Fantastic Four (2015)

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Fantastic Four (2015) Poster.jpg
"We gave you six years and millions of dollars... and you gave us nothing."
Genre: Action
Directed By: Josh Trank
Produced By: Matthew Vaughn
Simon Kinberg
Gregory Goodman
Hutch Parker
Robert Kulzer
Written By: Jeremy Slater
Based On: Fantastic Four
by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Starring: Miles Teller
Michael B. Jordan
Kate Mara
Jamie Bell
Toby Kebbell
Reg E. Cathey
Tim Blake Nelson
Cinematography: Matthew Jensen
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: August 4, 2015 (New York City)
August 7, 2015 (United States)
Runtime: 100 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $120–155 million
Box Office: $167.9 million
Franchise: Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four (stylized as FANT4STIC) is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is the third and final theatrical Fantastic Four film to be produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox and a reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise. Directed by Josh Trank, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg, Fantastic Four premiered at Williamsburg Cinemas in New York City on August 4, 2015, and was released on August 7 in the United States.


Transported to an alternate universe, four young outsiders gain superhuman powers as they alter their physical form in shocking ways. Reed Richards becomes Mr. Fantastic, able to stretch and twist his body at will, while pal Ben Grimm gains immense strength as the Thing. Johnny Storm becomes the Human Torch, able to control and project fire, while his sister Sue becomes the Invisible Woman. Together, the team must harness their new abilities to prevent Doctor Doom from destroying the Earth.

Why It Sucks

  1. The only reason the movie was made, along with The Amazing Spider-ManGMW from Sony, was so that 20th Century Fox could hold onto the Fantastic Four film franchise and not lose the rights to Marvel StudiosGMW - and it shows.
    • Ironically, the 20th Century Fox acquisition resulted in Marvel regaining the rights to the Fantastic Four franchise anyway, as well as being bought out by Disney, which also owns Marvel.
  2. The movie seems as if it's ashamed of its source material, and just to drive the point home, the name "Fantastic Four" is never seen or mentioned on-screen at all.
  3. The character design for The Thing is horrible. The Thing doesn't even wear pants like in his previous incarnations and in general, he looks like a giant garbage dump mashed together. It could reasonably be argued that even the Roger Corman film's version of The Thing looks better than this one.
    • Doctor Doom on the other hand looks like some sort of melted plastic toy that was put in a microwave rather than a scientist wearing a metallic suit. He's also nothing short of a complete and utter monster, contrasting his tragic villain characterization from the comics gravely.
      • Multiple reviewers have noted that Doctor Doom looks like a crash test dummy.
      • Doctor Doom does not even act like a maniac scientist. Rather, he acts like an elementary school bully.
  4. And while we’re on this subject, Doom’s presence as the main villain happens very late in the film.
  5. The movie also takes itself far too seriously, and is very dark, which is a far cry from the comics and even from the previous movies. It aspires to become, to quote Trank himself, a "David Cronenberg superhero" movie. It does feature body horror akin to The Fly and stars super-powered people, but fails miserably in combining them due to the horror film theme not fitting well with the Fantastic Four characters.
  6. Much of the film is just boring conversations in rooms with the lights turned off.
  7. Similar to Man of Steel, this movie uses a rather dull and washed-out color palette, which heavily goes against that of the original comics.
  8. There's an error in one scene where Reed's file on Ben lists his birth date as 1986. However, the beginning of the film, which shows both Reed and Ben at around 10 years old, is set in 2007.
  9. The movie climax is the cookie-cutter "beam into the sky to make a portal" fight.
  10. Unlikeable characters like Reed Richard's school teacher and Ben Grimm's brother, Jimmy.
  11. Choppy CGI and special effects, especially on the Human Torch.
  12. Absymal editing, with shots either going slow or cutting out and moving to the next shot.
  13. Horrible and unenthusiastic acting, even from actors like Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell. It also has no real direction.
  14. The cast has no chemistry whatsoever, even though this is a film about a family of superheroes. In one scene, when Sue and Johnny Storm do talk to each other, it's just relatively brief. Another example is in a scene when Reed and Sue (who are a married couple in the comics) sit down and talk, and it's not even convincing. The only moment where there is any real chemistry between the four is in the Chinese lunch scene. However, even then they're not talking to each other.
    • Speaking of Reed and Sue, they are more like rivals than love interests, coming off as Sue pushing the guilt trip enough for Reed to turn anti-hero rather than a hero.
  15. In the comics, Doom’s disfiguration had nothing to do with the experiment.
  16. Horrible casting choices. Jamie Bell was miscast as The Thing/Ben Grimm. Michael B. Jordan's casting as Johnny Storm led to some criticism, particularly since his sister Sue Storm was still played by a white actress. Miles Teller's casting as Reed Richards was also criticized, since he looked and sounded like a teenager, unlike the previous films where he actually acted mature and looked like an adult.
  17. Out of place and shameless product placement, such as Dr. Pepper, Dell and Samsung.
  18. Terrible attempts to make the film dark and mature which only make it dull and completely soulless.
  19. No character development whatsoever. For example:
    • They seemed like selective test subjects than chosen geniuses.
    • Behaving like military machines and only wanting to form a team because Reed returns.
    • They don’t seem like they're enjoying their superhero life.
  20. This movie has only one action scene, where the Fantastic Four face off against Doctor Doom near the end of the movie, which is absolutely inexcusable for any superhero or action movie.
    • To make matters worse, three more action scenes were reportedly planned for the movie, but were cut out days before production began. Why they were cut out is unknown, though it's possible they wanted to make the film family-friendly. Regardless, that is still unacceptable for a superhero or action movie.
  21. The Fantastic Four are incredibly unlikeable and dumb; the only reason they go into the teleportation machine that mutates them is that they wanted the fame. Reed Richards even outright says his only motivation is fame.
  22. The storyline suffers from unbelievably bad pacing, lots of padding and certain scenes that drag on. The main characters receive their powers within the first forty minutes and the first act progresses so slowly overall (taking up a huge chunk of the movie’s running time, of which there are 100 minutes), that the second and third acts end up moving at an incredibly fast pace.
  23. False advertising: Many of the posters show the Fantastic Four in a heavily-ravaged and devastated city and its quote is "change is coming", implying some kind of action scene. However, such a scene does not happen at all in the actual movie.
  24. Filler story. For example, there are several subplots in the first and second acts (like Ben Grimm's rivalry with his older brother, Johnny's connection to being a street racer, the Fantastic Four gripping and dealing with their newfound super powers, etc.) being forgotten as soon as they are brought up.
  25. No cameo from the late, great Stan Lee, unlike other Marvel movies. He declined to make a cameo in this film because even he thought this movie was horrible.
  26. Scenes that clearly show studio-mandated re-shoots, be it for trying to clear up/hasten the plot or appearance, most notably (i.e. Kate Mara's hair having a different colour due to using a wig, as well as Miles Teller having facial hair in some scenes).
  27. Due to the large amount of meddling and production issues, many scenes that were included in the trailers were deleted in the final cut of the movie.
  28. Horrible and unfinished ending, which was nothing more than an attempt to set up a planned sequel that was quickly and quietly canceled after the movie's failure.
  29. The opening credits fade from the 20th Century Fox logo, flashing the letter "F" as a similar homage to the X-Men films where they flash the letter "X". Maybe if it was part of the X-Men universe, it would have made sense, but since it isn't, it just makes it pretty pointless.
  30. They turned The Thing into a complete joke. While he did have comedic moments in the previous Fantastic Four movies, he was not dumb or clueless. In addition, there is a scene where he headbutts Reed. He would never hurt any of his friends for no reason and never did in any of the previous films as well as the comics. And in general, he acts like a crybaby throughout most of the film. In one scene, he gets upset at Reed for trying to apologize and tells him they're no longer friends.
  31. The same point can be said regarding the other Fantastic Four members. Sue and Reed Richards were definitely more serious in the previous films and even Johnny, for as much of a clown as he was, knew when to act serious, especially during action scenes. Here in this film, however, they act the total opposite: They act like teenagers who just got a new credit card and their first car, and in general, they do not take their powers seriously until very late in the film, when they have to fight Doctor Doom.
  32. The film clearly tries to be dark and family-friendly at the same time, which does not work out at all. A superhero or action film is either dark or family-friendly. It cannot be both.
  33. It was later revealed that Josh Trank's dog died during production and he received criticism and death threats over the film's casting, which explains his bizarre behavior during production. Regardless, his behavior was still unacceptable when it comes to deciding to cast black actors for Johnny and Sue Storm/Human Torch and Invisible Woman to real-world demographics.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Good soundtrack by Phillip Glass and Marco Beltrami.
  2. As horrible as his character design is, The Thing's size is at least accurate to the comics, even more so than in the previous movies.
  3. Toby Kebbell sounded good as Dr. Doom.
  4. The late Reg E. Cathey does a good job as Dr. Franklin Storm, despite being blackwashed.
  5. The scene where Dr. Doom goes on a murderous rampage in Area 57 manages to be genuinely horrifying, but poorly executed.


Fantastic Four was universally panned by critics, audiences and fans alike, who criticized its screenplay, directing, lack of humor, inconsistent tone, obvious reshoots, visuals, slow pace, lack of dynamics between the main characters, unfaithfulness to the source material, its false advertising in many of its advertisements as well as the actors portrayal of the characters, though the film’s soundtrack was praised. Trank himself has also voiced his displeasure with the final film, blaming studio interference and has since disowned the film, and has been called "a good candidate for the worst movie of 2015". On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 9% based on 257 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 3.46/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Dull and downbeat, this Fantastic Four proves a woefully misguided attempt to translate a classic comic series without the humor, joy, or colorful thrills that made it great", making it one of the worst-rated superhero films on the site. It even became one of two winners (the other being Fifty Shades of Grey) of the 2015 Razzie Award for Worst Pictures of the Year. It has the worst Cinemascore and Rotten Tomatoes rating of any superhero movie ever made and is the worst-rated Marvel movie, even managing to score lower than Howard the Duck, which is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all-time. The website Metacritic gave the film a weighted average score of 27 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". It received a "C–" rating from audiences surveyed by CinemaScore on a scale of A+ to F, which was referred to by Pamela McClintock of The Hollywood Reporter as "the worst grade that anyone can remember for a marquee superhero title made by a major Hollywood studio." On IMDb, the film holds a rating of 4.3/10 based on 150,733 votes, making it one of the lowest rated superhero films on the site. placed the film 4th in their 25 worst superhero films of all time list, with only Supergirl, The Lone Ranger and Catwoman ranked higher and proven to be worse.

The movie suffered from numerous production issues, ranging from director Josh Trank (of Chronicle fame)'s unprofessional and bizarre behavior on the set (which also got him fired from directing the planned Boba Fett standalone Star Wars film for Disney) to Fox attempting to take over the movie from Trank in an attempt to salvage it via re-shoots. Also, many of the people who worked on the movie, including all of the actors who starred in the film as well as Trank himself, have since disowned it. In a deleted Twitter post (written just before the movie's release), Trank said that "[he] had a fantastic version of [this movie] that would've received great reviews. You'll probably never see it, though".

Ironically, two years later, all the Fox studios and the entire Fox library were purchased by Disney for $52.4 billion (later upped to $71.3 billion after a bidding war with Comcast). The deal was finalized on March 20, 2019, ending Fox's 83-year run as a major movie studio and reducing it to a Disney label. It was later rebranded as 20th Century Studios the following year. Executive Tom Rothman, who had green-lit this film as his final act before his 2012 exit, took a huge slice of the blame for the studio's demise.

The film's box office run didn't do much better. On its opening day, it made $11.3 million, which was lower than early tracking, and $25.6 million on its opening weekend, making it one of the (if not the most) lowest openings of all time for a big-budget superhero film. total it grossed $56.1 million in the U.S. and $111.9 million internationally for a total of $167.9 million, making it a box office bomb.

Following the film's major critical and box office failure, Trank has since vowed to never direct a superhero film again.


  • Michael B. Jordan later portrayed N'Jadaka/Erik Killmonger in another Marvel movie, Black Panther, which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlike this film, both Black Panther and Jordan's performance as Killmonger received critical acclaim, with many considering him one of the best comic-book movie villains ever while also winning an MTV Movie Award for "Best Villain".
  • The relentlessly low quality of Fantastic Four movies has to do with Marvel making a licensing deal with German company Constantin in 1986 for any film adaptations of Fantastic Four and the rights to a number of associated characters (such as Doctor Doom, the Silver Surfer and Galactus). This deal had no expiry date. However, the contract does require movies to actually be made. This is why the 1992 Roger Corman Fantastic 4 film was created (apparently the contract does not specify that films have to be released), and why Fox made any films using the license at all. Disney acquired the license when it purchased Fox, however, and now intends to incorporate the group into the MCU. The same deal also dealt with Marvel's long-running inability to use the X-Men characters in movies, as the rights to make X-Men films were also owned by Fox. Because of this, a new reboot for Fantastic Four is in development, and will take place in the MCU. John Krasinski, who's been a fan favorite pick for Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, revealed in an interview that he would be very interested in portraying the character, with Emily Blunt, who's been a fan favorite pick for Sue Storm-Richards/Invisible Woman, reportedly in talks of portraying the character. On December 10, 2020, it was announced that the film will be directed by Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home director, Jon Watts.
  • Writer Jeremy Slater would later write the equally-reviled straight-to-Netflix Death Note movie.
  • Tommy Wiseau wanted to direct the sequel if it became a reality.
  • Besides being considered to be one of the worst superhero films of all-time, the film is also considered to be one of the worst films ever made.
  • An issue of The Punisher released months before the movie came out showed fictionalized versions of Miles Teller, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara getting violently killed off in an explosion.[1]


External links





12 months ago
Score 5
I believe this has the right to be called one of the worst movies of the 2010's. And I am very ashamed of 20th Century Fox for ever letting a movie like this get even green-lit, produced and released in this condition.


7 months ago
Score 8
This movie is Tr4sh.


6 months ago
Score 0
Can I add a redeeming quality: Miles Teller's and Michael B Jordan's performances are decent?


6 months ago
Score 2
No, we've said they gave abysmal performances.


3 months ago
Score 0
oh ok


5 months ago
Score 0
I was very smart to avoid this film when I was young. I'm watching it on Netflix right now. It's very boring.


5 months ago
Score 0
Jeremy Slater may be bad at writing movies but he's good at writing shows. Like the umbrella academy and the exorcist show. I'm excited for Moon Knight on disney+.


4 months ago
Score 0
Ben: So this is where you been hiding out? Why?
Richards: I ' M N O G O O D T O A N Y O N E.


4 months ago
Score 0
If Tommy Wiseau direct the sequel, this could be a The Room: Fantastic Four Edition


3 months ago
Score 1
Doesn't this movie just scream "2015 cringe?" Like it certainly looks like a 2015 film, and a bad one at that.


3 months ago
Score 0

How I imagine this film went down:

Writer: So you know how the 2004 version of Fantastic Four failed?

Producer: Yes

Writer: Well, what if we remade that movie but did everything the opposite?

Producer: Okay


2 months ago
Score 2
With how horrible this movie is I’m surprised there is any redeeming qualities


2 months ago
Score 2
Not funny, didn't laugh.


2 months ago
Score 1
This guy is the epitome of unfunny.


28 days ago
Score 0
I thought Declan’s joke was funny

Declan Kearns

27 days ago
Score 0
I would rather watch Roger Corman's Fantastic Four over Fant4stic. That film had an excuse for why its bad. But this film had no excuse.

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