Fantastic Four (2005 film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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.

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.

For the never-released 1994 film adaptation, see The Fantastic Four. For the poorly received 2015 reboot, see Fant4stic.

Tropes used in Fantastic Four (2005 film) include:
  • Action Girl: Sue, of course.
  • 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.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version of the film uses "Kirikirimai" by Orange Range as its theme song.
  • 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?"
  • Beast and Beauty: Ben and Alicia, though the fact that she's blind helps.
  • Beta Couple: Ben and Alicia.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Deleted scenes reveal that since his transformation Ben no longer sweats, he gets dusty.
  • 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*

  • The Casanova: Johnny.
  • Chase Scene: A flying chase scene.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Johnny going "Supernova".
  • Creator Cameo: Stan Lee as Willie Lumpkin.
  • Chrome Champion: More like Chrome Creep with Victor Von Doom.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Doctor Doom is largely referred to as "Victor".
    • The Four themselves are only very rarely called by their codenames, Ben in particular because calling him "The Thing" is seen as unnecessarily cruel.
      • Sue also takes offense to being called the Invisible Girl.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Johnny and Ben.
  • 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!"

  • Dysfunction Junction: At least in the comics they never came into actually trying to hurt each other...
  • 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:
    • 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 where he stretches his chin to parody Superman and/or Batman from the animated series.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Sue Richards wants to be seen.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Doom blasts a hole in Ned Cecil.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ho Yay:
    • To say nothing of the subtle homosexual subtext between Johhny and Ben.

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!!
  • Invisible Streaker: 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Logo Joke: The movie--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 movie removes the segue between the logos.
  • Misguided Missile: Johnny does this.
  • Moment Killer:

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

  • Ms. Fanservice: Sue. Or more accurately, Jessica Alba.
    • Even more specifically, Jessica Alba. In a skintight spandex jumpsuit. Lampshaded.
    • 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.
  • 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"?

    • The Puppetmaster, Alicia's stepfather, is given a brief mention in one of the deleted scenes.
    • H.E.R.B.I.E. also appears in one of the deleted scenes.
  • 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: Reed figures out how to remove and restore their powers. Which gives Ben Grimm a chance to quickly get over his angst.
  • 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.
  • Recut: 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.
  • 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.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Victor. He only raises his voice once, during a point when he was more desperately angry than evil. Everywhere else it's smooth, softspoken sinister sliminess.
  • 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: Alicia Masters is a blind, black female.
  • 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.
  • 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."