Flashback Review: Fantastic Four (2005)

In The 1960’s, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby created their first Marvel Comics superhero team called, “Fantastic Four.” It’s about four people who participate in a space mission, until they get hit by a radiated cloud, causing them to gain extraordinary powers. Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic is the leader of the group, known as the smart one and his ability to stretch. Susan Storm/Invisible Woman is Reed’s wife, who has the power to tie invisible and project force fields. Johnny Storm/The Human Torch is Susan’s younger but cocky brother with the power to transform is body entirely in flames. Ben Grimm/The Thing is Reed’s lifelong friend who transforms into a rock like creature that grants him super strength.

The Team use their powers to work together by protecting Earth from their enemies including Silver Surfer, Mole Man, Galactus & their archenemy, Victor Von Doom/Dr. Doom, who’s lifelong goal is to rule the world as a power hungry dictator.

Fantastic Four gained popularity for its themes involving family, their enemies & portrayed them as celebrities with good publicity, rather than vigilantes operating outside the law like most superheroes.

Like many other Marvel characters, they’ve earned themselves a franchise consisting of merchandise like t-shirts, action figures, video games, crossover appearances and  animated TV shows from The 60’s & 90’s.

The first attempt to make a film adaptation of Fantastic Four, is an unfinished film by filmmaker, Roger Cormen, which was slated to be released in 1994. The sole reason on why it never came out, is because Marvel didn’t want the picture to come out like this as a cheap looking superhero film, they wanted to make a high quality film with a bigger budget, decent special effects and a polished script. If you want to find the film, you can look it up on YouTube.

A Decade Later, with the success of superhero films such as X-Men, & Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, various Hollywood studios attempted to capitalize on the success of both films. Fox picked Fantastic Four as one of their projects.

Fantastic Four was released in 2005. (same year Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith came out) It received negative reviews from critics and made enough revenue at the box office.

A sequel called, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer was the last film to feature the returning cast, until a reboot released in 2015, was a failed attempt to make Fantastic Four more relevant.

This review contains a tremendous amount of SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

Positive & Negative Elements

Positive: Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans & Julian McMahon all did an ok job on their performances.

In almost every Marvel related movie tradition, Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance as Willie Lumpkin. He’s the Mr. McFeely (from Mr. Rogers) of Marvel. I’m not gonna lie Willie exists as a comic book character. Look it up.

The Final Battle is the only part that kept me invested.

Only two funny moments made me laugh. One with Johnny snapping his finger to ignite fire like a lighter. Two Ben’s custom made Nike shoes.

Costumes Designs for The Team look spot on from the comics.

The Thing jokingly mentioned a utility belt to The Human Torch. Does Batman Begins ring any bells? Christopher Nolan’s reboot of Batman came out the same year as Fantastic Four.

Both Thing & Torch say their infamous catchphrases. For Thing, “It’s Clobbering Time!” Last but not least, Torch’s “Flame On!”

Thing’s appearance isn’t made from C.G.I. It’s actually constructed as a bodysuit for Michael Chiklis

Cinematography looked shockingly normal.

During The Climatic Battle, a Wilhelm Scream is used.

Johnny lands on snow, a few seconds later, his body heats it up by turning the snow into a jacuzzi. Six Years Later, Chris played a character who was frozen in ice. Can you guess who it is? I’ll give you a hint, he wears something that resembles The American Flag.

Negative: Jessica Alba did a terrible (or as Cleveland from Family Guy pronounces it as turrable) job on her performance as Susan Storm/Invisible Woman. Plus, she’s miscasted and too young to portray Invisible Woman. In the comics, she’s close to the same age as Mr. Fantastic.

When The Team acquire their powers from The Cosmic Storm, the scene abruptly fades to black with no explanation on how they managed to get back on Earth from a deadly Cosmic Storm! Can you imagine a scene with a kid trying to catch an apple falling off a tree and then the scene suddenly fades to black?

C.G.I. Involving Mr. Fantastic’s stretching abilities, resembles something off of a PlayStation 2 game.

Humor in this movie is full of cringeworthy jokes that never made me laugh, besides two funny moments.

Reed suggests that Sue should take her clothes off to pass through police to meet with Ben. He doesn’t realize that there’s a too many witness right in front of him & Susan. I’m gonna assume that The Council Of Reeds are cringing that they would never come up with an idiotic plan to tell their girlfriend to strip their clothes off in front a dozen people. Imagine if our military generals ordered their female soldiers to strip in front of their adversaries? Would that work in real life? HECK NO!  They’ll receive a bullet between the eyes!

Fox unintentionally made Reed Richards a complete moron. Doom was able to outsmart Reed by successfully completing Reed’s chamber without any assistance.

A local news called Reed & his allies, “The Fantastic Four.” J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man is more creative to come up with unique names! If J.K. Simmons reprised his role as Jameson, I would’ve give this flaw a pass!

Dr. Doom getting fired by board members from his company he founded, is a carbon copy of Norman Osborn/Green Goblin getting fired from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Doom seeks his revenge on them by killing them. Goblin did it first, not him!

The only way to activate Sue’s force field, is to release her rage. Fox is also ripping off a character’s power to manifest their true potential to get angry, most obviously Bruce Banner’s ability to transform into The Hulk!

Reed comes up with an invention which is a chamber to permanently remove an individual’s powers. WAIT A MINUTE! Fox is also ripping off a pivotal plot point from Superman II. Superman uses a chamber to revert his powers so he can spend time with Lois Lane. DC Comics, if you’re reading this, you better get yourself a lawyer, so you can take Fox to Judge Judy!

Thing punches Human Torch sending him straight towards a Burger King banner. Why does that sound familiar? Remember that scene in Superman II when Superman throws General Zod towards a neon Coca-Cola sign? Seriously? Is Carlos Mencia a screenwriter? First he stole stand-up routines from talented comedians, now he’s stealing from both Marvel & DC?

Besides rescuing a few people on a bridge, not a single Action Sequence is shown until The Third Act commences. Throughout the film, they did nothing but sit on the couch, eat breakfast, bragging, arguing & Johnny showing off to gain attention like a poplar high school girl. EGAD! Fantastic Four might’ve encouraged Cartoon Network by making Teen Titans act like a bunch of lazy buffoons in Teen Titans Go! I’m immediately gonna Triple Down this flaw for Fantastic Four unintentionally inspiring Teen Titans Go!

How the heck is Ben capable of rerouting The Chamber to transform back into The Thing? Worst of all, this also rips off Superman II with Clark using the exact same chamber to regain his powers to fight General Zod.

Ben earns himself an early romance with a blind woman named Alicia. I think it’s way too soon. In real life, once you’ve known the person for about a week or two, you’ll officially began a relationship as both a boyfriend & girlfriend.

Before The End Credits start, Fox shoved a sequel in our faces. As most people call it, “Sequel Bait.”

Marketing for Fantastic Four promised us comic book fans that this picture is gonna be filled with a lot of action. Turns out we’ve been duped.

I easily got bored there’s no proper Three Act Structure to set the events in motion. I’m Doubling Down this con for making me feel extremely miserable!

The Final Verdict: F, FOR FAKER!

Fantastic Four is one of the worst Marvel films ever made right next to the 2015 reboot, Ben Affleck’s Daredevil, & X-Men Origins: Wolverine! Do not, I repeat, do not waste your precious spare time on this floptastic disaster! If you want to watch a better Marvel superhero team up, I strongly recommend X2, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, The Avengers & Guardians Of The Galaxy.

I hope Disney better resurrect Fantastic Four as a much proper movie to fit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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