Friday, 22 June 2012

Fantastic Four [2005] (3¾ Stars)

When I first heard that there would be a Fantastic Four film I was excited. Really excited. As a child they'd been my favorite superheroes. I bought their comics more often than any others. Or rather, my father, who supported my love of comics, bought them for me. The Fantastic Four were a new direction in comic book heroes. They were heroes without masks, they had no secret identities, everyone knew their real names. This was preserved in the film, but so many other things disappointed me.

I grudgingly accepted that the Invisible Girl's name had been changed to Invisible Woman. I guess that's more modern. But I didn't understand why Johnny Storm's hair isn't blond in the film. This is even more incomprehensible now that actor Chris Evans has had his hair dyed blond to play Captain America. And why is Ben Grimm's girlfriend, Alicia Masters, black in the film? It looks like Hollywood has racial quotas that determine casting.

But the biggest problem with the film is Doctor Doom. In the film his body turns into metal, and he can store and discharge energy, but in the comics he had no super powers. Everything he could so was a result of his scientific inventions. The film was also spoilt by having him show his face for so long; his most terrifying feature in the comics is his cold metal mask.

In the comics the Fantastic Four didn't start out as powerful. The Human Torch's flames didn't last so long until he'd practised his powers for a few years. The Invisible Girl didn't develop her power to create invisible shields until Fantastic Four #22. The film should have taken more time to show this development.

Nevertheless, after watching the film for the third time it's growing on me. I almost gave it 4 stars, even though it doesn't live up to the quality of the X-Men and Avengers films.

Click here to view the trailer.

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