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Fantastic Four

Released

Latest Home Video

Jun 05, 2007

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

106

Cast

Ioan Gruffudd

Jessica Alba

Michael Chiklis

Chris Evans

Studio

2005 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Still shot from the movie: Fantastic Four.

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Reviewed by

Overall B
ViolenceC
SexB
LanguageB
Drugs/AlcoholB
Run Time106

Making the Grades

It's Marvel's longest running comic book series, and now the Fantastic Four is leaping from its pulp pages into the world of live action, assisted by major computer effects. If you, like me, haven't got a clue who these characters are, the entire back-story will be filled in while you watch this movie.

Dr. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) is a combo inventor/scientist/astronaut. It's a handy skill set that allows him to propose a jaunt into Earth's orbit so he can ride out a cosmic storm headed for the blue planet. By placing himself into the eye of the action, he believes he can unlock the secrets of human DNA and provide cures for virtually every ailment. To pay for his trip, he turns to his old college rival, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), now a billionaire industrialist.

For human resources, the doctor calls on his astronaut buddy Ben (Michael Chiklis); Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), who is currently working as a geneticist for Victor's company and is also Reed's ex-girlfriend; and Storm's younger brother Johnny (Chris Evans). Victor hops aboard for the scenery and to continue wooing Sue into his personal life.

But things don't go well after they dock at the space station. For some reason, the storm's nine hour ETA has shortened to nine minutes. Catching them by surprise, the group is exposed to severe radiation.

Once back on Earth, each discovers their bodies have been renovated in unique ways. Johnny has the gift of internal combustion--allowing him to burst into flames at will, Ben has turned into a huge rock monster, Reed is able to stretch his frame into any imaginable shape, and Sue has the ability to turn invisible... as long as she takes off her clothes.

Unfortunately, Victor discovers his new ability as well--a virtually invincible, titanium-strength physique. This sets New York City as the stage for the ultimate superhero showdown, with Von Doom seeking power while the others wrestle with accepting their new identities and helping to keep the city safe.

Never taking itself too seriously, Fantastic Four allows its heroes to mingle with the general populace, as opposed to living in secret. That gives opportunity for many lighter and comedic moments, as the team contends with aggressive media (played by many actual aggressive journalists) and the public's reaction to their abilities. However, the story doesn't deviate from where you think it's heading. Instead, the creators have offered a palate of electrifying visuals with the hopes audiences will forget the predictability of the plot.

The most prominent eye candy is the extensive use of Jessica Alba's physical "talents." Having to strip in order to become invisible provides ample opportunity for "near miss" moments in underwear and coming out of the shower. When she is seen, her wardrobe is low and lean. Other family viewing concerns will be many moments of stylized action violence, including electric shocks (one cuts a large hole through the middle of a person's body, resulting in a dramatic death), car accidents, body throws, and many more workaday superhero encounters.

While not quite fantastic, these four do offer reasonable entertainment, which most parents will be comfortable having their teens (and perhaps older children) view.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Fantastic Four.

Why do people dream of being “superhuman?” What super ability would you choose to have? What would you use it for? How can we develop our own talents and abilities to become more “super?”

Video alternatives…

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Violence
AB PG Not Recommended For Young Children.
MB PG VIOLENCE. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.
ON PG VIOLENCE. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Fantastic Four...

The Fantastic Four Extended Edition is the super-hero size of the popular 2005 film. Releasing to DVD ten days before Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer hits the silver screen, the two-disc set provides a copy of the original theatrical version of the film, plus a seamlessly branched Extended Cut. The later includes nineteen extended/deleted scenes and two alternate main title sequences. There is also a cast commentary by Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis, as well as a commentary by director Tim Story, writers Michael France and Mark Frost, producer Avi Arad and executive producer Kevin Feige. Trailers, TV spots and a featurette promoting the upcoming sequel round out the offerings on disc one.

Disc Two is an in-depth look at the production, with the following featurettes: Heroes Are Born (making of Fantastic Four), The Baxter Building: Declassified, The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine, Jack Kirby: Storyteller, From Comic Book to Film and Visiting the Stately Ross Museum. There are also multi-angle animatic-to-scene studies of various special effect sequences (Fantastic Four hit by cosmic storm, Brooklyn Bridge, Ben hits Johnny, Reed and Doom fight, Johnny chased by missile and The Thing and Doom fight). Other tidbits of interest to fans are collectibles and stills galleries, concept art, character sculpts, costumes and Human Torch Flame Tests.

English audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Sound. Spanish tracks are recorded in Dolby Surround (on the U.S. Theatrical Version only). Subtitles are provided in English, Spanish and French.

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