Fantastic Four Extended Edition (film, 2007)


From Death Ray 4.

FILM: THREE STARS EXTRAS: TWO STARS

2005/120 mins/12/ £9.99

Directed by: Tim Story

Written by: Mark Frost and Michael France

Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon

Four scientists are transformed into heroes with amazing powers in this so-so take on Marvel’s most famous superteam book.

The Fantastic Four movie has been unfairly treated, getting too vigorous a drubbing from fans and critics alike upon release, but though it’s certainly not the finest movie ever made, we reckon that if this had come out before the likes of Spider-man and the The X-Men, it’d have been rapturously received. A shame for it then that this average flick had the misfortune to come out in the middle of a rush of truly marvellous Marvel adaptations.

Or maybe the creative team should just have tried harder. Either way, it’s really not that bad.

This extended edition incorporates just under 15 minutes of extra footage, and it does help the film. The relationships between the team members are expanded upon effectively, with the Thing’s suffering at being turned into a big orange rock given extra time to good effect. To the bad there’s a couple of effects shots in here, very minor stuff that is not brilliantly realised.

Other than that, the merits or otherwise of the film remain the same: The Thing and Johnny Storm are well portrayed, Reed and Sue less so, and Doctor Doom lacks villainous weight (when he is the masked, hooded Doom we know and love, it works very well. We should have had lots more of that, and less of that plastic surgeon dude from Nip/Tuck), and overall, the film lacks the comic’s peculiar gravitas and its crazy flavour of weird SF. As with a lot of the current crop of superhero movies, there’s too much origin and not enough story, our disappointment further compounded by the knowledge that the sequel is equally as weak.

It’s a fun, entertaining film, made a bit better by the additional scenes, but it’s still no masterpiece.

Extras: There’s a ten minute piece on the origin of the Silver Surfer, serving as  a trailer for the second film. It’s a good documentary, with interviews with Stan Lee, John Romita Jr. and Steve Buscema, but feels out of place on this disc, as it is primarily concerned with the second film. It’s all you get, too.

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