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Well, here we go again... yet another chink in the one-time indestructable armor of the Marvel movie franchise. In a summer full of half-baked remakes, silly sequels, and television shows turned big budget retreads, I was anxiously awaiting another slam-bang super hero actionfest. Looks like I'll just have to go see Batman Begins once again!
Imagine, if you will, The Hulk times four. Four times the broody angst, four times the reality-show dramatics, four times the boring computer-generated effects, and four times the seat-squirming aggravation for those unfortunate enough to witness it
Unlike other super heroes, this meddlesome menagerie spends most of its time battling each other and causing much chaos, including traffic pileups, fire storms, and other forms of metropolitan mischief, which, by the way, they then take credit for cleaning up. Yes, The Fantastic Four saves the day... from themselves.
Why, these dysfunctional geniuses don't even want to be super heroes! And teamwork? Forget about it! Instead, we get an arguement in a board room, followed by arguements in space, arguements on a bridge, arguements in a high-tech laboratory, and finally, arguements at a moto-cross event, surrounded by colorful billboards featuring the paid sponsors who made it all possible. Holy cow! I paid good money to see The Fantastic Four, not The Quarrelling Quad!
Meanwhile, Victor Von Doom, who passes for the villain of this picture by name only, has an evil plan... to destroy The Fantastic Four! What with seeing his cohorts develop amazing super powers, then waste their time whining and complaining amongst each other, could you really blame him for wanting to knock their blocks off? Hey, in my opinion, he'd be doing a public service!
The only character I actually enjoyed in this otherwise dismal display of dimwitted dullness was Ben Grimm, AKA The Thing, played by The Shield's Michael Chiklis. Chiklis actually succeeds in portraying a sympathetic character. He can act, and even brings a believable emotional tone to the film, despite the poorly acted soap opera of self pity that surrounds him. Unfortunately, it's not nearly enough to save the movie.
So, unless this review has been entirely too subtle, it should be apparent that The Fantastic Four is a fantastic flop. In fact, it isn't even worth a rental on video. Hopefully, the next super hero to grace the silver screen will not suffer the same horrible fate!
Directed By: Tim Story
Written By: Michael France & Mark Frost (screenplay)
Jack Kirby & Stan Lee (comic book & characters)
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis,
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action, and some suggestive content.