I never read the comic book. I watched the Hanna Barbera Hour cartoon, but since it was pretty sucky, I can't really compare the two. I thought it was passably entertaining, but my son LOVED it. He was perched on the edge of the couch for much of the film. During the scene where Johnny jumps out of the helicopter into the snow, he yelled, "Cool!" During the scene in which The Thing and Doctor Doom are falling and burst through the swimming pool, he yelled, "Splash! Splash! Splash!" I can't interest him in Dora or Elmo, but he'll watch the stuff with wicked special effects. I find myself wondering if we're not setting ourselves up for disappointment by giving the next generation such kickass special effects right from the start. What's he going to think of the original Star Wars? I guess it will look as lame and outdated to him as Star Trek did to me as a kid. These special effects could be warping his mind. What if he grows up thinking that superheroes are real and people can fly? Or worse yet, what if he grows up thinking that Jessica Alba is a good actress?
Why Jessica Alba? She was about as believable as a scientist as Denise Richards in that stupid James Bond movie. True, there are many smokin' hot scientists out there, but how many of them have the vacant, soulless eyes of Jessica Alba? It's like the lights are on, but no one's home. She has the personality of one of those glass paperweights with the desiccated scorpion inside. Her boobs though - now THEY'VE got personality. I was distracted many times throughout the movie by her shiny, shiny funbags. I wonder what she puts on them to make them shine like that - it's like they're made of plast...Ohhhhhhh...that's why!
With the exception of Jessica Alba, the casting was excellent. I've never heard of Ioan Gruffudd, but he was alright as Mr. Fantastic. I can't imagine anyone else besides The Commish as The Thing. Likewise with Chris Evans as The Human Torch, although his cockiness got irritating at times. I'm still trying to figure out whether Julian McMahon's performance was good or not. Victor Von Doom was basically the same character as Cole Turner with a bit of Christian Troy on the side - it wasn't much of a stretch for him. Both are complex good/evil characters with a definite tendency towards the evil side, so I guess that's a good description of Victor Von Doom as well. (On a related note, I was watching an old episode of The Muppet Show the other day and was shocked at how much Julian McMahon resembles Harvey Corman. Interesting.)
There's a sequel coming out next summer where they fight The Silver Surfer - my husband wants to see it. I think he has a thing for The Silver Surfer. He's white and nerdy.