Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Hamish Linklater, Kerry Washington and Laurie Holden

Tim Story

Running Time:
106 mins

Out to buy on DVD 05/12/05

"Our DNA has been changed"

Reed Richards

While studying cosmic phenomena on Victor Von Doom's (McMahon) space station, scientist Reed Richards' (Gruffudd) miscalculation leads to Sue Storm (Alba), her brother Johnny Storm (Evans) and Reed's best friend Ben Grimm (Chiklis) been exposed to a cosmic rays. When they return to Earth, the four start to exhibit strange new abilities. Reed can now stretch his body, Sue can become invisible, Johnny can control fire and Ben transforms into a super strong creature made of rock. As the press and public become aware of their new powers after they work together to save people involved in an accident, they become known as 'The Fantastic Four'.

One of biggest comic book series hits the silver screen but can 'Fantastic Four' be as good as 'Spider-Man', 'Batman Begins' or the 'X-Men' movies?

Since 'Blade' made comic book movies viable again after they were virtually killed off by the old 'Batman' franchise, the genre has been getting better and better. Now we have respected big name directors and stars getting involved with these adaptations to produce not only great comic book movies but films that redefine how big budget commercial blockbusters should be made. Bryan Singer's 'X-Men' movies, Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins' and Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man' movies are exceptional pieces of entertainment that embrace the stories and most importantly the characters, to take you into the comic book universe. It is a shame that 'Fantastic Four' forgets about all this.

For a series that lives on larger than life characters to be so devoid of any kind of development is almost criminal. The script by Michael France and Mark Frost lacks action and totally misses the mark were the five major characters are concerned. Mr Fantastic/Reed Richards, played by Ioan Gruffudd is a dull science geek with absolutely no charisma or leadership qualities. Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, played by the beautiful Jessica Alba, does nothing but look pretty and whinge all the time. Victor Von Doom/Dr. Doom, played by 'Nip/Tuck' actor Julian McMahon, is nothing like his comic book counterpart and shows no real motivation why he would turn so evil. The only two main characters that come off well are Ben Grimm/The Thing, played by 'The Shield' star Michael Chiklis and Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, played by Chris Evans. They both bring something more to the production, with Ben Grimm struggling with his new appearance and Johnny Storm the only one thinking that his new powers are cool. These two are not enough to save the movie however.

The major falling down point is the story. With only three action main action sequences in the entire film, you'd be mistaken in thinking that the rest was given over to character and story development. Instead we have the Fantastic whingers, with the exception of Johnny Storm, moaning constantly about having these new abilities and trying to find a way of getting rid of them. With no scientific explanation of how Reed Richard who go about this or where he got the money to fund his research, we are lead to believe that he can recreate the accident in the lab. It is points like this and the exceptionally bad dialogue that make the movie such a chore to watch, even for fans of the comic and the cartoon series.

Comic book fans expect more from these adaptations and this movie is a return to the bad old days. The choice of Tim Story as director, the man who gave us 'Barbershop' and the awful 'Taxi' remake is probably the worst decision producer Avi Arad and Marvel Comics have made, as it is pretty obvious that he can't handle a film of this magnitude. When you throw in some dodgy visual effects that make the movie look cheap and the fact that the film was made for a younger audience and not the fans, 'Fantastic Four' is a decidingly average take on what could have been a fantastic movie.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the movie is presented well highlighting the visual effects.


Cast Commentary
Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Ioan Gruffudd come together to talk about the making of 'Fantastic Four'. The trio (Chris Evans is strangely missing) provide a chatty and fun commentary. It is clear that they enjoyed making the film and they reveal many behind the scenes secrets from the shoot. They talk about the dynamics between the characters, the suits and the problems with making a movie that is very dependant on special effects. This is a good commentary from three people who really enjoyed making the film.

The Fantastic Tour (23.45 mins)
Sue Storm herself, Jessica Alba records a video diary during the worldwide promotional tour for Fantastic Four. With interviews and fun with Chris Evans, Julian McMahon, Michael Chiklis and Ioan Gruffudd, we see all the press junkets, premieres and TV and Radio appearances the four have to attend as they visit, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the US.

Music Videos
Watch promotional music videos from the 'Fantastic Four' soundtrack including 'Everything Burns' by Ben Moody and Anastacia, 'Come On, Come In' by Velvet Revolver and a trailer for the Soundtrack CD.

Inside Look (1.50 mins)
Producer Avi Arad talks about the plot of 'X-Men 3', showing some storyboards from the production. This is extremely disappointing as there is no footage from the third movie at all.

Coming Soon
Previews of 'Perfect Catch', 'Oliver Twist', 'Robots' and 'The Simpsons


As a single disc set, this version of 'Fantastic Four' is a good package for those who are not really interested in how the movie was made. A collection music videos and Jessica Alba's video diary add to value and the commentary track is very good. Fans of the film should buy the extras fill two-disc very however but for those who are not big fans of extras this is a decent purchase.


Disc 2:
'Heroes Are Born - The Making Of Fantastic Four': a feature length "making of" covering each of the main characters and scenes
'The Baxter Building -Declassified': the film's associate producer David Groder takes us around the art deco home of the Fantastic Four team. He guides us around the set and describes the key elements, with cutaways to the movie scenes showing how they appeared on the big screen
Animatic comparison: computer animation side by side with final finished film element
Deleted scenes that didn't make it to the final cut of the film, including one where Mr. Fantastic morphs into Wolverine as Sue Storm describes her perfect man!
'The Making Of Fantastic Four': a fun and fast paced featurette introducing the franchise and characters, touching upon their powers and the special effects
'Fantastic Four -Making A Scene': a detailed guide to the creation of special effects used for a scene in the movie
'Fantastic Four - Casting Session': a collection of audition sessions involving each of the final cast members shot during pre-production of the film
Theatrical teaser trailer, Theatrical trailer & TV spots



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