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The film adaptation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's the comic book of the same name. Or rather, it is based on the same general continuity and universe as the original comic with some elements borrowed from Ultimate Fantastic Four.

For the never-released 1990s film adaptation, see The Fantastic Four.

There are two movies in the current Fantastic Four movie franchise thus far:


Fantastic Four (2005)

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Ten years after the first Ashcan Copy adaptation in 1994, Constantin Films, still holding the movie rights, were confident that such a big project was possible. The result was a $100 million film directed by Tim Story and starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, and Chris Evans as the titular Fantastic Four. The movie explored their origin story and the subsequent battle with Victor Von Doom.

The film was widely publicized with some very high HSQ-laden action-sequences in previews, which caused two main responses to it after the release: one, for those (especially casual moviegoers) who turned up to see the action film, and were disappointed that they got a sc-fi dramedy instead; and a second (especially fans of the comic book), who were disappointed that the sci-fi elements of the original material were toned down in an attempt to make the movie lean towards the action Spectacle. Both sides unanimously agreed, however, that Mike Chiklis' was a brilliant and realistic performance as The Thing; and was easily the best part of the film. And that the soundtrack was pretty awesome.

Had a big box office gross despite its mixed reviews; which led to …


Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (2007)

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- A sequel, which is about...The Silver Surfer, the "herald" for the planet-consuming being Galactus, who in this movie is a giant planet-eating cloud. Loosely based on the Ultimate Marvel Gah Lak Tus Trilogy written by Warren Ellis.

Some reviews rated the film higher than its predecessor, but only slightly. And it didn't make as much money, thus making any further films unlikely. However, there are currently plans to reboot the film series.

Incidentally; the movie brought to light a heartbreaking What Could Have Been story behind the story; that of the 1992 short film featuring the Silver Surfer, which broke every rule in Hollywood's book to even exist, and which was also the first film to utilize the CGI software which would later be made famous for creating the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park.


The two films in the current franchise provide examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sue, of course. Also Cpt. Frankie Raye. (Nova from the comic books)
  • Actor Allusion: More "actor input", actually: Julian McMahon, who plays Dr Doom, suggested that metal staples be used to help stitch the scar at the beginning of his transformation. This comes from McMahon's experience playing a cosmetic surgeon on Nip Tuck.
  • A God Am I: Victor starts thinking this way once he embraces his powers. Sue notes that he always thought of himself as above others, though.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Johnny at the end of the second movie. After being a screw up due to his unstable form for most of the movie he uses it to his advantage at the end.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version of the first film uses "Kirikirimai" by Orange Range as its theme song.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Surprisingly averted in the sequel. The director actually stated that he didn't want to pepper the film because he was happy with its PG rating. It helps that the FF's adventures and tone have almost always been rather family-friendly.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: Reed, in a Call Back to Victor's speech while freezing him with liquid nitrogen: "What happens when you rapidly cool hot metal?"
  • Badass Boast: Reed; see the CMOA below.
  • Beast and Beauty: Ben and Alicia, though the fact that she's blind helps.
  • Beta Couple: Ben and Alicia, Johnny and Frankie.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Deleted scenes reveal that since his transformation Ben no longer sweats, he gets dusty.
  • Bouquet Toss: Johnny shoots it in midair when it looked like Frankie would catch it.
  • Brain Bleach: Johnny's reaction to Sue stripping down: "I'm gonna need therapy."
  • Car Fu: Ben

 I'm gonna need to borrow your car.

The transmission sticks!

Not a problem. *toss*

 Johnny: (sees the "Dodge" logo on the front) Hemi?

Reed: Of course!

  • Curb Stomp Battle: Super-powered Johnny versus Doctor Doom in Rise. Doctor Doom acquires the Surfboard of the Silver Surfer- which allows him to fire stupidly powerful energy blasts- and to combat that, Johnny grabs the powers of the entire team to take him down. Doom never even gets a single shot off.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Johnny and Ben.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Captain Frankie Raye.
  • Deleted Scene: The DVD Extended Edition, which includes all deleted scenes (such as Ben and Alicia's romance) is a much better watch than the theatrical release.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the comics, Alica Masters (Ben's blind girlfriend) was the one who appealed to the Surfer's "humanity" and convinced him to save the world from Galactus. Here, Sue is given that job, and Alicia is only given two scenes in the sequel.
    • She only has two scenes in the first movie too, so while it's a demotion from the comics it's a pretty consistent (if minor) role in the films.
  • Did Not Do the Research / Artistic License Astronomy: Reed Richards, of all people. Reed's hypothesis states that cosmic rays triggered the supposed evolutionary cycle when a storm of them ran over Earth. There's just one problem: Cosmic rays are prevented from reaching the earth by the earth's magnetic field, which, if Reed's model is anything to go by, still up and running. Furthermore, even if the cosmic rays did manage to penetrate the field and strike Earth, it would wipe out all (if any) life on it, not create any.
    • He may have a point though as these particular cosmic rays are not the "murdering all life as we know it" kind, but the "give people random superpowers" kind.
  • Die or Fly: Johnny
  • Disposable Superhero Maker: Played With; the cosmic storm is a once-in-millenia event but Reed manages to recreate it in his lab (yeah) and... well, we don't know what exactly he did with the machine, 'cause it's never revealed in the movie.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Subverted. It looks for a second like Reed is staring at Sue in her skin-tight outfit; but then...

 "Wow! Fantastic! Material made from self-regulating unstable molecules!"

  • Doing It for the Art: One of Chiklis' requirements for accepting the role of the Thing was that his character would be make-up based, rather than the CGI everyone else had previously assumed. This meant that Chiklis insisted upon hours of application and wearing heavy, uncomfortable makeup, over the option that would have allowed him to earn the same money in significantly less time simply by voice acting. Why? Because Chiklis was a fan who knew that underneath the rock skin, Ben Grimm's still a human being, and this was best shown by having his actor go through the same thing.
  • Dramatic Irony: The scene shot from Ben Grimm's POV, when he wakes up after being hit by the cosmic storm. Everyone watching the film knows he turns into the Thing, so when Johnny Storm says, "Everyone else is fine." we think we know what's wrong with Ben. Then it turns out that Johnny is making fun of Ben's human looks.
  • Dysfunction Junction: At least in the comics they never came into actually trying to hurt each other...
  • Eldritch Abomination: Galactus (called Gah Lak Tus here).
  • Enemy Mine: They team up with Dr. Doom in the sequel to get the Silver Surfer.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Chris Evans...just Chris Evans * swoon*
    • Michael Chiklis as The Thing has a disturbingly large number of female admirers for a giant rock covered dude...
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Again, Chris Evans.
    • Also parodied in the second movie.

 Sue(to Reed): I am so hot for you right now...

Johnny: Me too!

    • Ioan Gruffudd is, in all seriousness, quite a dashing fellow and managed to bring a lot of charm to the character of Reed Richards.
      • Especially the scene in the first film where he stretches his chin to parody Superman and/or Batman from the animated series.
  • Every Helicopter Is a Huey: In the sequel, as the team are flown over the Thames in a pair of Hueys. Since the US military long since phased out the Huey and the British military never used them at all, it's anyone's guess where on Earth they even got the things unless they raided an air museum.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Sue Richards wants to be seen.
  • Every One Remembers the Stripper: Alba standing in public, in her underwear?
  • Fake American: Welsh Ioan Gruffudd as Reed.
  • Fakeout Escape: There's a sequence in Rise of the Silver Surfer (imported from the original comics) where Sue turns invisible when government officials come to check on her, then runs out the doorway during their confusion.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Doom is responsible for this in two instances
    • In the first film, he blasts a hole in a character.
    • In the sequel, Doom actually blasts apart one whole side of a military-officer's body. Sure, it turns to ash and there's no blood and gore, but it's in a PG-rated film.
  • Fan Service: Both the Storm siblings have a lot of Shirtless Scenes. This is also the primary reason Alba was cast as Sue.
  • Flying Firepower: Johnny Storm, the human torch.
  • Franchise Killer: The Silver Surfer spinoff isn't going to happen.
    • Even worse, the next movie will be a reboot.
  • Genius Bruiser: One of the few versions where Ben Grimm (The Thing) is just as clever and savvy as you'd expect from a former test pilot and astronaut. Even Book Dumb is averted with him.
    • This is best seen in RotSS when Reed is given photos of a 'comet' (actually the Silver Surfer) that's entered the Earth's atmosphere. Reed immediately hands the photos to Ben, who points out that the object can't be a comet because "the trail's all wrong". A subtle but brilliant nod to Ben's astronaut career.
  • Gratuitous Russian: In a wild example of As Long as It Sounds Foreign, the name of the Latverian ship in the Sequel Hook. "Головка пальца ноги" stands for "Head of toe" and made the scene obscenely yet understandably hilarious for Russian viewers.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Reed and Ben don't have much difficulty figuring out their powers but Sue and Johnny have a some trouble with it at first. This is the rare franchise to manage this again in the sequel with the four struggling to use each other's powers.
  • Ho Yay: Johnny is so hot for Reed too.
    • To say nothing of the subtle homosexual subtext between Johhny and Ben during both movies.

 Johnny: What I'm saying is, I guess it would just be nice to have someone.

Ben: Well, you got me, kid.

    • And Doom's obsession with Reed.
      • He has cameras in his house!!
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In the second film, when Surfer!Doom whips up a tornado for the Fantastic Four. "Let's all go...FOR A SPIN!!"
  • Invisible Streaker: In the first movie, Sue is forced to strip naked in the middle of a bridge because her clothes don't turn invisible along with her skin. A pretty Egregious piece of Fan Service, considering her powers were designed specifically to rectify this problem (she makes herself invisible by projecting forcefields that refract light, and should make everything within them invisible).
  • Ironic Echo:

 Doom to Reed: What happens to rubber when it's super-cooled?

Reed to Doom: Time for your lesson - Chem 101. What happens when you rapidly cool hot metal?

 Johnny: I've been wondering. How do you and Alicia... *clicks his tongue in lieu of finishing the sentence*

Ben: That's none of your business!

Johnny: Okay, okay! I'm just concerned, that's all. I don't want to wake up one morning and find out she was killed in a rockslide!

Ben: I'll show you a rockslide!

  • Jerkass: Johnny's over enthusiasm could be explained for himself, but his joking at and exploitation of Ben honestly makes you wish you could smash up his pretty car too.
  • Jumped At the Call: The Human Torch, but only because there was no higher calling than getting girls and making money.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Whilst it doesn't last long, Johnny accidentally switching powers with Ben & becoming the Thing after all the crap he puts Ben through. Ben clearly enjoyed it.
  • Layman's Terms:

 Reed: If we're going to identify the source of the mutation, we need to isolate your recombinant DNA so we can activate positional genomes.

Ben: Huh?

Sue: We need to do a physical in order to see what got zapped.

Ben: Oh.

  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Force Fields, only threatened though.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Thing retains this status from his comic book version. No mean feat, considering Mike Chiklis is weighed down by several kilograms of makeup.
    • In the second movie the makup had improved to be lighter and allow Chiklis more freedom (in the first movie he couldn't even sit down while wearing the full costume and makeup). This means that he gets even faster and more dangerously agile in the sequel.
  • Logo Joke: The two movies--released by Twentieth Century Fox--featured the TCF logo segue into the page-flipping Marvel logo. The Marvel logo also has a logo joke of its own, featuring only Fantastic Four panels and making the background behind "MARVEL" blue (like the F4 outfits) instead of the traditional red. Sadly, the extended cut of the 2005 movie removes the segue between the logos.
  • Look Ma, No Plane: In the second movie, the Human Torch flies next to the plane in which the rest of the Fantastic Four is flying, annoying the Thing.
  • Misguided Missile: Johnny does this.
  • Moment Killer:

 Victor: I have four words. Four little words that can change our lives forever...

Reed: THE CLOUD IS ACCELERATING!

  • Ms. Fanservice: Sue. Or more accurately, Jessica Alba.
    • Even more specifically, Jessica Alba. In a skintight spandex jumpsuit. Lampshaded during the 2005 film.
      • Not to mention getting all her clothes burned off when she and Johnny switch powers in the sequel. In front of a whole load of people. At least in the first movie she still has her underwear. Which she has to take off so no one can follow her...
      • To give you an idea just how shameless it was, Alba reports that her death scene in the second movie was reshot with the direction to die sexier.
    • Made even more obvious since her power is to bend perceptions or something to that effect. There is no reason whatsoever why she should have to strip.
      • Actually, they justify this - The spandex suits received the same dose of cosmic radiation as they did, so they're the only things they can wear that won't set on fire when Johnny flames on, will turn invisible Sue does, and will stretch as much as Reed can. By the second film, Reed's managed to replicate the effects so they don't need their uniforms on at all times.
  • Mundane Utility: Johnny makes popcorn using his powers. Ben uses Thing-strength to squeeze orange juice. Reed uses his stretching to write on blackboards far away from him, and to retrieve toilet paper from another room.
    • As mentioned under Fridge Brilliance the Four's uniforms are modified from the underclothes they wore on the space station.
  • Mythology Gag: The Thing saying, "You know, I used to smoke." Also:

 Johnny: That's the Invisible Girl!

Sue: "Girl"?

    • Stan Lee's cameo doubles for this in the second movie; in the film, he was turned away from Reed and Sue's wedding, just as he (and Jack Kirby) were for the wedding in the comic.
    • Johnny getting the powers of all his teammates makes him very similar to FF nemesis Super Skrull. He even hits Doom with a stretchy rock covered flaming fist.
    • The Puppetmaster, Alicia's stepfather, is given a brief mention in one of the deleted scenes.
    • The cloud of Galactus features a brief shadow of his helmet as shown here
  • Nice Girl: Alicia Masters.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: The reason Sue leaves the safety of the shields to help the others.
  • The Notable Numeral: 4. Written on the sky, in case you missed in on their chests.
  • Power Perversion Potential: "Is it true what they say about him, that he can expand any part of his anatomy?" Cue "whooooooo"s from the girls standing around.
    • To say nothing of Johnny riding the elevator on the Baxter Building up & down all day, and raising the temperature whenever a hot chick stepped in so that she wound up taking her clothes off...
  • Powers as Programs: In the first movie Reed figures out how to remove and restore their powers. Which gives Ben Grimm a chance to quickly get over his angst.
    • In the second movie Johnny's form becomes unstable causing him to swap powers with the others whenever they touch.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Michael Chiklis has been a comic book fan since he was a kid. Guess which one was his favorite.
  • Race Lift: Alicia Masters was white in the comic books.
  • Re Cut: The Extended Edition, which adds in scenes fleshing out Ben and Alicia's romance as well as a different title sequence that provides some backstory.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Possibly averted, as Reed wanted to use his research to benefit the handicapped and the sick, but just look at the Did Not Do the Research / Artistic License Geology entry above.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: The Four feel compelled to use their powers for good... often at the cost of their personal lives and relationships, as seen in the wedding opening of the second movie.
  • Sequel Hook: Both endings, conspicuously.
  • Shallow Love Interest: Debbie. We don't know anything about her and she is never heard of again after she dumps Ben. This was completely intentional though.
  • Skunk Stripe: The movie shows how Reed got his, part cosmic radiation, part obsessive guilt over the accident that caused their powers.
  • Snow Means Cold: Subverted when the Surfer's passage causes snow to fall on the Great Sphinx outside Giza, Egypt ... without a corresponding drop in temperature.
  • Soft Spoken Sadist: Victor. He only raises his voice once over the course of the two movies, during a point when he was more desperately angry than evil. Everywhere else it's smooth, softspoken sinister sliminess.
  • Starring Special Effects
  • Tempting Fate / Ironic Echo: "A few days in space. It'll be great. What's the worst that could happen?"
  • Throw It In: "Aw, look -- she's kissing him."
    • It may have also been for the benefit of Alicia, who was standing right next to him,(she's blind).
    • In that case, why the "Aw, look" part, though.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Alica Masters is a blind, black female.
  • Ultimate Evil: Gah Lak Tus.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In-Universe example. In the extended cut of this film, Reed Richards transforms in to Wolverine when saying something along the lines of 'I thought you wanted a stronger man'. This suggests that mutants exist at the time the movie takes place. I'm sure Johnny Storm's comments about Ben Grimm on public television ('every team needs a mascot'!) went over really well with the mutant community.
    • A CEO suggests that Doom 'go back to the home country,' and that maybe he belongs there. Usually the audience could just suspect that he was being the average Jerkass CEO. But then at the end of the movie, they actually pack him up in a storage container headed for Latveria while the American heroes celebrate their victory.
    • The TV version just has make a Superman-like chin.
  • Vanity License Plate: Johnny Storm's car has tags that read TORCH'D.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ben and Johnny, as always.
  • We Can Rule Together: Doom makes this offer to the Silver Surfer. It gets turned down, but at least in the following struggle Doom's body ends up restored.
  • Wedding Smashers: Sorry, Sue...
  • What Could Have Been: The 2005 film was originally meant to be, in executive producer Chris Columbus' words, "the most epic sitcom ever made", and they were consciously trying to duplicate the formula that had resulted in the utter failure of Batman and Robin -- Columbus' reasoning being that while Batman wasn't an appropriate franchise to attempt such a formula, The Fantastic Four was. After a few years in Development Hell, the arrival of Tim Story (who, ironically, was mostly known as a comedy director) and writer Mark Frost finally pushed the film in the right direction.
    • This feel is best seen in the hilarious breakfast scene and the montage that follows it. The whole thing plays out like an hilarious cross of Leave It to Beaver and The Addams Family.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: "All I've seen is a guy who almost got his team killed."
  • With Catlike Tread: In Rise of the Silver Surfer, they decide that the only way to get the Silver Surfer's board back from Dr. Doom is to use The Human Torch's new "powers" to combine all their abilities to allow him to fly, but also be as strong as The Thing, and be invisible so he can sneak up on Doom. It works perfectly and he gets to within 2 feet of Doom. But rather than just knock him out, he has to say "To quote a friend, It's clobbering time." thus blowing the cover and starting a drawn out battle..all while the Earth is about to be destroyed.
    • Well, Doom had just killed his sister.
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