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Fantastic Four
Extended Edition

Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans and Julian McMahon
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: 9.99
Certificate: 12
Available 11 June 2007

Five astronauts embark on a space mission that goes wrong during a solar storm. The storm electrifies the ship and its entire crew, causing radical changes to their DNA. Back on earth, the transformed 'heroes' adjust to their new powers, which are specific to their personalities. Reed Richards, who lacks assertion, has stretchy limbs of rubber; Sue Storm, who loves Richards but thinks he can't see her for who she really is, becomes invisible; Johnny Storm, an immature guy who is brimming with energy, can burst into flames; and finally, Ben Grimm, a great friend who is as solid as a rock, actually turns into one. While the four are holed up in Richards's scientific lab, where they run experiments in hopes of changing back to normal, the fifth astronaut, and the space mission's boss, is also going through a transformation - one that could spell trouble for the other four...

Released to coincide with the second Fantastic Four movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer, this extended version of the Fantastic Four movie includes an additional 25 minutes of footage that wasn't on the original DVD release.

This film received quite a clobbering by the critics on its original release, but to be honest it's not a bad movie at all. There's action, adventure, comedy and some great (as well as more than a handful of bad) special effects. Kids will love it. Having said that, I did have quite a few problems with the movie - continuity wise. There are three gaping holes that haven't been plugged very well.

The first scene that had me scratching my head was the scene where the Fantastic Four are eager to get through a road block, but can't. They soon realise that Sue Storm can become invisible and sneak past everyone, so she makes herself disappear. When they realise that her clothes can still be seen she starts to strip. Oops! Her invisibility isn't working quite as well as she'd hoped, and she reappears in her bra and pants - cue much audience merriment and cold showers for the male teenage viewers. Eventually she becomes invisible and makes her way through the road block. The next time we see the Fantastic Four, they have all managed to make it past the obstruction without being spotted... er... how? Were they just having Sue on? Did Richards just want to see Sue strip off? Obviously something important was left on the cutting room floor.

When holed up at Richards's apartment-cum-lab, how does Victor Von Doom let himself in? Sue and Richards look very surprised to see when he appears, but no one really seems to care.

Then there's the question of where Johnny gets his car with the personalised number plate "Torch'd". Did he already have this before the accident? If so, why? And if not when did he buy it, as he has been holed up in Richards's lab with no outside contact?

Ignoring these nit-picks, there are plenty of great touches that Fantastic Four, and Marvel fans in general, will love. Stan Lee makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance and I loved the way that the director plays on the viewer's expectations for Ben Grimm's transformation - with a POV scene that takes the mickey out of the Hollywood cliche reveal sequence.

Extras are a little thin on the ground, but then for £10 what are you expecting? We get a trailer for the Silver Surfer movie (which plays before the menu loads up) and an 8 minute featurette (The Origins of the Silver Surfer) which looks at the history of the comic book character. Sound is 5.1 or 5.1 DTS.

If you haven't seen this movie, then it's well worth getting hold of this edition.


Darren Rea

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