It’s no secret that Marvel has had godawful films like Daredevil, Elektra, and Hulk. These films are better off forgotten in the cinematic universe, but it’s hard to forget Fantastic Four. Maybe it’s because the franchise keeps coming out with bad sequels and remakes despite the fact that everyone would rather see Spiderman. In an era where superhero movies tried so hard to be mature, Fantastic Four serves as a painful reminder for ones that end up in the kiddie lane.
How to Stream or Download Fantastic Four (2005)
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store or stream it on Disney+. Click on the Download button at the end of the review. If you like Jessica Alba, check her out also in Sin City (2005) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014).
The Movie Review
The film starts off with five astronauts – scientist Reed Richards, Sue Storm and her brother Johnny, pilot Ben Grimm, and financier Victor Von Doom. Their team leader, Richards has a weird dream of understanding human genetics and he believes that going after an impending cosmic storm is the key to unlocking the secret.
Except he’s broke, so he goes to his billionaire ex-classmate Mr. Von Doom for moolah and his fully-equipped space station, to which he allows and they set off on a mission. When they reach their destination to observe the clouds, Richards discovers he has miscalculated and his crew ends up being exposed to cosmic rays. Luckily, the bunch survives but they realize they have developed strange powers.
Fantastic Four has the potential to be a better movie, with a $100 million budget and co-writer Mark Frost (co-creator of Twin Peaks) in the mix. That is until the producers decided to take over the film with their own ‘spin.’ Because of his comedic background with Taxi (2004) and Barbershop (2002), Tim Story was hired to direct the comic film adaptation.
Tim Story does a great job of using the team’s family dynamic to build most of the jokes around, and when it comes to origin sequences, he avoids the long build-up and gets straight to the characters exploring their newfound powers. The huge problem with the sequence, however, falls on the tone inconsistencies and the way they handled the villain.
Doom is a poorly written-character and ends up being used for puns, and Julian McMahon being out of place for the role doesn’t make it any better. He also has a lewd obsession with Sue or Invisible Girl. Speaking of Invisible Girl, I think it’s unfair that Jessica Alba is getting smacked for her acting here, honestly, the screenwriters are at fault for reducing her role to eye candy. The same goes for pretty much every woman in the film, who are always portrayed as bimbos.
Despite the heavily underwritten characters, Chris Evans’ performance as The Human Torch and Michael Chiklis’s performance as The Thing makes up for the empty space. It was so entertaining that we see Evans return to the Marvel universe as Captain America, who he masters even better. Coming to the visuals and special effects, for a hundred million dollar budget this movie is badly animated and cheap. For a 2005 film, it shouldn’t even be that terrible. To compare, Sony Pictures’ budget for 2002 Spider-Man was $139 million.
The Bottom Line
When you boil it all down, Fantastic Four is simply a thirst trap. It’s sad because Stan Lee and Jack Kirby built the Marvel Comics universe around Fantastic Four and it deserved far better than this colossal mess. It’s probably why they keep coming back with more, but ultimately still failing. Although the blockbuster has squandered all hope to become the next best superhero flick, doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining to watch. While cringey to watch in today’s age, it’s a funny film that still passes off as an okay superhero movie to watch if you’re not a nerd.