This comics-to-film adaptation is just another summer blockbuster starring actors encased in orange latex (Michael Chiklis) and shiny armor (Julian McMahon) or augmented with computer animation that allows them to stretch (Ioan Gruffudd), burn (Chris Evans), or disappear altogether (Jessica Alba). No matter that it's based on the beloved 44-year-old title to which Marvel owes its existence, Fantastic Four is as mundane and run-of-the-mill as they come. But, to the estimable credit of its director and writers, it's also unashamed of its roots, meaning it's unabashed about being silly, overwrought nonsense, which works to its benefit -- so much so, you're almost rooting for it by the end. It makes no pretenses at being deep, meaningful, or solemn. When heroes speak, it's to crack a joke about the situations and settings in which they find themselves: "That's gross," Johnny Storm's Human Torch (Evans) says when Reed Richards' Mr. Fantastic (Gruffudd) smooshes his elasticized flesh beneath a locked door. And the audience giggles because, yeah, it kinda is.
Director: Tim Story
Writer: Michael France and Mark Frost
Producer: Mark Radcliffe, Kevin Feige, Michael Barnathan and Chris Columbus
Cast: Michael Chiklis, Ioan Gruffudd, Chris Evans, Jessica Alba, Julian McMahon, Maria Menounos, Kerry Washington, Hamish Linklater, Laurie Holden and Lorena Gale