Fantastic Four (2005)

Unfantastic Snore

A group of astronauts gain superpowers after a cosmic radiation exposure and must use them to oppose the plans of their enemy, Doctor Victor Von Doom.

The Fantastic Four were Marvel's first superhero team, and have since become one of their more popular comics since the early years of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. The back-catalogue of the FF is massive and out-there enough to rival space epics like Star Wars and Star Trek. So what shall the origin story for Marvel's first superteam be? Fighting a mad scientist/billionaire/Invisible Girl's ex.

Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans do the most competent jobs at acting, embodying their roles the best they can considering the material that they've been given. The same cannot be said for the remainder of the main cast, as Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffund and Julian McMahon all come off as bland and rather miscast within their roles. Dr Doom is one of Marvels notorious villains, best described as a psychotic super-villain version of Iron Man who dabbles within the dark arts of magic, but here he comes across as more of a douchebag businessman, like a less evil Donald Trump. It's especially questionable why a dark haired, tan skinned and brown eyed actress like Jessica Alba was cast in the role of blonde haired, blue eyed and whiter than white heroine.

Looking less like a superhero team and
more like a 90s pop band
The comic book steeped in fantastical elements, such as time travel, aliens and trips to other planets, but the film feels too embarrassed to give way to some of the FF's more fantastical elements, especially considering how not even five minutes is spent on the space shuttle in the beginning.

The effects are actually pretty good, but too much attention's been spent on the visuals, while not enough has been focused on an actual plot or a half-decent script, as evidenced by the horrendous attempts at comedy, awful dialogue, too much emphasis on a tacked on romantic element and the severe lack of character development.

The most disappointing aspect is how the titular team never really do anything fantastic, they just spend the movie cleaning after the messes they make. There's also a distinct lack of actual fighting, with the final battle especially feels less like a scene and more like a tacked-on science lesson with some punches thrown.

Fantastic Four is a horrendous attempt at bringing to life a big-screen version of one of the best comic books. Pixar did a better job at creating an on-screen version of the team with The Incredibles than Tim Story did in 105 minutes.