When an experimental space voyage goes wrong, four people are dramatically changed by cosmic rays to become the Fantastic Four.
Reed Richards (Ioann Gruffudd) is Mr Fantastic who develops the amazing talent to elongate his body; Susan Storm (Jessica Alba) is Invisible Woman who not only can become invisible at will but can also render other objects invisible; her brother, Johnny (Chris Evans) ignites into Human Torch, a guy who can shoot fire from his fingertips and bend flame, and Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) turns into The Thing, a hideously misshapen, super strong monster whose wife rejects him when she sees what he has become.
On board also is Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), a billionaire who has financed the trip and who, unknown to the others, has also become affected by the cosmic storm that caused the mission to be aborted. Von Doom - not a nice guy to begin with - develops his own steely super strength but decides to use it as a force of evil.
The Fantastic Four come to the notice of the world when a despondent Ben - who, unlike the others cannot switch off his powers or alter his physical appearance - tries to prevent a would-be suicide from throwing himself off a bridge. Bens startling new looks terrify the man and his good intentions backfire and snowball into a terrific set piece during which each of the F4 reveals his or her special talents to awe struck onlookers. When its all over, they are applauded as heroes.
Between bursts of action and dynamic special effects sequences theres some amusing interaction between the foursome. Theres unease between Reed and Susan who share a romantic history and some amusing verbal sparring between Ben and Johnny, whose newfound fame has gone to his head - big time.
All such problems are put aside when the F4 join forces in a climactic confrontation with Von Doom who, peeved because his advances have been rejected by Susan and because his business is going down the gurgler - has increased his powers in an effort to rid the world of the good guys. Its escapism at its best.