Movie Review: Fantastic Four (2005) & Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

For those of you who read and enjoyed by reviews of Marvel’s less than stellar movies, I didn’t forget these two fantastic flops. Although after watching both movies, I kind of wish I had forgotten them. Hopefully this year’s reboot of the series can erase these two movies from my memory. Although it wouldn’t take much to outdo these two duds.

Fantastic Four (2005) was directed by Tim Story and was released during the comic book movie boom. But like a few others I reviewed here, this movie was a failure in the long run. The movie told the origin stories of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffud), Sue Storm/Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba), Johnny Storm/Human Torch (Chris Evans), and Ben Grimm/The Thing (Michael Chiklis). There is also Dr. Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), who eventually becomes Doctor Doom, the nemesis of the Fantastic Four.

After the group is altered, they have to adapt to their new powers. But the people of New York also have to decide whether to accept them or not. But when Doctor Doom tries to kill the Fantastic Four, they band together to fight back and the city rallies around them.

In the sequel, released two years later, the people of New York have made celebrities of the Fantastic Four. And as Sue and Reed try to prepare for their wedding, the attention they are getting gets harder for Sue to deal with. But that is the smallest of their concerns when the Silver Surfer (played by Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne) shows up and starts creating havoc on Earth.

When they have to find a way to stop him, they are forced to team up with their nemesis Doctor Doom. But they soon realize that the surfer is forced to destroy world’s because his home planet, Galactus, eats the worlds he visits. And they also find out that Doctor Doom was using them to get the surfer’s board, the source of his powers. But they manage to stop Doom and the surfer decides to fight against Galactus by flying into it and save Earth in the process.

Both movies did good at the box office but we’re not received well by the critics. I thought the sequel was a little better than the original, but nothing to brag about. The biggest problems with the films to me was the goofiness of them. There was way too many corny jokes thrown into the script for me to enjoy. I also was disappointed with some of the roles. I thought Evans, pre-Captain America, was alright, but had too many goofy jokes. I wasn’t a fan of Gruffud or Alba in their roles at all. Chiklis was fine as The Thing, but nothing special. But I was really disappointed with McMahon as Doom. It wasn’t the same Doctor Doom I remember from my childhood. He seemed more like a bumbling idiot than a seriously evil villain. It was disappointing and I hated everything about that character in these movies.

Overall, I give both movies a thumbs down. Neither made me wanting more after I watched them. When I found out they were rebooting the series, I was hesitant to get excited. I was already thinking that The Fantastic Four may be similar to The Hulk and just not good for a solo movie. But I say the trailer for the reboot and I have to say that I am pretty excited. So, if you have already seen these two movies, then you know we are certain to get a better movie this summer. It won’t take much to surpass these two. And if you haven’t seen either of them, well, I wouldn’t worry about getting around to it. You won’t need to have seen these to understand the new one. So save the time and just start with this year’s Fantastic Four release. I wish I could!

Daryl Karpinski Jr.