Just Pillow Talk v Marvel Comics 12. The Fantastic 4
He’s hitting the dregs in this series now. Having waded through some serious poop in the form of Ghost Rider (you are aware JPT that the new one is out soon, and it’s your birthday! Not to mention that it’s directed by the two Crank monkeys, you lucky dog), Elektra et al, but it is now time for the Fantastic 4 to gangbang his fragile little mind into submission. Personally, I think he passed that point roughly at That Darn Cat in his ill-fated Birthday Series, but it looks like I could be wrong. So, with no more dull preamble from me, here’s Just Pillow Talk with the first of his less-than-Fantastic 4 reviews.
Fantastic Four (2005)
Along with Ghostrider, I was dreading these films the most…from what I remember of them there was pretty much no redeeming features to either of the FF films. Considering the track record of revisiting Marvel films, I was damn sure this one would only get worse.
Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd, horribly miscast) is supposedly a great scientist who has cash flow problems. Seems the guy can’t pay his bills, even though he’s got this crazy intellect. To that end, he and his buddy Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) go to see Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon – pussy), an old college acquaintance, to help fund a project that was rejected by NASA but Reed firmly believes in. Reed thinks that cosmic energy is the key to changing DNA and ending disease and whatnot, and there happens to be an energy cloud heading toward Earth. Victor has a space station that Reed would like to use to conduct the experiment. Along for the ride are Sue Storm (Jessica Alba – bland but strips down, so good), Victor’s assistant in science and cleavage, and Sue’s brother Johnny (Chris Evans, who is on fire in this role) to pilot the space ship to the station. Alas for our group, things go wrong.
The cosmic energy comes sooner than expected (quite rude) and the shields on the space station are not up to the task of keeping the cosmic energy out. Our occupants are bombarded with cosmic energy and soon begin to have their DNA change. I think this is one of the best scenes of the movie, because I dug how the cosmic energy was portrayed as wave after wave hit their bodies. It seemed to me actual pages of the comic book, in this case, was brought to life. Our four heroes-to-be soon discover their powers and deal with it in different ways. Ben is a orange freak and wants to be cured as soon as possible. Johnny uses his powers as just another outlet to be in the starlight. Reed and Sue use this quality time to rediscover their relationship, which is the strength and core of the movie. It’s the engine that drives the team together and holds the fabric of the movie together. Okay, it doesn’t. It’s shit because the actors are the weakest of the team and nothing they say or do carry any weight. However, Alba does strip down.
The heroes solve their differences with each other and with their conditions by the end of the movie to do battle against Victor von Doom, who was changed as well into a strong, electricity shooting pussy. They win via teamwork, Doom gets shipped back to Latveria where he’s from (not sure how that got worked out) and Reed proposes to Sue. The end.
Right, let’s talk about what was actually good with this film, and frankly (monkey!) there’s more here I liked than I remembered. Chris Evans as the Human Torch lights up the screen and really nails Johnny Storm’s character, especially when the FF first came out. His humor, for the most part, kept the movie moving and he came across like he was enjoying the hell out of his self. A role like this (or The Losers) is what he’s perfectly suited for, unlike Captain America where he comes across as a plank of wood. I don’t think he can pull off the non-wise cracking roles, at least in a comic booky type movie.
Michael Chiklis also puts in a solid performance, displaying enough to show that Ben Grimm hates what he has become and clamoring for a cure, but at the same time, willing to turn himself back into the Thing to save his friends. The one problem I still have with the Thing is his size. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t he a lot bigger than everyone else? They probably would not have done a good job with the CGI (hello Hulk), so it’s probably a wise decision they went the way they did.
Now we get to Ioan Gruffudd, who I never bought for a second as a brilliant scientist. He just comes off as a worthless fool who I have no idea how Sue Storm would ever fall for such a douche. I think his acting is pretty bad, and that’s right from the beginning when he’s doing his ‘big’ presentation to Doom trying to sell the idea of using his space station.
Jessica Alba has a smoking body and that’s all I’ll say about Sue Storm.
Now we get to the biggest problem in terms of casting….the villain. Your superhero movie is only as strong as your villain, and in this case, we have a gigantic pussy in that role. So Doom is some successful business man who loses it all gambling on Reed’s project and loses all his investors, and Sue to Reed. That’s fucking it? That’s how you create the FF’s greatest villain….a failed business man who lost his woman (at least in his mind)? Egads, talk about a weak ass villain. I know you guys make fun of Bale’s Batman voice (rightfully so in some cases), but to hear Julian’s voice when donning the Doom mask, it’s laughable. It’s like if a used car salesman starting telling me he was going to bring about world domination after selling me a 1998 Toyota Corolla. Not so sure I would believe him.
What the movie does seem to get right is the family dynamic, with of course the interactions between Johnny and Ben the best. They are also able to work, however briefly, a team dynamic to defeating Doom which was kind of cool. I realize it was yet another origin movie, but it seriously lacked enough action for a comic book movie. It certainly wasn’t Ghostrider bad, or even X-men bad, but come on people, throw me a bone here.
Comparably speaking, it is better than Electra, Ghostrider, Spidey 3, even the first and third X-men. I would even say I would rather watch this than the first Spider-man. Yup, I actually had more fun with this than all those movies. It is still not a good movie, but it’s a lot more close to being passable than I’ve given it credit for. I’ll give it 1 ½ Jessica Alba’s out of 4.