I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I actually love aspects of all of the Fantastic Four movies. Especially the ones starring Chris Evans as the Human Torch. I’ve already written about my love/hate relationship with the 2015 Fantastic Four movie (Or, Fant4stic, as the “fans” like to call it), but I’m also a low-key fan of the 2005 movie, as well as 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Hell, if I was able to see the unreleased, 1994 Fantastic Four movie, I’m sure I’d probably like parts of that one, too.
Here’s the thing. I’m not a fan of the Fantastic Four comic book series. In that way, I was never disappointed by the reinterpretation of Galactus in Rise of the Silver Surfer. I also didn’t dislike the body horror-esque origin story of Marvel’s first family in the 2015 movie. I could just enjoy the films as being light popcorn fare and nothing more. So, as a casual fan, I actually kind of love the Fantastic Four movies—especially the two featuring Chris Evans, and I have five reasons why. As CM Punk might say (Or, you know, as Benjamin Grimm might say), It’s clobberin’ time!
They Genuinely Feel Like Comic Book Flicks
I don’t know if you remember this, but there was a time when comic book films seemed genuinely embarrassed to be associated with the comic books that they came from. Bryan Singer notoriously “banned” comic books from being on the set when he made his X-Men movies, and Christopher Nolan wanted to realistic-it-up when he made his Dark Knight trilogy. Sure, Sam Raimi thought it okay to make his Spider-Man movies more on the comic booky side. But, for the most part, early 2000s comic book films tried to distance themselves from the ultra-campy Batman movies that came out in the late ‘90s.
But, the two Chris Evans Fantastic Four films never shied away from being live-action comic books. The origin story remained similar to that of the comics, the costumes were reminiscent of the comics, and the action was cartoony, just like the comics. I always really admired that about the these movies. While other comic book films were veering into the darkness, the Fantastic Four movies were perfectly happy with being in vivid, living color.
Michael Chiklis Made For The Perfect Benjamin Grimm
While I’ve never been a huge fan of the Fantastic Four as a team, I’ve always been a massive fan of Benjamin Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing. When I was younger, I’d always daydream matches between him and The Incredible Hulk, which happened on occasion. He’s just always been the coolest.
I think Michael Chiklis was the perfect Benjamin Grimm. He had the perfect voice, the perfect delivery, and I generally now picture him in my head whenever I think of The Thing. I even liked his look! The practical effects and suit looked much better than whatever they were trying in the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot. Honestly, I know they are going to have to eventually get another actor to play the character, but for me, it’s like how I can’t see anybody else playing Wolverine besides Hugh Jackman. The same could be said of Michael Chiklis and The Thing. He’s the only actor I want!
I Liked That They At Least TRIED To Make A Good Doctor Doom
If you were to ask me who my favorite Marvel character is, I’d tell you that it’s Moon Knight. If you were to ask me my SECOND favorite Marvel character, I’d say…Well, okay, I’d say that it’s Spider-Man. But, if you were to ask me who my THIRD favorite Marvel character is, then I’d tell you that it’s Doctor Doom, the Commander-in-Chief of Latveria.
And, I’ll be straight with you. They didn’t do a great job with Doctor Doom. Played by Nip/Tuck actor, Julian McMahon, the Doctor Doom in the Chris Evans Fantastic Four movies is a lot smarmier than he is intimidating. At no point is he actually scary or imposing.
But, you know what? These movies are for kids. Yes, the first movie is rated PG-13, but it was a pretty soft PG-13. And, the second movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer, was even rated PG, for crying out loud. So, while the Doctor Doom in these two Fantastic Four movies wasn’t really the one that I wanted, he definitely fit the two movies that he was actually in. Besides, he was much better than the Doctor Doom in Fant4stic. God, don’t remind me of that one.
Silver Surfer Was Actually Really Cool In The Second Movie
As I already mentioned in the intro, I’m not a huge fan of the Fantastic Four. I kind of know their heroes and villains, but not to a huge extent. I do know a bit about the Silver Surfer, mostly because I watched his cartoon on Disney+. He’s a much more complex character than he would appear on paper, and we got a glimpse of that in the second movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Voiced by Laurence Fishburne, the Silver Surfer in this movie has a tragic backstory and a compelling character arc. There’s an amazing scene where he’s flying around the world with the Human Torch, and I love all the scenes he’s present in, since he genuinely is intimidating (a lot more so than Doctor Doom, unfortunately). I liked the character so much, that I kind of want to see more of him after that post-credit scene where the Silver Surfer, who appears dead, opens his eye. Say what you will about the actual movie. The Silver Surfer in it was cool!
I Can Show Them To My Children Without Worrying About Too Much Sex Or Violence
Lastly, can I just say that it’s nice to be able to show my kids a superhero movie that doesn’t have too much violence or sexiness in it? I love the MCU and all, and I would love to share it with them, but I can only really show them bits and pieces since they’re 6 and 4. There's no real death, per se, in the Fantastic Four movies like there is in say, Captain America: Civil War, where Scarlet Witch accidentally kills all those people with that explosion. There's no Thor chopping off Thanos' head, like in Avengers: Endgame. There's none of that.
The MCU movies don't really have any blush-worthy sex scenes or anything like that, I don't need my six-year-old daughter catching any feelings when Steve Rogers flexes. I also don't want to have to explain why Vision and Scarlet Witch are sharing a moment together. I'm not saying anything is wrong with that, and if my kids were a bit older, I wouldn't really care.
But, the "sexiness" in the Chris Evans Fantastic Four movies is considerably tamer. And, I just love that I can watch a superhero movie with my kids that isn’t We Can Be Heroes (that’s not a swipe at We Can Be Heroes, either, since I love that movie). I’ll save the MCU for when they get older. For now, the Fantastic Four movies, and especially the second, PG-rated one, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, is where it’s at for my family.
There you have it. Five reasons why I love the Fantastic Four movies starring Chris Evans. What do you think? Are you a fan? Make your voice heard in the poll below. For information on upcoming Marvel movies or just Chris Evans in general, make sure to stop by here often!
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.