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Fantastic Four (SPOILERS)



First things first -- wait for the DVD to rent. It ain't worth eight bucks. Secondly, there are spoilers ahead, so if you choose to ignore my warning, you might want to stop reading now.

Why is it whenever something is done with the Fantastic Four (outside the comic book production), no one seems to take it seriously? This movie fell victim to the same problems that plagued other comic-book-gone-fullscreen-movie projects. The writer took WAY too many liberties with an established storyline. What is the fascination with re-imagining things when it comes to comic book movies?

The original Superman movie was great, except I think Lex Luthor was more of a parody than an evil genius. The real Lex Luthor would never surround himself with incompetent morons.

The first Michael Keaton Batman movie was great, except for the liberties they took involving the Joker. The Joker did NOT kill Bruce's parents.

Hulk was well-written and done in the fashion that it should have been done, but it was way too long and too wordy. Also, Bruce Banner's past was changed dramatically. His father never had diddly-squat to do with Bruce's transformation... in fact, to my knowledge, his father was never a factor in the series whatsoever.

One of the most appealing things about Marvel characters is that each has a flaw (or flaws), and that flaw is explored in great detail by the comic series. Sam Raimi's Spider-Man captures Spidey's flaws perfectly. Batman Begins, which is based on a DC comics character (probably the best DC character), did the best job of showing Batman's inner conflicts, although the Michael Keaton ones were good, too.

Fantastic Four fails because of the most extensive plot changes I can recall in a comic book movie. These changes aren't just to plot, but to the characters themselves. Here's a rundown:

Reed is made out to be a wuss and a loser in this movie. According to the movie, Reed and Victor Von Doom (who isn't even supposed to be in America) went to college together, for crying out loud. Not only that, but Reed's relationship with Sue in college failed because of his inability to assert himself. For 75% of this movie, Reed and Sue are at odds, which is TOTALLY not the way they are portrayed in the comic series. In the comics, Reed is a natural leader, loves to talk, and is a quick thinker. Ioan Gruffudd's Reed Richards comes off as clueless, shy, clumsy, and even downright stupid at times. Hardly the genius Fantastic Four fans have come to know and love.

Aside from the discrepancies regarding Reed, Sue's character wasn't changed that much. I do wish they had gotten an actual blue-eyed blonde to play her, because the brown-eyed Jessica Alba just doesn't pull blonde off very well. Her power is directly related to her emotional state, and I'm glad to say they didn't change that... also, they thankfully nailed her "motherly" approach to dealing with her free-spirited brother Johnny. Other than that, she had some cheesy lines... and I'm very disappointed that they left the corny "let's not fight / no, let's" line in there. I was sure that was just for the teasers.

The Human Torch is one of my favorite characters of all time, and I'm happy to say that they got his character right. He did have a ridiculously hokey scene, though. If you see it, it's at the end of the snow skiing scene. The effects for the Torch were impressive. It's hard to make a man look like he's literally consumed with fire, but they pulled it off well.

Ben is probably the most interesting character in the entire series. His "power" is the only one that can't be hidden. He's turned into a monster, basically, and has no way to hide it from people. This causes children to cower in fear of him, and adults to ignore, stare at, and even make fun of him. On one hand, he realizes that his "powers" allow him to help people in ways he never could as an ordinary man. On the other hand, he's a giant orange rock monster with super strength. He can't hold a baby or drink from a glass without fear of breaking either one. His fingers are four times the size of a normal man's fingers. Ben Grimm both hates and embraces his life as The Thing. In the movie, Ben has some great scenes, including one where he keeps a man from committing suicide off the Brooklyn Bridge by saying "ya think you got troubles? Take a look at ME, pal!" Granted, the guy runs in fear of Ben more than anything, but it's a good moment. The bickering between Ben and Johnny is light-hearted, as it should be, until they eventually get totally pissed off at each other and nearly start a brawl in public. Unfortunately, Ben has his share of stupid, corny lines, too, and his well-known battle cry "It's Clobberin' Time" is reduced to nothing more than a marketing shtick.

Victor Von Doom is the Fantastic Four's greatest enemy, and I was happy to see they put him in the movie, but they TOTALLY got his character's history wrong. In the comics, he grew up and eventually became the King/Emperor/whatever of a small eastern-European country called Latveria. He studied ancient mysticisms to learn magicks and such, but a horrible accident scarred him for life and turned him evil. He conquered his country and set about plans to take over the world. He built his suit of armor to hide his hideous appearance. Now in the movie, not only is all of this totally disregarded, but they make him a leading businessman in America (although they do refer to Latveria a couple of times) whom Reed goes to in order to fund his science experiment in space.

Add to all that the fact that the dialogue in this movie reminded me very much of George Lucas's recent movies. The romantic scenes were badly done. The public's reactions to the Fantastic Four in the movie were unrealistic. The whole movie came off feeling just... I dunno, juvenile. My point is, it didn't HAVE to. You have four adults dealing with some serious changes, unlikely as those changes may be, but it could have been done in a serious way. They just didn't pull it off.

The movie's comedy works pretty well, for the most part, except for stupid lines like this:
The Thing, picking up a car to throw at Dr. Doom: "Excuse me, ladies, but I'm gonna have to borrow yer car."
Woman: "OK, but the transmission sticks a little!"

My rating: Two wadded-up sports cars out of five. Bah.
Don't know anything about the original story, etc, but I really enjoyed the movie. It was pretty damn fun. I don't think Reed was a wuss, just kind of a nerd. But, I guess I see it as them all discovering their powers, well.... at first you may be a little uncertain, unless yer the Human Torch. :)

I just thought it was a nice, well-rounded movie. I liked it as much as the X-Men. It wasn't brain science, no, but it wasn't really meant to be. I certainly prefer it over Blade 2 and 3, The Punisher, Daredevil, Elektra, and all the Batman movies (except for Batman Begins and maybe the 2nd Burton fiasco, only because Michelle Pfeiffer would turn me gay in a second.)

Coming from a person who doesn't know a damn thing about the comics, I liked it. I'm not a true fan, not knowledgable at all, but found the film thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. :)
They're expecting this movie to knock War of the Worlds out of the top spot at the box office.

Take that Tom Cruise! :p :LOL:
I just saw the movie and I actually enjoyed it. It wasn't great, but I wasn't expecting the quality as that of X-Men or Spiderman. I know a lot of it wasn't true to the comic books but it's not always easy to do, especially as the years go on and the times change.

I thought the character interactions were pretty good. I thought Ben Grimm's was done the best. You kind of feel sorry for him. His wife leaves him, he looks like a freak, and he basically has to learn to do basic daily functions all over.

I can't say it enough: Jessica Alba's so hot.
Straight men! :rolleyes: Their taste vanishes when their hardon arrives. :rolleyes: :D

You don't believe Jessica Alba deserves the praise she gets for her looks? I personally wouldn't know what to do with her, but, if I was straight, she looks pretty damned good, now that she's put on a little weight and her head is appropriately sized for her body.
I am a Jessica Alba fan too. Although I am not certain that she makes a natural blond.

Other than tradition is there any particular reason why all of the Fantastic Four had to be white? It would make sense for her brother the Human Torch to look like toast.
Speaking of which, why would they make her blonde, but not Johnny?

Of course, Colin Farrell looked ridiculous in Alexander, so maybe it was a smart decision not to die Johnny's hair blonde, LOL.
Straight men! :rolleyes: Their taste vanishes when their hardon arrives. :rolleyes: :D

I suppose now is not the time to mention that the main reason I want to see FF is to count the number of times Johny Storm burns off all his clothes?
I watched FF yesterday and I must admit, I was a little disappointed. Growing up and reading the comic I hated the way they portrayed some of the characters. However they did very well with Ben and Johnny, capturing their bickering and fighting. I hated Doom in this movie. In the comics he is just so much cooler and sophisticated than in this movie version. I wont go into any more detail because it has been mentioned already how they changed from the comic page to the screen.

On another note, the special effects were great. I do like the fact that they went with a suit instead of a CGI Thing ala the Hulk. With a suit they couldnt capture the Thing's true size but I still believe it worked really well. And I'm also a huge fan of Chiklis. :D

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