Fantastic Four (2005)
Fantastic Four (stylized as Fantastic 4) is a 2005 American-German superhero film based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name, directed by Tim Story and released by 20th Century Fox. The film stars Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon and Kerry Washington. The film received mixed-to-negative reviews, but was a box office success earning $330.6 million on a $100 million budget.
Reed Richards persuades his arrogant former classmate, Victor von Doom, to fund his experiments with cosmic energy. On von Doom's space station, the crew including astronaut Ben Grimm, researcher Sue Storm and pilot Johnny Storm are exposed to a mysterious cosmic storm that bestows superpowers upon them. As they cope with their transformations, von Doom vows his revenge on them.
- There's absolutely no Fantastic Four action whatsoever; most of the movie is exposition and the characters coping with their powers.
- Kerry Washington has an extremely horrible portrayal as Alicia Masters.
- Most of the main characters do not have the same personalities as they did in the comics.
- Johnny Storm is an unlikable douche for most of the movie. He's completely immature, he doesn't follow certain orders and he has little-to-no character development whatsoever.
- Victor Von Doom is a horrible villain; he doesn't threaten any of the Fantastic Four team, and he doesn't turn into Dr. Doom until the near-end of the film. Some felt like he became a copy of Norman Osborn from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film.
- How did Ben's wife Debbie rush to the Brooklyn Bridge just to dump Ben after he saved the firefighters from falling to their deaths?
- Some scenes are very unnecessary and serve as a running gag, like Sue stripping naked in public in order to save Ben and again in order to run away from a crowd of fans.
- The CGI and special effects are extremely cartoonish and terrible.
- Product placements including Pepsi, ESPN, X Games, Activision, XBOX, Family Guy, Dell, Samsung, Burger King and Brisk.
- Alicia was blackwashed for Kerry Washington.
- Jessica Alba was miscast as Sue Storm.
- It was released nearly a year after The Incredibles, a more well-received dysfunctional superhero family film.
- Latveria isn’t seen in the film at all and is only mentioned once.
- The marketing only showcased the action scenes with only a few parts of the humor.
- The Supernova technique is scientifically inaccurate, which caused a plot hole by the end.
- The grasp of the source material is fair, especially compared to the later 2015 reboot and the fact that Tim Story is a fan of the comics. It kept the lighthearted tone that the franchise was known for.
- The extended edition is better to watch.
- There is some needed character development where a woman calls out Johnny Storm for throwing fireballs near her, resulting in the more heroic Human Torch by the end.
- The Thing’s backstory and romance with Alicia is elaborated on with more screentime.
- Clever Easter eggs featuring Wolverine and H.E.R.B.I.E.
- Doctor Doom is more active in taking down the Fantastic Four.
- Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing was a great casting choice, and his makeup and costume look impressive as well. Like Story, Chiklis is a big fan of the comics and his performance got a seal of approval from Stan Lee. The other actors aside from Washington are pretty good.
- Decent soundtrack by John Ottman.
- The final battle is somewhat awesome.
- Good funny moments here and there.
- Some of the dialogue is surprisingly memorable.
- Clever Easter egg that the restaurant the Thing and Doctor Doom visited is called Kirby’s, named after Jack Kirby.
- Stan Lee cameos as a character he created, making him a one-scene wonder.
- As unlikeable Johnny can be, all of his hilarious dialogue was improvised by Chris Evans.
- Rather than just being the sole female member of the team, Sue is able to use her anger for a motherly effect.
- Paul Walker was originally considered for the role of Johnny Storm.
- Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, and Brendan Fraser were all considered for the role of Reed Richards. Jackman turned it down in favor of X-Men: The Last Stand despite a Wolverine cameo in the extended cut.
- Ali Larter, Julia Stiles, Kate Bosworth, Rachel McAdams, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Banks, KaDee Strickland, and Renée Zellweger were all considered for the role of Sue Storm. Johansson and McAdams would play Black Widow and Christine Palmer in the MCU.
- James Gandolfini was considered for the role of Ben Grimm.
- Tim Robbins was considered for the role of Doctor Doom. Nicolas Cage was going to play Doctor Doom and even has concept art finished but had to drop out.
- Jessica Alba met her future husband Cash Warren while filming.
- Chris Evans, the actor who played Johnny Storm, would go on to play Captain America in the MCU.
- It is the first Marvel film directed by a Black person, predating Black Panther by 13 years.
- The film would have been released on July 4th, 2005 but was delayed to prevent competition with War of the Worlds.