The Fantastic Four movie was definitely a mixed bag for me. I’m a Marvel fan, but I always followed Spidey, the X-Men, and the Avengers more than the Four. Hence I don’t know the exact origin story very well, nor the origin of Dr. Doom, the villain of this picture. If you liked the X-Men movie and don’t require an airtight plot, you’ll probably like this one.

Light spoilers follow if you’d like to read on.

I think the film developed the five main characters well, at the expense of telling the story. There’s quite a bit of action, but not a whole lot of fighting – most of that is near the end. The movie ran about 1:50 but if it had been 2:05 it could have provided more explanation for certain scenes. There’s a board of directors featured in the film whose role I didn’t exactly know; they were probably outside investors in Victor Von Doom’s multi-billion-dollar company. When the five main characters are seen in their flight suits for the first time, their embroidered name patches seem out of place for a spaceflight that was so hurried along plot-wise. Also, the writers copped out on the whole uniform/costume thing; very badly handled.

The Four’s discovery of their powers was handled quite well, especially Johnny Storm’s – his scene was quite funny. Chris Evans played Johnny way over the top (as written, I’m sure) and it worked for me most of the time. Jessica Alba’s Sue Storm played a bit older than Alba’s 24 years; if I wasn’t a Dark Angel fan and didn’t know her age (from IMDB) it might not have bugged me. Michael Chiklis made a great Ben Grimm and suit he wore as “The Thing” was well done.

The Von Doom character was given a prominent role in the origin and the movie as a whole, and was written for the movie with powers and an origin completely different from the comics I’ve read and read about (an example) and the times I’ve seen him portrayed in the various cartoon incarnations of Marvel characters. It was never completely apparent what his powers actually were (or what their limits were) so a pivotal scene with he and Ben Grimm is hard to understand.

The movie’s biggest flaw involves a choice Ben Grimm makes; it’s not so much his choice as it is what happens that allow him to make that choice. Once you see the movie I think you’ll know what I mean.

All in all, it was a fun movie; we went with Kim & Jim and Mark & Robin and everyone seemed to like it. I’m only picky because I’m a comic book geek. I still have my “Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe” set and will probably dig it out to read about Reed Richards and co. 😉