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"FANTASTIC FOUR"
(2005) (Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Moderate Extreme *Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: Imbued with super powers after being exposed to cosmic radiation, a quartet of astronauts tries to adjust to their new abilities and curses while battling with their megalomaniacal benefactor who's growing stronger and more dangerous every day.
PLOT:
Reed Richards (IOAN GRUFFUDD) is a bankrupt but brilliant scientist who, with friend Ben Grimm (MICHAEL CHIKLIS), approaches former schoolmate and current billionaire businessman Victor Von Doom (JULIAN MCMAHON) with a request. Hoping to study some approaching cosmic radiation that he believes may have sparked life on Earth in its only other pass by our planet, Reed not only asks for financial aid, but he also requests the use of Doom's space station. Always wanting to see Reed fail in a spectacular fashion, Victor agrees.

Joining them is Victor's director of genetic research and current girlfriend Sue Storm (JESSICA ALBA) who once had a relationship with Reed, as well as her adventurous and brash playboy brother Johnny (CHRIS EVANS) who will pilot their mission. Unbeknownst to them, however, the cosmic storm is arriving sooner than Reed calculated, exposing the entire crew to high doses of radiation that fundamentally alters their DNA.

Back on Earth, they soon learn exactly how. Reed suddenly has the ability to stretch, bend and flatten his body like rubber, while Sue can turn invisible and create powerful force-fields around her or others. Johnny can cause any part of his body to catch on fire without any harm to him, while Ben has been turned into a monstrous figure who appears to be comprised entirely of rock. As he's the only one who can't will his super power into action, his new appearance causes his wife to leave him, but he's later consoled by a kind blind woman, Alicia Masters (KERRY WASHINGTON), who doesn't care how he looks.

As Reed tries to come up with a solution for their new abilities, the opportunistic Johnny seizes the moment to grab the limelight. After they end up preventing a catastrophe on a bridge high above the river, the press deems them the Fantastic Four and Johnny revels in the publicity. Yet, little do they realize that Doom was also affected and can now control electricity, a power that's slowly turning his skin into some sort of organic metal. With Reed racing to recreate the space storm with hopes that he can revert himself and his friends, the group must deal with the megalomaniacal Doom who's progressively becoming more dangerous and sees the group as the only thing between him and world domination.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the comic book, movies based on comic books, or someone in the cast, it's a good bet they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sequences of intense action, and some suggestive content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • IOAN GRUFFUDD plays a bankrupt scientist who reluctantly asks Victor for financial help and the use of his space station to study cosmic radiation. After the outer space mishap, he finds himself with the ability to stretch, flatten and twist his body like rubber. From that point on, he tries to come up with a solution for his group's problems, all while battling Doom.
  • JESSICA ALBA plays Doom's director of genetic research and his current girlfriend who once had a relationship with Reed. Always sporting cleavage, she's also affected by the radiation that leaves her with the ability to turn invisible and create force-fields. Although she's initially cold to Reed, she warms up to him as they deal with their situation and battle Doom.
  • CHRIS EVANS plays her highly egotistical (sometimes to the group's detriment) playboy brother who's constantly putting down Ben in a somewhat friendly fashion, and uses some profanity when not grandstanding with his abilities to turn into a human, flying torch.
  • MICHAEL CHIKLIS plays Reed's partner who doesn't like Johnny, but has bigger troubles when he's turned into a monstrous rock creature that causes his wife to leave him. He becomes depressed over his state, uses profanity and battles Doom along with the others.
  • JULIAN MCMAHON plays a billionaire businessman who funds Reed's study and then tags along for the ride, all to put down his former classmate and be with Sue. Once similarly affected, he becomes even more megalomaniacal and kills several people as he tries to kill off the Fantastic Four and take control of the world.
  • KERRY WASHINGTON plays a blind woman who takes a liking to Ben despite his new outward appearance.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action/adventure movie that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 3 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexual innuendo/sexually related dialogue is present, while a scantly clad man and woman are separately seen and full nudity is implied but not seen for both. The main woman also sports a lot of cleavage in various low-cut outfits.

    All sorts of comic book style violence occurs, some of it brutal in nature, along the lines of that found in other recent comic book adaptations where people are bashed, smashed and otherwise struck by others and lots of property damage occurs. Some characters are killed, including one by an energy blast that leaves a large but bloodless hole through his entire torso.

    Some of that material, various moments of peril and some visuals might be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers, while the fighting, action, stunts and some other material might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate. Various bad attitudes (standard villainy as well as overblown egos) are present, as is some brief drinking. Thematic elements include the concept of being different from others, while a miscellaneous man prepares to commit suicide by jumping from a bridge but is interrupted from doing so and a man's wife leaves him after his physical appearance has changed for the worse.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see wine in front of Reed, Sue and Ben, with Reed then having some. Moments later, Reed catches the bottle of wine as it falls off the table.
  • We see a bottle of champagne in front of Victor.
  • After Johnny tells Ben to act nice for the crowds, Ben awkwardly tells some very young kids "Don't do drugs."
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar where Ben enters and orders a double, with Alicia saying to make it a triple from him (but his grasp shatters the glass).
  • We see a man carrying a bottle of champagne or wine and several empty glasses.
  • Some miscellaneous people drink in a bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear what sound like loud gastrointestinal sounds from Ben, but they turn out to be from him starting to turn into The Thing.
  • We see some pigeon excrement on Ben's blocky shoulder that he then rubs off with his hand.
  • We see what looks like a tiny bit of blood on a man's head following a multi-vehicle crash.
  • Victor appears to pull a metal staple or something similar out of a scar on his head (seen in close-up, but with no blood).
  • Victor zaps a board member with a large electrical blast, leaving a large hole in the man's torso (that we can see through, but there's no blood).
  • As the movie progresses, we see more and more metallic pieces being exposed under Victor's skin (making it look like the skin is missing and the metal below is exposed).
  • Sue has a little bit of blood from her nose following exerting herself to create a force field.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Johnny is egotistical (sometimes to the group's detriment) and is constantly putting down Ben in a somewhat friendly fashion.
  • Victor is also egotistical and seems to gloat in Reed's failures, but he turns megalomaniacal and deadly as his powers continue to grow and strengthen.
  • Victor wants revenge on Reed and plots to kill his cohorts before getting to him. He starts by lying to Ben about Reed's intentions and that causes Ben to have a misguided bad attitude toward Reed and Sue.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers but probably not to many other kids or adults.
  • Reed realizes that the space storm is going to arrive early at the space station (in terms of minutes rather than hours). He then races to get Ben (who's on a spacewalk) back inside, but the storm is right on him. Ben leaps out and then slowly floats back toward the station opening, but the storm gets to him first and blasts him into the station. The wave also hits the others in the group, seeming to distort and knock them around.
  • While snowboarding, Johnny inadvertently flames up and then lands in a snow bank (some younger kids might initially find that unsettling, although it's played lightly).
  • Some younger kids might be unsettled by Reed and his stretchy skin and limbs, when Johnny is engulfed in flames (although he's never in pain or distress), how Victor's skin progressively becomes metallic and how he becomes more evil, as well as how Ben looks in his rocky, hulking form.
  • A despondent man prepares to leap to his death off a bridge, but he then catches sight of Ben in his monstrous form and slowly backs across a metal beam above the busy bridge traffic. The guy eventually slips, dangles from and then falls off that beam and into the path of oncoming traffic. Ben jumps down and saves him, preparing himself for impact with an approaching tractor trailer. Its cab then smashes into and folds around him, partly going up in the air. That sets off a chain reaction wreck of various vehicles on the bridge and the spilling of various large gas canisters.
  • Various large gas canisters then explode, with Johnny shielding a young girl from the dangerous flames, while Sue keeps the other explosions in check via a force-field. An approaching fire truck, however, turns sideways and slides down the bridge, ripping out part of the structure and leaving one man briefly dangling. Another fireman on the long ladder, however, finds himself extending toward the river down far below on that ladder as it extends out (all as Ben tries to keep the fire truck from falling off the bridge, and barely manages to do that). The fireman then dangles from the fully extended ladder and then falls toward the river, with Reed stretching out to catch him just in time.
  • After emerging from an experimental chamber, half of Reed's body is all "melty" and very loose rubbery.
  • Victor fires a heat seeking missile after Johnny who turns on his flame and flies away, trying to avoid the missile that stays right on his fiery trail. He eventually sends a fireball out onto a barge that catches on fire, causing the missile to strike it and explode (with Johnny then falling into the water, but he's okay).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Cops hold handguns on Ben (as the Thing) and as he runs off, it seems that a shot ricochets off his blocky shoulder.
  • Various cops shoot at Doom with their handguns, but the bullets ricochet off him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I can handle this sh*t," "Wingnut," "Hard-assed," "Who the hell came up with this?" "He does the talking, I do the walking," "Wow, Dr. Phil, that's deep," "Freak of nature," "You're such a dork," "You fruitcake," "Freaks," "Nuts" (crazy), "Pretty boy," "Flame boy," "Blockhead," what sounded like "Mook," "A hell of a job," "Scarface," "Freak of the week," "Get off me rubber boy," "Freak show," "Why is everyone on my ass?" "Why the long face?" "It's clobbering time" and "Forget about it egghead."
  • All of the fighting, stunts and other action may be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • While riding his motorcycle, Johnny leans over and kisses a woman driving next to him in her car.
  • A woman with Johnny jumps from a hovering helicopter (wearing skis) onto a snowy mountaintop, followed by Johnny on his snowboard.
  • Trying to see if Ben (as the Thing) has any reflexes during a medical exam, Reed takes a large hammer and whacks him on the knee with it (causing him to inadvertently kick a chair across the room).
  • Johnny tries to irritate Ben as he sleeps by rubbing a brush across his face and then apparently putting shaving cream on Ben's hand that then smears on his face when he sleepily goes to swat away that brush.
  • Victor draws electricity from an outlet to his hand.
  • A man calls Johnny "pretty boy" and seems ready to drag race him, but we then see that Johnny has melted the man's tires.
  • Various people, including Johnny, perform various aerial acrobatic stunts on motorcycles in an indoor motocross event.
  • Some miscellaneous women wear midriff-revealing tops.
  • Ben lets out a loud belch.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and dramatic music plays in various scenes in the movie.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "s" words, 2 asses, 2 damns, 2 hells, 3 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "God" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "My God" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • While riding his motorcycle, Johnny leans over and kisses a woman driving next to him in her car.
  • Ben complains that Johnny snuck two lingerie models into a flight simulator and then "crashed it."
  • Sue shows cleavage in various outfits (some of them rather revealing in terms of being low-cut and/or having some top buttons unbuttoned).
  • While talking with an attractive woman (and putting on his clothes -- nothing is seen), Johnny suggestively asks her if she wants to help him with his zipper. After she takes his temperature, she states "You're hot" and he replies, "Why thank you, so are you."
  • While snowboarding, Johnny inadvertently flames up and then lands in a snow bank. When the woman he's with comes across him in his snow hole, she sees him standing there in water up to his waist, shirtless (and presumably nude down below). He then sheepishly asks if she cares to join him, with her shrugging her shoulders in the affirmative and dropping her ski poles (the scene ends there, so nothing else happens). When Johnny returns to see the others, he's just holding a ski parka around his waist (and is otherwise nude and looking very buff).
  • Ben reluctantly calls his wife to tell her he has a "surprise" for her (his new look) and she says she has one for him as well. She then walks outside (on a city street) to meet him and is just wearing some silky lingerie (but nothing explicit).
  • Needing to help Ben, Sue turns invisible to get through a crowd, but Reed tells her to lose the clothes to complete the invisible look. We then see her bra around her invisible form, but she then inadvertently turns visible again, showing us her regular body in her small bra and panties (and she quickly places her hands and arms over those parts of her body). Reed sees her this way and says, "Wow, you've been working out." She then goes invisible again and we "see" her invisible form covered by just that bra and panties (that she apparently then takes off to make her way through the crowd -- meaning she's doing so completely nude, although nothing is seen).
  • When an adoring crowd starts to chase her, Sue apparently strips down (either nude or to her Fantastic Four outfit) to become invisible and thus get away from them (but we don't see anything).
  • During a montage, Reed walks in on Sue in the shower. She quickly turns invisible and then holds a towel over her invisible form (we don't appear to see any explicit nudity -- if any is there, it's fleeting).
  • A female reporter suggestively asks Johnny about Reed, saying that she's heard the latter can expand any part of his anatomy. Johnny snidely responds that he always thought Reed was a little limp.
  • Alicia (who's blind) feels Ben's blocky face, and he reacts to that in a pleasurable fashion.
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Alicia tells Ben that he just has to work on his touch (after accidentally crushing a glass), with him then enthusiastically saying he likes the sound of that.
  • Reed and Sue briefly passionately kiss.
  • SMOKING
  • While getting a medical exam from Reed, Ben admits that he used to smoke.
  • A man appears to have an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Ben's wife runs off when she first sees his new look. Later, she hesitantly removes her wedding ring and leaves it on the road for him (and he can't pick it up since his blocky fingers are too big).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Being different from others.
  • What it would be like to have such super powers and/or an affliction like Ben has.
  • A despondent man prepares to leap to his death off a bridge.
  • Johnny's question of what if he doesn't want to be normal.
  • Alicia tells Ben that being different isn't always a bad thing.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A space storm blasts Ben into a space station. The wave also hits the others in the group, seeming to distort and knock them around.
  • Ben throws a mirror at Johnny (it slams into the wall and shatters) after the latter pulls a practical joke on him.
  • Ben jumps down onto a bridge to save a man, and then prepares himself for impact with a tractor trailer. Its cab then smashes into and folds around him, partly going up in the air. That sets off a chain reaction wreck of various vehicles on the bridge.
  • Cops hold guns on Ben (as the Thing) and as he runs off, it seems that a shot ricochets off his blocky shoulder.
  • Various large gas canisters then explode, with Johnny shielding a young girl from the dangerous flames, while Sue keeps the other explosions in check via a force-field. An approaching fire truck, however, turns sideways and slides down the bridge, ripping out part of the structure.
  • Victor punches and dents an elevator wall with his fist.
  • Trying to see if Ben (as the Thing) has any reflexes during a medical exam, Reed takes a large hammer and whacks him on the knee with it (causing him to inadvertently kick a chair across the room).
  • Sue's force field inadvertently knocks Reed back out of his seat to the floor.
  • Upset with the news he's received, Victor grabs a doctor by the neck and tosses him back against a medical light panel (breaking it and possibly killing the man).
  • Victor zaps a board member with a large electrical blast, leaving a large hole in the man's torso (that we can see through, but there's no blood).
  • While on fire and flying through the air off his motorcycle, Johnny lands hard on the dirt track but is okay.
  • We see that Ben has crushed Johnny's car into a ball. He then approaches Johnny and nearly punches him, but walks away. Johnny then fires several fireballs that hit but don't hurt Ben, prompting him to turn around and walk back to Johnny. He then throws a punch that Reed tries to block with his elastic body, but the punch hits Johnny anyway and blasts him back against a billboard.
  • We see two men lying on the floor with some smoking areas on their body (they're dead or unconscious from unseen blasts from Victor).
  • Thinking Reed isn't working hard enough to solve their crisis, Ben thumps Reed hard on the shoulder with his blocky finger. He then knocks down Reed who then wraps himself around Ben. Ben tries to knock him away, but Reed's lower half holds on and then proceeds to completely wrap up Ben until he gives up.
  • Ben smashes a toy (that Johnny was holding) into a wall.
  • Victor backhands Ben (who's back to normal) across a room, sending him crashing into a wall and knocking him unconscious.
  • Victor fires two energy blasts at Reed who tries to avoid them, but one blasts him out through the wall. Reed then tries to hold onto the outside of the building, but then loses his grip and falls hard to the street below (but is okay).
  • Victor blasts a doorman out through a revolving door, leaving him dead or unconscious on the sidewalk.
  • We see that Victor has super-cooled Reed (leaving him looking frosty) and then bends one of his fingers, causing Reed some pain.
  • Victor fires a heat seeking missile after Johnny who turns on his flame and flies away, trying to avoid the missile that stays right on his fiery trail. He eventually sends a fireball out onto a barge that catches on fire, causing the missile to strike it and explode (with Johnny then falling into the water, but he's okay).
  • Sue tries to knock down Victor with a blast from her force field, but he then blasts her backwards with an energy/electrical beam. She turns invisible and hits him several more times with force-field blasts, but he fires a shot back at her. He then grabs her by the throat and tosses her across the room. Ben then shows up and punches Victor quite hard, sending him flying across the room.
  • Victor races at and blasts Reed out of a building, sending them falling from the sky. They crash through a glass atrium and then down into a pool where they continue to fight underwater, with the pool eventually collapsing beneath them. They end up crashing into an industrial truck, with Ben then flying through the air across the street and landing on a car. Victor then fires an energy blast into a car, with various cops then shooting at him, but the bullets ricochet off him. Moments later, Ben picks up a car and throws it at Victor, knocking him backwards. Victor then blasts him backwards with another energy blast and prepares to strike him with a large metal rod, but Sue uses her force field to protect him.
  • Victor fires all sorts of electrical energy charges throughout a city block, blasting buildings and vehicles, and knocking some of the Fantastic Four around.
  • Reed wraps around Victor and then has Johnny go supernova on him, catching him on fire as Sue keeps both enclosed in a force-field. Victor emerges all molten hot, but Ben and Reed then shoot cold water on him, cooling him down into a metal statue.



  • Reviewed July 5, 2005 / Posted July 8, 2005

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