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Fantastic Four (I) (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  8 July 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 241,752 users   Metascore: 40/100
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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.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Debbie McIlvane


Reed Richards, a brilliant but timid and bankrupt scientist, is convinced that evolution can be triggered by clouds of cosmic energy, and has calculated that Earth is going to pass one of these clouds soon. Together with his friend and partner, the gruff yet gentle astronaut muscle-man Ben Grimm, Reed convinces his conceited MIT classmate Dr. Victor Von Doom, now CEO of his own enterprise, to allow him access to his privately-owned space station. Von Doom agrees in exchange for control over the experiment and a majority of the profits from whatever benefits it brings. He thus brings aboard Susan Storm, his shy, though assertive chief genetics researcher and a former lover of Reed's with whom she had an acrimonious break-up, and her diametrically opposed brother Johnny, the maverick and hot-headed playboy pilot. The astronauts make it home intact; however, before long they begin to mutate, developing strange and amazing powers as a result of their exposure to the cloud! Reed is able to... Written by Anthony Pereyra <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Prepare for the fantastic. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action, and some suggestive content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

8 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fantastic 4  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,815,167 (Australia) (8 July 2005)


$154,695,569 (USA) (23 December 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended edition)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Victor Von Doom's loyal assistant Leonard, who comes across as mildly "prissy" and effeminate but is fanatically and murderously obedient to his boss, is likely named after a very similar character in North by Northwest (1959). See more »


(at around 57 minutes) When Von Doom goes to grab a towel in his bathroom he receives an electric shock to his right hand but looks to the left, all other shots in the rest of the scene show him looking left and it being on his left hand. See more »


[first lines]
Ben Grimm: Typical of Victor Von Doom to build a 30 foot statue of himself.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Marvel logo features comic-book images of the Fantastic Four in its pages; it's also shaded blue, the uniform colour of the Four. See more »


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User Reviews

The worst Marvel Comics movie since Daredevil. Unevenly paced, too campy, one-dimensional, filled with plot holes, and just flat-out mediocre.
11 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The movie fails to establish the setting as a futuristic one populated by the fantastic inventions of Reed Richards. Instead, the setting looks contemporary, with the few sci-fi elements, like holograms and artificial gravity, appearing to be anachronisms. Even worse, they're not Richards'. In the film, Richards is a milquetoast loser and wimp, whose inventions/devices in the comic (the station/ shuttle, the shielding, the unstable molecules) are all Victor's, as is his love interest. Reed is fascinated to see a uniform made of self-regulating molecules, commenting that he's been working on a formula for the stuff. Looks like someone beat you to it, Reed.

Sure, the comics have always portrayed Reed as a bit of a long-winded egghead, but not such a shortsighted dunce. The film Reed is utterly oblivious to any goings-on around him not pertaining to his calculations, be it the fact that Susan still wants him, or the fact that Victor is trying to give her an engagement ring. The Reed I read was always a decisive *leader*. Gruffudd's Reed is an obsequious cipher, and when the notion of his being the leader of the team was voiced during the bridge scene, I didn't buy it. Indeed, the characters in general are handled poorly. Their reaction to their transformation, for example, is dumb. Reed and Sue are desperate to reverse their condition. WHY? You've just got cool superhuman abilities, and all you can think about is how to get rid of them? There is no sense of sci-fi ponderousness or intellectual curiosity about this incredible transformation. They just conclude that their DNA has been altered, and decide that they have to reverse it. The only one for whom this makes sense is Ben Grimm, whose desire to revert to normal is understandable. But even this ruined by his eventual decision, following his successful reversion to normal, to recreate his rocky appearance in order to….well I don't know why he does this. Can't the others handle Doom? After spending the film depressed because his fiancée and others are frightened of him, this made no sense. Even Johnny, whose desire to parlay his new gift into celebrity was fairly believable, was portrayed as far more of an insensitive jerk than he was in the comics.

The rest of the movie is one-dimensional. Doom is not the scary megalomaniacal villain, but a disgraced businessman who kills a few people for revenge. Nothing that makes him an interesting or fearful villain in the comics— the shrewd planning, the leadership of a country, armor and weapons, magical powers—are present. The climax is merely adequate, with Reed's defeat of him coming not from a particularly brilliant plan, but by his own admission, basic elemental chemistry. Dialogue is campy ("Marco…Polo?"), secondary characters like Alicia are cardboard, the science and plot logic is unnecessarily lousy, and much of the movie just makes no sense. Why does it appear that the team going up to the space station suits up in Doom's executive building, rather than at the launch site? Are Sue, Doom, and Richards qualified astronauts? Why does Ben's fiancée go outside on a New York City street in her negligee? Why, when testing Johnny's powers, does Sue refer to "supernova" as a temperature, rather than an event? Why does Reed tell the others that their costumes were exposed to the same cosmic rays that they were, so they can change like us. EXCUSE me? What? What the hell kind of nonsense is this? They're UNIFORMS. They don't have any DNA to mutate. They should change because they're made of unstable molecules. Not because they should exhibit the same reaction to cosmic rays as a human body. How can electricity incinerate a hole through a human body, when everyone who's even been hit by lightning knows that even though it burns, it passes THROUGH the body? And why, after Victor has killed that board member thus, did Johnny not suffer a similar fate later when Doom blasted him with the same energy? Why is it that twice, characters get punched hard enough to be sent flying several yards (first Johnny by Ben, and then a cured Ben by Victor), without being instantly killed? Why did Reed show no permanent effects after testing the machine intended to cure Ben on himself, which resulted in him melting? And the sequence in which Doom fires a missile at the Baxter Building is confusing. Presumably it's a heat seeker, which is why Johnny decides to lure it away from the building, and set a small island on fire (hope no one was on that island) to detonate it. But how did Johnny know it was a heat seeker? For that matter, how could it have been? Victor had to lock onto Johnny and Sue's location on that balcony to fire it, which should not have presented a signature any hotter than anything else in the vicinity.

In watching this film, I kept wondering about how its basic approach and motif would work if upheld for a sequel featuring Galactus. Can you imagine these losers going up against the Planet Devourer? Instead of the ponderous awe and wonder of an immense extraterrestrial life form who consumes the energy of planets, the depth needed to make interacting with his herald seem interesting, the fear and hopelessness evoked by the impossible nature of stopping such a foe, and the moral and ethical discussions raised by Reed's desire to spare Galactus' life, we'd instead get stuff like "Cool, an alien!" "Okay, let's stop him by just doing this" or "Wow, why does that guy look like an Oscar statuette on a surfboard?"


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