40 / 100
Watchable Minutes : 60 / 106. There’s about one hours worth of OK content here that could have been saved and reused in a much better movie. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody in the early 2000s cut together a short fan edit of this movie that trimmed all the ludicrous amount of fat from this bloated run time.
Trailer Comparison : I think the trailer for this movie is way better than the thing I just watched on Disney+. It’s short, sweet and to the point. It’s a no frills comic book movie trailer that sells me all the info I need in about 2.5 minutes. The feature movie could have used some pointers from whoever cut this trailer together.
Movie or Film : Fantastic Four is your basic comic book movie about heroism and courage, blah blah blah. There’s nothing filmy about this dumpster fire.
- Run time : 1 hr 46 min
- Studio : Marvel
- Director : Tim Story
- Where to Watch : Disney+
Eager to study his theory about cosmic radiation clouds, Reed Richards turns to an old friend in Victor Von Doom to fund his expedition to space. Doom agrees, but on one condition; he must be on the ship with them to reap the rewards of the scientific study. When the routine expedition goes awry, the five astronauts onboard are afflicted with mysterious mutations and appear to have gained strange new powers.
Fantastic Four (2005) is one of the earliest Marvel properties adapted by the Fox studio system. Released hot on the heels of Spider-Man one and two, it features a classic tale of a group of scientists, pilots and engineers who were subjected to cosmic radiation and received powerful mutations from their voyage to space. It is a relic of the early 2000s and encapsulates what so many of us are trying to forget.
Keen eyes will notice the bones of what made current Marvel movies so popular in this early work. There are recognizable celebs (Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis), the then unknowns (Chris Evans), and the perpetual supporting cast (Ioan Gruffud and Julian McMahon). While there are a lot of people involved in this movie, no one person’s acting stands out as anything other than mediocre and unbelievable. Obviously Chris Evans went on to become one of the biggest movie stars in the world, but it’s not surprising that everybody else just faded into the background with varying degrees of repeat success. Then there’s the trademark humor, which is still a little dated but the patented quips are starting to take shape. Rounding out this movie are the CGI fights and sprawling set pieces, which definitely are not pretty by today’s standards. Just because this is an early movie doesn’t mean it gets a pass on quality writing and storytelling.
The bottom line on the story and writing is that it is just straight bad. I don’t know anything about the Fantastic Four other than what this movie taught me. They are a legendary comic book team, but this movie fails to make me believe that they could be great at anything. They fight before their powers, fight after their powers, listen to the bad guy instead of each other, then kiss and make up – BORING! It’s about as basic as you can get and just comes off as lazy and uninspired. I know that the technology wasn’t there to make a cinematic and appealing visual masterpiece, but better superhero movies were made before and during this same time. It puts the Fantastic Four in a very deep hole, one that the 2015 reboot only made worse.
This is a painful movie to watch, partly because it is a pure time capsule like I said in the beginning. There are so many dated and old school scenes that make it kind of a chore to get through. I’ve only ever seen the FX version of the movie until today, and I think the edited for TV version is slightly better in my head, simply because the stuff that landed during the commercial break time slots was so unimportant that it somehow made it a shorter, yet better movie.
If you like this, check out :
- Ghost Rider (Just kidding)
- Fant4stic (also just kidding)