While many of the comic-book adaptations are aimed at teenagers (the ones with the most cash to spend at the cinema) and adults, Fantastic Four will probably be best enjoyed by younger viewers looking for action and adventure (but, alas, very little plot). Reed Richards (Gruffudd), Sue Storm (Alba), Ben (Michael Chiklis), Johnny (Chris Evans) and businessman Victor von Doom (McMahon) are exposed to cosmic radiation (oops) while in space and find they all have superpowers on their return to earth. Stretchy Reed becomes Mr Fantastic, Sue is Invisible Woman, poor Ben, thanks to some rock-like disfigurement, is The Thing, and Johnny is the Human Torch (handy when the heating’s on the fritz). Doom, meanwhile, just seems to have got grumpier, and becomes the bad guy mainly because he wants to marry Sue and she’s not interested.
The chief reason this will appeal to younger viewers is the effects, which are pretty fantastic, from Gruffudd’s elasticky body to Johnny’s flamey-ness, and the light tone of the whole film (aside from Ben being clearly upset that he’s now a big hunk of rock, everyone else has fun with their new powers). It’s certainly not a great comic book movie, but it zips along and if you think your kids are a little young for Batman, X-Men or Spider-Man, this isn’t a bad choice.
Is Fantastic Four 2005 suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Not really, though this is really aimed at the over-eights.