The “Fantastic Four” franchise steps it up a notch for “Rise of the Silver Surfer” (2007), which many superhero genre observers point to as 1) the best “Fantastic Four” movie and 2) evidence that the “Fantastic Four” franchise is pretty darn weak, if this is the best entry. The titular Oscar-statuette-looking demigod, performed by genre regular Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne, has pathos: He must create craters in the Earth to destroy it, because it’s what he was made to do by his planet-eating creator, Galactus. But he doesn’t like doing it.
Fantastic Four” (2005) was hurt by coming out five years after “X-Men” and at a time when moviegoers had seen next-level genre films like “Spider-Man 2” (2004) and “Batman Begins” (2005). It’s a safe, predictable comic-to-screen adaptation compared to its rivals. On the other hand, the “Fantastic Four” comic (1961) predated “X-Men” and “Avengers” by two years, so I’d argue the film deserves a level of respect for effectively adapting the groundbreaking source material (something the 1994 version famously failed to do).