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Review Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) and Fantastic Four (2015)

genre: action, adventure, comic book adaptation, superhero

Here are my thoughts on two of the live action films about the Fantastic Four. I have yet to watch the most recent adaptation. And I want to include the unreleased Roger Corman version and give that a fair shot. Do consider this a work in progress and come back frequently for future updates to this article.

Fantastic Four (2005)

This adaptation is very flawed and doesn't quite get the dynamics between the main characters. Although it was trying. The special effects for it's time were serviceable. But most importantly the action and spectacle deliver as much as was allowed. Where it goes wrong is by how the incredibly simple story plays out. It's weak and yet takes away all the focus from more interesting subplots like how Reed Richards is oblivious to Sue and how Ben Grimm has to deal with his horrific transformation. For some reason director Tim Story wanted to keep things light. A little too lighthearted since Ben Grimm got the worst of all but has to act like it was no big deal. How could he when his current girlfriend is scared too death of him and breaks of the relationship without actually giving herself time to think about it. Then there is the good old love triangle involving Reed Richards, Sue and Victor von Doom. How anybody could even consider Von Doom as a potential husband is beyond me but Sue herself points out she was only using him to make Reed Richards jealous. That is a pretty childish thing to do and not the Sue Storm - Richards I know. In any case it is very clear from the start who the villain is and who the Fantastic Four have to fight. 

Overall quite enjoyable adventure yet not particularly memorable.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

By now the Fantastic Four are more a team and display more of the dynamics that are typical for the characters. Still not as deep and significant as I would like to but at least it's an improvement. It allowed the characters to have more fun and it shows. Especially in relation to the main plot with the introduction of The Silver Surfer. He easily is the best thing in the film. Come to think of it. He is the most complex character in the entire film. Yet director Tim Story in his quest to keep things lighthearted doesn't want to explore this complexity. I don't know whether it was a budget thing or Tim Story didn't quite know what to do with Galactus. But it's safe to say they messed that up big time. Galactus is a cosmic entity so powerful and gigantic that he can devour whole planets. To have him appear as a cloud was just stupid. At first it seemed like they were going to build up suspense and do some kind of epic reveal. That would have been awesome. Instead we get none of that. Poor story I could have lived with. But to be disappointed like this? Unforgivable.

Despite this like the original the film is entertaining and fun while it lasts. But again not very memorable.

Fantastic Four (2015)

Review is coming soon.

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