Out of all the superhero movies that came out in the early-2000s before the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Fantastic 4 (2005) might be the most easily forgotten. 20th Century Fox (back then just Fox Studios) sought to replicate the success of films like X-Men and Spider-Man while keeping (and making use of) their license on movies made with the Fantastic 4 brand. Unfortunately, people are inherently much less attached to the Fantastic 4 as a brand than other superheroes (again like the X-Men and Spider-Man).
Fantastic 4 (2005) is an early 2000s movie through and through. It has the overall weirdness that came with the fact that directors weren’t sure whether to emulate comic books or try making these comic books more realistic, so things like visual effects and lore might be stuck in the middle ground. For example, Victor Von Doom isn’t really the same as his comic book self and Mr. Fantastic’s stretchy limbs wouldn’t look out of place in a commercial for Play-Doh.
Despite this, what makes it so outdated is exactly what makes it enjoyable nowadays. Seeing this film in the theater left most people disappointed or uncaring, but re-watching it now is a blast from the past in the best possible way. You can point and laugh at actors who would later become famous, extremely cheesy lines, or the state of special effects in the early 2000s. You won’t be getting the promised comic book Fantastic 4 experience, but you will get an entirely serviceable movie full of moments to remember and joke about.
Originally Published on www.bandersnatch.ca Vol.50 Issue 02 on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020