Doom to investigate a cosmic cloud deep in outer space.
Very strange set of circumstances, I'm sure that you'd agree. But stranger still, is once in deep space, disaster strikes, BANG! And Reed – Ben – Susan – and Johnny, are all struck down by the clouds cosmic energy, thus halting their mission there and then.
Oh! On a side note, Victor is also stuck by this malady as well. But he keeps it a secret whilst the rest of 'the team' rest-up for a day or two. Bless him.
Now at first all seems to be fine with this foursome. However, as time passes, one by one they all begin to manifest strange powers which challenge their every day lives. Reed can stretch his body as if it was made out of rubber. Sue turns invisible and projects a force field at times of stress. Johnny is hot, with the ability to transform his body into flame. And poor old Ben Grimm turns to stone, with orange bulky protrusions comprising his lofty frame.
Of course they all feel somewhat different about the predicaments they’re in as well: Reed, inquisitive – Sue, concerned – Johnny, excited – and Ben, sad. Moreover, this 'malady' causes havoc when a suicidal man attempts to jump off of a bridge, thus calling into play each of the ‘Fantastic Four’ to utilize their abilities to halt this mayhem – and inadvertently thrust them into the media spotlight.
Therefore, because of this strange turn of events, Reed decides that he should then try to cure each of his cohorts of their ‘afflictions’, at his residence – in the Baxter Building – so that he can experiment on their respective physiognomies and try to find a cure in a confined and sterile manner.
During this period though, this 'team' grows together as a family of sorts – with Reed and Sue rekindling an old love that they once shared – and Johnny and Ben irritating each other as sibling normally do.
Plus, in addition to this, Victor’s powers manifest themselves also – and imbue his skeleton with a strong alloy, whilst giving him the ability to channel energy into himself, and direct it at whomever he sees fit.
Some of the people that he blasts with this energy are the board members which have turned their backs on him due to the disaster in space. And he does this just before directing his energy onto the ‘Fantastic Four’, spying on Reed whilst he’s developing a machine to combat their abilities.
Well, I suppose that is why what next transpires is a right pain in the Stan Lee I can tell you. As villains attack - good guys fight back - hoodies turn into a plaque - and a family is in it for the crack.
Now in my most humble opinion, the only problem that I find with comic book movies, is that they have left the printed page in the first place. OK, I know that I am in the minority where this issue is concerned. But I have to have my opinion known before I continue to say what I am about to say.
Well, to be honest with you, what I am about to say does contradicts my ‘humble opinion’ 180 degrees. I like the 'Fantastic Four' movie I do – its fun – it’s full of character – it’s authentic to a degree – and ro a certain degree it is enjoyable to watch as well.
For a start, most of the cast do a good job playing their respective characters. Jessica’s sassy - Ioan’s benign – Chris is annoying (which he should be) – and Michael... gasp... he was made to play Ben Grimm. For me, personally, he saves this film from being a beauty pageant, and manages to ground the real world predicament that these characters are facing, by handling the bold brash ‘Thing’ as if he was a human being.
Please note, this is not to say that the other actors are s**t. No way. It’s just that he appears to be the only one not acting, and the others... well... are – too much at times. Granted, this is a comic book film – a ‘fun science’ comic book film – and I suppose that a certain amount of ‘heightened reality’ is called for at times, especially when you consider the script that they are working off of.
Though, this brings me right back to my ‘humble opinion’ where comic book movies are concerned! Come on – lets face it – how can you bring back to life a cosmic origin story written in the nineteen-sixties and make is seem ‘real’ or ‘relevant’ without making it seem ‘hokey’ or ‘silly’? OK, I know that the director, Tim Story, did do a great job of this (one of the best in my opinion). But he was still just a couple of steps shy from making it great.
Anyway, apart from all that, this is a good film, and well worth a watch is you’re a fan of ‘fun family adventures’ – ‘cosmic yarns’ – or ‘special effect that are a joy to behold’.
THE RATING: B