Critical Dissonance: While the film got mixed to negative reviews, it was a box office hit that resulted in the sequel, the only Fantastic Four film to do so.
Development Heaven: One of Chiklis' requirements for accepting the role of the Thing was that his character would be make-up based, rather than the CGI everyone else had previously assumed. This meant that Chiklis insisted upon hours of application and wearing heavy, uncomfortable makeup, over the option that would have allowed him to earn the same money in significantly less time simply by voice acting. Why? Because Chiklis was a fan who knew that underneath the rock skin, Ben Grimm's still a human being, and this was best shown by having his actor go through the same thing. The production team thought that Chiklis would have to ADR his lines due to the heavy prosthetics and oversized teeth he'd have to wear. Instead, he spent hours reading to his children while wearing the teeth until he became fully intelligible. This is also how he developed the Thing's distinctive voice, which wasn't digitally enhanced at all except for the two times he shouts. Once again, it was because Chiklis felt that being able to perform in the moment with his co-stars was best way to convey the character of Ben Grimm rather than having to perform the part in a booth. Apparently, Chiklis' wife came by the set unexpectedly one day to see him. He was in the full body suit and makeup at the time, and she was totally unprepared for seeing him like that. She found it so distressing that she had to be escorted from the set in order to compose herself. It worked.
Stan Lee as Willie Lumpkin for playing a character he created.
Hugh Jackman's facial cameo in the extended cut.
Padding: One major criticism of the film is that it focused more on humor than action throughout the middle Act of the film. The result is the Fantastic Four basically just sitting around waiting for Reed to finish his machine that will return them to normal, and only briefly switching over to Dr. Doom from time to time to show him performing evil deeds.
The Fantastic Four defeating Dr. Doom in the climax and the bridge scene. They are memorable because they are the only times in the first film that the Fantastic Four have done crime fighting.
Johnny Storm skiing, activating his powers and landing on the ice.
Signature Song: "Noots" for the scene where Johnny Storm activates his powers.
Take That, Scrappy!: Those who didn't like the cartoon starring H.E.R.B.I.E. are glad he is a dismantled machine in the extended cut.
They Copied It, So It Sucks!: A common criticism of the movie is that its spends too much time trying to copy Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy whether it be adding a campy humorous tone, taking a grounded approach and not exploring the cosmic and subterranean parts of the early FF adventures, or even changing Doctor Doom to an evil CEO like Norman Osborn.
Unexpected Character: In the extended cut, nobody expected Reed Richards' face to change into Wolverine.
After the release of Fantastic Four (2015), some viewers looked back on this film more favorably, if only because the 2015 reboot made the 2005 film look good by comparison, as well as not being a bore-fest like the 2015 film.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The "Thing" costume Michael Chiklis wears is a pretty good comic-accurate costume made with practical effects (as requested by Chiklis), and was only CGI for things that were necessary (like when he's being thrown through the air), His actor's dedication to making the prosthetic teeth work (see the Trivia tab) make him one of the best-realized comic book characters put to film.