Review for Fantastic Four….and its not good….

Roger Ebert gave Fantastic Four only ONE STAR. Meaning this: *. Not this: ****. Or even this ** & 1/2. But this: *. One freaking star. This movie must have really pissed him off. I read the review and I was pretty disappointed by it. I wanted to want to go see it. I usually agree with a lot of the things Ebert says.

He gave Batman Begins four stars, which means this: ****. I’d give it *** & 1/2 stars, it wasn’t perfect (I’d give Pirates of the Carribean four stars) but I liked it enough to put the two thumbs up for it.

Here is the review off of the Chicago-Sun Times website:

Fantastic Four

BY ROGER EBERT / July 8, 2005

So you get in a spaceship, and you venture into orbit to research a mysterious star storm hurtling toward Earth. There’s a theory it may involve properties of use to man. The spaceship is equipped with a shield to protect its passengers from harmful effects, but the storm arrives ahead of schedule and saturates everybody on board with unexplained but powerful energy that creates radical molecular changes in their bodies.

They return safety to Earth, only to discover that Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd), the leader of the group, has a body that can take any form or stretch to unimaginable lengths. Call him Mr. Fantastic. Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) develops superhuman powers in a vast and bulky body that seems made of stone. Call him the Thing. Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) can become invisible at will and generate force fields that can contain propane explosions, in case you have a propane explosion that needs containing but want the option of being invisible. Call her Invisible Woman. And her brother Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) has a body that can burn at supernova temperatures. Call him the Human Torch.

I almost forgot the villain, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), who becomes Dr. Doom and wants to use the properties of the star storm and the powers of the Fantastic Four for his own purposes. He eventually becomes metallic.

By this point in the review, are you growing a little restless? What am I gonna do, list names and actors and superpowers and nicknames forever? That’s how the movie feels.

It’s all setup and demonstration, and naming and discussing and demonstrating, and it never digests the complications of the Fantastic Four and gets on to telling a compelling story. Sure, there’s a nice sequence where the Thing keeps a fire truck from falling off a bridge, but you see one fire truck saved from falling off a bridge, you’ve seen them all.

The Fantastic Four are, in short, underwhelming. The edges kind of blur between them and other superhero teams. That’s understandable. How many people could pass a test right now on who the X-Men are and what their powers are? Or would want to? I wasn’t watching “Fantastic Four” to study it, but to be entertained by it, but how could I be amazed by a movie that makes its own characters so indifferent about themselves?

The Human Torch, to repeat, can burn at supernova temperatures! He can become so hot, indeed, that he could threaten the very existence of the Earth itself! This is absolutely stupendously amazing, wouldn’t you agree? If you could burn at supernova temperatures, would you be able to stop talking about it? I know people who won’t shut up about winning 50 bucks in the lottery.

But after Johnny Storm finds out he has become the Human Torch, he takes it pretty much in stride, showing off a little by setting his thumb on fire. Later he saves the Earth, while Invisible Woman simultaneously contains his supernova so he doesn’t destroy it. That means Invisible Woman could maybe create a force field to contain the sun, which would be a big deal, but she’s too distracted to explore the possibilities; she gets uptight because she will have to be naked to be invisible, because otherwise people could see her empty clothes; it is no consolation to her that invisible nudity is more of a metaphysical concept than a condition.

Are these people complete idiots? The entire nature of their existence has radically changed, and they’re about as excited as if they got a makeover on “Oprah.” The exception is Ben Grimm, as the Thing, who gets depressed when he looks in the mirror. Unlike the others, who look normal, except when actually exhibiting superpowers, he looks like — well, he looks like the Hulk, just as the Human Torch looks like the Flash, and the Invisible Woman has some of the same powers as Storm in “X-Men.”

Is this the road company? Thing clomps around on his Size 18 boulders and feels like an outcast until he meets a blind woman named Alicia (Kerry Washington) who loves him, in part because she can’t see him. But the Thing looks like Don Rickles crossed with Mt. Rushmore; he has a body that feels like a driveway and a face with crevices you could hide a toothbrush in. Alicia tenderly feels his face with her fingers, like blind people often do while falling in love in the movies, and I guess she likes what she feels. Maybe she’s extrapolating.

The story involves Dr. Doom’s plot to … but perhaps we need not concern ourselves with the plot of the movie, since it is undermined at every moment by the unwieldy need to involve a screenful of characters, who, despite the most astonishing powers, have not been made exciting or even interesting. The X-Men are major league compared to them.

And the really good superhero movies, like “Superman,” “SpiderMan 2” and “Batman Begins,” leave “Fantastic Four” so far behind that the movie should almost be ashamed to show itself in the same theaters.

The damn movie will still make a shitload of money and they’ll still make a sequel. Because this looks a million times better then The Hulk ever did, and that movie blew so much ass that I’m happy that they’ve never mentioned since it came out. It looks like it has potential to be really good, lets see how it does this weekend.


6 thoughts on “Review for Fantastic Four….and its not good….

  1. flammable says:

    Ouch. Ebert ripped the movie a new one, and probably for good reason.

    I really hope they take all of that into consideration for the sequel…I’d like to see them make a good movie with those characters.

  2. socramforever says:

    Seriously, usually if they messed up the first one, they fix the second (they didn’t always do this and they still don’t always do it).

    Ebert didn’t like it one bit.

  3. flammable says:

    I hope so. The Fantastic 4 don’t deserve to suck like this.

    It would take years for people to forgive them and let them start over, like they have done with Batman. When they bring a comic book to the big screen, I’m not sure if they realize that for some people they are messing with memories. Not sure if they really care, but…I’m glad Sam Raimi is doing Spider-Man, at least. He’s always been my favorite.

    I read an interview that IGN did with Sam Raimi, and he seemed very dedicated to the whole project. He made me feel as though if he made a Spider-Man movie that he would want to do the series justice. I like that…he takes the job very seriously and it shows. In the interview, he was asked what the next villain is and he responded that it really depends on Peter Parker’s life, and stressed that when the reporter repeatedly asked about multiple villains, and the possibility of Venom. It’s comforting to me to get a glimpse of his thought process like that…I’ll try to find the article for you, it’s a great read.

  4. socramforever says:

    Yeah, I read a bit of something like that, that the villian would depend on what is going on in Peter Pakers life. That’s cool. I believe there are going to be two villians in the next one. They have already signed two people up to play the villians, they just haven’t released who they will be.

    Catwoman, I never saw it but it made people really hate the warner bros for killing a possible great movie. Personally I think that they should have kept her with the Batman series.

    Batman Begins was probably one of the best comic to movie adaptations along the lines of Spiderman. Don’t get me wrong I love the original Batman with Michael Keaton, but this one was like reading the comic book. Lt. Gordon looks like he does in the comic book, mustage and all. I hope that they will continue to do Batman justice and not mess it up like they did to the last series.

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