First off, I wasn’t a massive reader of the Fantastic Four comic books.
Also, I’m aware this film happened in the 90s, but I’m yet to watch it.
That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the first Fantastic Four film. Fun fact: it was out in 2005. I know, right?
Bottom line it was a romp. Popcorn fodder for a Friday/Saturday night. There were good guys and bad guys and Jessica Alba in a skin-tight blue jump suit. Not to mention a handsome Welsh devil by the name of Ioan Gruffudd (and at a time when Christian Bale was storming onto screens as Batman for the first time in the wake of Eric Bana as Bruce Banner and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine – the British were on the come up in comic book capers) and an equally handsome American devil called Chris Evans.
The plot was easy – gang of do-gooders team up to defeat Victor Von Doom (an Aussie called Julian McMahon) – but what was interesting was the fact they went into how the Fantastic Four got started, back to the freak accident during one of Reed Richards’ outer space expeditions that left our fearless foursome with super powers.
How those powers became apparent to each person caused the eyes to roll a bit: Reed and Susan find out at exactly the same time over dinner while discussing their relationship – she gets emotional and, funnily enough, disappears; he stretches to catch a bottle of wine – while Johnny goes to the doctors and gets his temperature checked by a sexy nurse (really?) who declares, wide-eyed, ‘you’re hot!’ when the bulbous end of his thermometer measures off the scale.
But it’s a comic book movie largely intended to make serious dollar, I didn’t expect Aaron Sorkin levels of dialogue.
The action scenes were fun with a strong family dynamic at their centre, and The Thing got most of the best lines. Thankfully they didn’t leave out the famous ‘It’s clobberin’ time!’ line which was awe-bloody-some and the Fantasti-Car made an appearance, albeit second fiddle to Reed and Susan’s relationship.
Ah the love triangle. As soon as I saw that the couple had broken up at the film’s start it was another eye-roll moment. There had to be some sort of ‘human drama’ that meant the actors actually got to do some ‘acting’ and everyone would root for loveable idiot Reed and not greasy, loaded bad boy Victor – as it should be in life, really – if only it wasn’t rammed down our collective throats by a Thor-sized boot.
Then Silver Surfer happened. I don’t know why it happened but it did. The thought of a sequel was exciting but Silver Surfer contained SO MUCH FAIL I’m not surprised a third one hasn’t popped up in cinemas yet. But there are rumours of a reboot which could be good if a) done properly and b) doesn’t feature Martin Lawrence in any way shape or form.
One thing I will say for Rise Of The Silver Surfer, is that this bit is brilliant:
General Hagen: No you don’t understand. So let me make it clear for you and your pack of freaks here. I’m the quarterback. You’re on my team, got it? But I guess you never played football in high school, did you Richards?
Reed Richards: No, you’re right, I didn’t. I stayed inside and studied, like a good little nerd. And fifteen years later, I’m one of the greatest minds of the 21st century, I’m engaged to the hottest girl on the planet, and the big jock who played quarterback in high school? Well he’s standing right in front of me asking me for my help. And I say he’s not gonna get a damn thing, unless he does exactly what I tell him, and starts treating my friends and me, with some respect.
General Hagen: Give him what he wants.
[The general storms off]
Susan Storm: I am so hot for you right now.
Johnny Storm: Me too. All right Reed!
P.S. And since we’re on the subject of Fantastic Four, I just had to throw in the theme tune to the 2006 cartoon series Fantastic Four: World’s Mightiest Heroes because it’s too gosh darn funky: