Wed July 6, 2005
A Fantastic Letdown
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
After solid appearances this year of Sin City and Batman, seeing comic book adaptation Fantastic Four is a fantastic letdown: The general idea about four colleagues in the space business undergoing radical physical changes is interesting but the execution is loud and repetitive, and the actors are disconnected from their mission.
Spawned from another Stan Lee comic, this film version takes almost the whole film to have the four principal characters, who have been transformed into superheroes by a cosmic storm, come to terms with their new gifts, including being a human torch, stretching your body like elastic, becoming invisible, and being a rock with its attendant strength.
It's all typically American filmmaking with the accent on stunning graphics and de-emphasis on character and story depth. The plot includes the necessary villain, who looks invulnerable for a while; the effects of a romance among principals gone badly; and the transformation of tough guys into softies and the reverse. All cliches are alive and functioning well here.
After killing a doctor who tells him his "entire biophysical structure changing," the villain says, "I think I'll get a second opinion." Audiences will need one as well after I killed off Fantastic Four in this review.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time," which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com.