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Monday, November 17, 2014

Movie Review:Fantastic Four

Premise:A scientist, his best friend, his ex and her brother have adjustments to go through when their space expedition gives them superpowers.

Cast:Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm, Jessica Alba as Susan Storm, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, Julian McMahon as Victor von Doom, Kerry Washington as Alicia Masters, Hamish Linklater as Leonard, Laurie Holden as Debbie

Director:Tim Story

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sequences of intense action, and some suggestive content

Genres:Sci-fi/fantasy, action

Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards and belongs to 20th Century Fox.

Pros:Banter between friends. A few funny moments.

Cons:Flat characters. Underwhelming villain. Mediocre acting. The romantic subplot. Nonsensical "science".

You know the drill. Science experiment gone wrong results in people getting powers. Conflict arises when they can't figure things out.

If that sounds uninteresting, it's because so is the movie. First off, the characters have little depth. They get one or two defining traits and it's left at that. You have given me no reason to truly care about these people. The acting doesn't help much either.

The villain is rather underwhelming. Like the rest of the characters, he gets one or two things that define him and then he just is. He's not memorable, he's not particularly interesting, he doesn't add anything special to it.

The romantic subplot is the final nail in the coffin. I don't feel the chemistry. It's more like "hey, he's a man and she's a woman, ergo they should be together." (I should add that I've not a fan of the Reed/Susan romance in general.) And the love triangle with them and Doom just makes it worse. I don't object to the idea of Doom having a thing for Sue, but they didn't take that anywhere that was worth going. Ben's girlfriend gets like two scenes and could have been left out of the movie entirely without affecting the plot.

Overall, it's terrible and just not worth it.

Sex:One thing that's quickly established about Sue's powers is that she can't turn her clothes invisible. This results in her stripping down to her underwear in a large crowd. Then she accidentally turns visible again. Reed remarks she has been working out, she tells him to shut up. Her brother looks away and says he'll need therapy. Later, she runs away from people who recognizes her and starts to strip (remarking she can't believe she's doing this). The ones chasing her turn the corner and see only a trail of clothes. And finally, Reed barges into the bathroom while she's using it. She quickly turns invisible and covers herself with a towel, telling him he could knock.
Johnny is something of a ladies man. He kisses a girl while they're both driving vehicles going dangerously fast. According to Ben, he snuck two wannabe models into a flight simulator. He also hits on a nurse and kisses her, later going skiing with her. Johnny ends up burning all his clothes off and makes a hot tub in the snow. He asks the woman he's with if she'd like to join him. She does, and they presumably have sex. Johnny later meets his teammates while covering up with just her pink jacket.
Sue shows Reed her tight-fitting and low-cut jumpsuit. He looks impressed, but it's because of the special properties of the fabric rather than her body. There's obvious tension between the two (apparently, they broke up because he freaked out at living together). Victor clearly has a thing for Susan and plans to propose to her, but she says they never had anything. At the end, Sue and Reed kiss.
Women show cleavage and midriff. Men go shirtless. Ben derisively calls Johnny an underwear model. Women "ooooo" when someone suggests Reed can expand any part of his anatomy (never mind all the family-unfriendly considerations on why an stretched out penis wouldn't be particularly useful for sex). Johnny jokes he always found Reed a little limp. When Reed goes on about Victor's good qualities, Ben snarks "Maybe you should date him then." Johnny jokingly calls a woman his future wife. Once nicknamed Human Torch, he adds the ladies can call him Torch. There are a couple "you're hot/on fire" jokes. Ben makes a comment about Susan and Reed playing Twister.

Violence:The space station where our heroes go is hit by a large wave of cosmic radiation (and since it's a superhero movie, they get powers instead of a horrible death). There are two big car pile-ups and explosions. Johnny is told not to go supernova because he could set the world on fire and kill all life on earth.
Victor uses his newfound powers to blow a hole through a guy he hates, bends someone's finger back, and chokes two people. He breaks into a warehouse and kills the guards to get at weapons. The team works together to fight a villain with forcefields and fire. The stress of maintaining a forcefield gives Sue a nosebleed. Various superhumans are thrown into objects. Ben throws a mirror at Johnny. The Thing is shot, but the bullet bounces off. Ben comes across a guy about to jump off a bridge. A man falls toward the water, but is rescued.
Crazy motorcycle stunts are performed. A street race happens. Ben crushes Johnny's car, tosses another at Doom, and gets into physical fights with both his male teammates.

Drugs/Alcohol:Ben goes to a bar after everything goes wrong for him. He mentions he used to smoke and tells a kid in passing, "Don't do drugs." People drink alcohol with meals and at a party. Johnny offers shots to a group of attractive women. A guy getting caught in the crossfire carries wine and glasses.

Language/Insults:G*d, d**n, h*ll, and a**. G*dd**n and J*sus are each said once. Ben is insulted throughout with terms like "monster."

Spiritual:Ben says to himself "If there's a God, He hates me." A nearby woman says "She is not into hate." Victor says something along the lines of "You think fate made us gods just to give it up?" Sue retorts "You always thought you were a god." Johnny says Victor has more money than God. He also calls the group's powers a higher calling. Reed says "Like getting girls and making money?" He gets the reply "Is there any higher?"

So what was your opinion? Was it fantastic? Or terrible (like that pun)?

© 2014 by M.R.R.


Deniz Bevan said...

I'm not all that into the movie but Ioan Gruffudd is one of my favourite actors!

M.R. R. said...

@ Deniz Bevan
Even the best have a few misses.