The Fantastic Four was on my list because it’s a Marvel movie. Most of the Marvel movies have been good adaptations of their comics, as well as being an enjoyable introduction for those who are unfamiliar with the title making the jump to the big screen. With that in mind, I sat down to see if The Fantastic Four lived up to the standard set by the other Marvel titles.
The Fantastic Four is the story of scientist Reed Richards’s venture into space and how it changed his life, and the lives of his companions, forever. Richards wanted to perform an experiment aboard a vessel belonging to businessman Victor von Doom. Accompanying Richards and von Doom on the mission were fellow scientist Susan Storm, an employee of von Doom’s and the woman he hopes to marry (also Richards’ ex-girlfriend), pilot Johnny Storm (Susan’s brother), and Richards’ bodyguard Ben Grimm. Things go awry when a solar storm strikes the vessel hours ahead of schedule, catching the group unprepared. All five are subjected to the storm’s radiation, and return to Earth immediately, only to discover that they have returned a little bit different from how they were when they left. All five have developed superpowers. As the others begin studying their powers to see how they work and whether the process can be reversed, von Doom revels in his power and begins making plans for how to eliminate the Fantastic Four, as they come to be known when they use their superpowers in public for the first time.
The movie was slow in parts, mainly because there was a awful lot of build-up and character introduction and development to be done. It sort of felt like this movie was too much origin story, not enough action. Forgivable, I suppose, given that it WAS an origin story. Other than that, there’s not much bad I can say about it, except that it just didn’t have that certain awesomeness that I’ve enjoyed in some of the other Marvel movies.
On the plus side, it was a fun comic book movie with some funny lines and a couple of good action sequences, and it was a good introduction to the characters. It’s nice seeing scientists portrayed as heroes, as so often it’s the mad scientist who appears as a villain. Johnny Storm was a particularly entertaining character, a little too cocky for his own good, but funny enough to get away with it.
Overall, it was a solidly middle-of-the-road Marvel movie. Nothing special, but worth seeing if you enjoy the genre. I should perhaps note that while I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with the Fantastic Four, I also don’t follow their comic book titles, so I may have missed things that would upset hardcore F4 fans. Three and a half stars out of five.
See it if you like comic book movies.