A group of four family and friends go to space and develop superpowers they must use to defeat a rich scientist who went on the space mission with them in the 2005 film, “Fantastic Four.” The film based on the team of Marvel superheroes is the second attempt to make a movie based on the team and the first to actually see the light of day.
This is a weird film for me. It’s reputation is one of the disappointing film, but it was successful enough to get a sequel. I always end up enjoying myself whenever I watch this film, but when I’m not watching it, but thinking back on it, I remember it as not being very good. Maybe this is one of those bad films that I’m just able to have fun with. Maybe it’s better than we give it credit for. Either way, it’s definitely better than the attempted reboot in 2015.
There are two parts of the cast that I truly enjoy. A pre-Captain America Chris Evans plays Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch. The Human Torch was my favorite part of the “Fantastic Four” comics and the “Fantastic Four” cartoon of the 90s. I think Evans does a great job of capturing his spirit and personality. There’s clearly something special in him that shines beyond this film. You can see the future star he would become, but we had no idea he would be easily recognized as Captain America. The other cast member who stands out to me is Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm, also known as the Thing. While Chiklis just seems like himself when playing Grimm before the accident that gave him powers, he does an excellent job in making you believe he is the Thing.
While Evans and Chiklis are great in their roles, the other three main stars leave a lot to be desired. Ioan Gruffold is a perfectly fine actor, but he does a terrible job as the leader of a superhero team. As Reed Richards, I believe Gruffold as a scientist hoping to learn more about cosmic energy clouds. But, I can’t believe him as Mr. Fantastic. The character has always been kind of silly because of his powers, but Gruffold doesn’t make the silly work for him. Meanwhile, Jessica Alba doesn’t really shine as the Invisible Girl. This is another case of an actress not right for the role. She isn’t a great superhero female lead. She’s not bad, she’s just not good. The real problem with this film is Dr. Doom. Julian McMahon is an excellent actor and Dr. Doom is one of the best Marvel villains, when written correctly. This one falls on the scriptwriter. McMahon did his best to make a poorly written role into a threat, but he just came across as cheesy. The writing for this character is a disservice to both McMahon and Dr. Doom.
At the end of the day, I still had fun watching this film again. Despite all my critiques of this film, I enjoyed it once again. But, looking back on what I watched, it was really dumb. I’m not sure where this falls in the realm of superhero movies. If it were in the MCU, it would be the worst of the bunch. But, as 20th Century Fox production, it’s somewhere in the middle. I’m not sure why I enjoy it when it’s on, but I do, and I’m glad I took the time to watch it again.
Ranking: 2.5 stars out of 5
What do you think of “Fantastic Four?”