I’ve never been a fan of the Fantastic Four in particular, but in many ways the new movie perfectly captures the comic: breezy, light-hearted fun that mixes cosmic menace with family squabbles without ever taking itself too seriously. I think Kevin Maher’s review best captures the film but let me offer a few additional notes.
I loved the globe-trotting quality of the sudden shifts in locale, and after the running times of Spider-Man 3 and Pirates 3 this year, the movie’s 90-minute length feels like a revolutionary innovation.
The Thing featured prominently in the first one so his step back feels appropriate to allow a slight focus on the Human Torch, always the most fun character. Like Kurt Russell in Sky High, Chris Evans embraces the role wholeheartedly and always looks like he’s having fun rather than being embarrassed by the absurdity of the material.
The primary negatives I thought were the CG of Reed’s stretching abilities and Alba’s make-up which is sometimes so dark you can’t tell if she has a monobrow or no eyebrows at all. Rachel McAdams would’ve made a better Sue Storm.
But everything else falls away whenever the Silver Surfer is on screen, who looks absolutely perfect. Though FF2 is by no means the best superhero movie, the Silver Surfer is probably the most visually faithful translation of a character from comic book panel to cinema screen, ever. Unlike every other superhero, he actually looks BETTER on film than on paper, more like an animate sculpture than a silver-colored human.
I reckon the Surfer will emerge the favorite new character of 2007 at the MTV Movie Awards or comparable public poll. As someone who always thought the character was a cynical Poochiesque gimmick– after all, his surname is “Radd” — I’m simply compelled to credit Tim Story and especially Doug Jones for finally convincing me of the elemental dynamism of a character whose primary activity is striking poses.