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link is for a two-disc set of both "Fantastic 4" films.
The Fantastic Four
(2005): I was looking forward to seeing this film when I
first heard about its release, but was a little skeptical due to the
casting of the Invisible Woman and Thing. Still, it looked
interesting enough to watch and I'm glad I did, because it was much
better than anticipated.
If you are not aware, there WAS a Fantastic Four
live-action film made in 1993 that is unreleased. It's quite
despite the fact that they had to operate with a low-budget (about 1
million), but it's worth watching.
Although the look of some of the characters is a
little bit different than expected (that is, if you remember the
comics, cartoons, or previous film), this movie was still able to
retain enough of the qualities that FF is known for to make this show
interesting and worthy of watching. For instance, Mr. Fantastic's
intellectual intensity, the animosity between Human Torch and Thing,
Johnny's famous "Flame on!" and Thing's famous "It's clobberin'
time!"...all of that is here.
The Fantastic Four gets their powers in a cosmic
accident (like in the comics), but Victor Von Doom gets his powers in
the accident, too. The fact that Doom gets his powers in this
event is a bit different from the comics, but it DOES bring everything
together. I like it the writers did this. Also, the cosmic
accident does not happen in a spaceship with the FF members (like the
comics), but instead on a space station owned by Victor Von Doom.
That makes things more interesting, too.
What I thought was really nifty is that Victor Von
Doom becomes living metal with the powers of conducting
electricity. In all other versions of the character, Doom is
wearing a suit of armor. In addition to this, for most of the
movie we actually see what Doom looks like before he dons the famous
metal mask. In fact, we don't see the mask until the final scenes
of the film...as well as his famous cloak. This is the first
time, really, that we ever get to know what Doom was like before his
supervillain days. It's good that he's given a background in the
film, not just a flat character that just happens to "be there".
The 1993 film also did a good job of giving Dr. Doom a background story.
It's plain to see that this movie has a lot of
openings for a second film, with the uncertain "death" of Dr.
Doom. Incidentally, he hasn't even been referred to as "Dr." Doom
yet. But hopefully, the next film will include at least one other
Ioan Gruffudd plays Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic and
I'm very satisfied with his portrayal. He looks enough like the
popular character, but it's his acting that REALLY makes the Mr.
"Fantastic". Very psychologically intense...everything's facts
and figures. Ioan captures it perfectly.
Chris Evans plays Johnny Storm/Human Torch.
Now, Johnny was always blonde in every other version of the character,
but here he has dark hair. Not a big deal, really, just something
different. But he's really great in the way that he plays this
character: cocky and overconfident. And there is also the
halfway-friendly jabbing between him and Thing. I think it's the
successful interaction between Johnny and Ben Grimm/Thing that really
makes his portrayal of Human Torch a success in this film. That's
because he has the most one-on-one involvement with Thing over any
other character. He doesn't have too much to do with his sister
Susan and even less with Reed, but he's ALWAYS hanging around Ben.
Jessica Alba plays Susan Storm/Invisible
Woman. I really didn't think she was going to be right for this
part at first. I don't have anything against her, but she really
didn't seem the "look" or the "personality" of the character. She
did a good job, however, and I'm happy with it. They made her
look enough like Invisible Woman by making her hair blonde and
lightening up her skin a bit. Truth be known, though, I still
don't think she captured the comic character's personality, but that's
okay, because she gave it a different one that worked in this
movie. Susan Storm, in this story, is by no means passive or
bubbly or easy-going. And you can see why, because she is so
frustrated with Reed for much of the movie...as she should be given the
Michael Chiklis plays Ben Grimm/Thing. I'm
still not sure what inspired the filmmakers to say to themselves:
"I know, let's get Michael Chiklis to play Thing!". Surprisingly,
he did a good job with it, but you certainly would not expect him to be
cast as this character. Ben Grimm was always a tall, dashing man
with a muscular build, wavy brown hair, and blue eyes. Chiklis
did not have those qualities here. In fact, he was even
bald! But I was satisfied with his acting as Ben Grimm in human
form and as Thing. In fact, the more you see him on screen as
either Ben or Thing, the more you like him and the more you can
empathize with this character.
Julian McMahon plays Victor Von Doom to sinister
perfection. I think out of everyone in the cast, he had the
hardest job of satisfying audiences because he had to play Victor Von
Doom in human and semi-human form for most of the movie, instead of the
highly anticipated "Dr. Doom" that you see in the film's final
scenes. Anyone who knows the character from elsewhere is
expecting to see Dr. Doom in his costume for most of, if not all of the
movie, and it's not always easy to engage audiences so used to seeing a
character in one way. However, I LIKED it that we got to see
Victor Von Doom in human form, gradually becoming the famous
supervillain, finally culminating into his most extreme form as the all
metal, dressed in hood and cloak. We see a guy who was already a
bad person to begin with, but not yet a killer. Then after his
accident, we see Doom deepen into his madness until he realizes that he
can finally act out on his god-like fantasies. Awesome!
This is a fun superhero movie that anyone can watch
(the material is pretty clean) and I also suggest that you see the
1993/94 "Fantastic Four" film if you can.