There are many people who say that none of the Fantastic Four movies are any good, not even the 2005 version starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. Recently, the latest reboot of Fantastic Four hit theaters with negative responses, most even more negative than the 2015 version. The question is, why?
Below are five ways 2005's Fantastic Four was better than 2015's Fantastic Four.
1. Character Focus
Unlike the latest movie, 2005's Fantastic Four explored the characters after they received their abilities. It showed each person's reactions to the powers and how they each handled it (Ben hated the powers, Johnny majestically embraced them, etc.). In the more recent version, the movie skipped the first year they had their powers.
In addition, each member of the team had many different sides to them. There was plenty of focus on their lives outside of being superheroes. There was a growing relationship between Sue and Reed, a rivalry between Reed and Victor, confrontation between Johnny and Ben, an emotional sibling connection between Johnny and Sue, and (as I'll go over more later) a large amount of sorrow in Ben's rocky heart.
2. Public interactions / reactions
One of my favorite things about the Fantastic Four team is their interactions with the public, both in the comics and in 2005's reboot. The movie showed both fear and inspiration from the public, which added more tension to the movie at times. The 2015 reboot showed no reactions from the public. The most we saw was people running from their cars as the ground started to crack from far away.
This element of publicity is an essential factor to the Fantastic Four that was very apparent in 2005's version but not at all apparent in 2015's.
3. A realistic (and accurate) Doctor Doom
One of the biggest complaints about 2015's reboot was how radically Doctor Doom was changed. It was not just his look, but it was also his abilities and his persona. He had appeared a bit throughout the beginning of the movie as a seemingly normal guy, with a couple hints of a bad side. When he returned as Doctor Doom about an hour later, he was an entirely different character.
2005's version of Doctor Doom had Victor around for a good portion of the movie. His character was consistent, had realistic abilities and interacted with the other characters for more than just the climax of the film. He was truly a much better Doctor Doom than 2015's Doom who looked like a cross between the Terminator and Groot.
4. Ben Grimm's story
One of the most heart-wrenching sub-plots of 2005's Fantastic Four was that of Ben Grimm / the Thing. Unlike the most recent movie, 2005's version followed Ben Grimm's depression from becoming the Thing and his isolation. We watched him lose his fiance, who broke up with him because of it. We watched his aggression and urgency to change back and we even watched him develop an acceptance of his fate.
2015's version did not cover that. All we saw was his desperation to turn back and his anger at Reed briefly. From there, he suddenly accepted his fate. Ben Grimm's story in 2005 was a lot stronger and more emotional than 2015's.
5. Bringing forward a bright, family-friendly atmosphere
2005's Fantastic Four is one of the few live action superhero films rated PG. It made it so more kids could come see superhero movies that weren't dark and gritty (not that dark and gritty is bad, but it can't all be that way). Also, the Fantastic Four is known in the comics for having a 'brighter' mood to it. It is not always as dark and murderous as some of the other comics are, such as The Punisher or X-Men.
The bright atmosphere also added contrast to the climax which was the darkest part of the film. It added more intensity and a greater sense of peril to the movie. Overall, the family friendly mood made the movie more enjoyable as it was both fun to watch and intense when it needed to be.
These are just a few of the different ways 2005's Fantastic Four was greater than its successor. Neither was the perfect movie, but many would agree the movie from a decade ago was better than the latest installment.