2005’s ‘Fantastic Four’ Has Maybe the Single Worst Product Placement Scene of All Time
2005’s Fantastic Four might not have been a critical or popular success, but it’s still notable for a few reasons. It was the first time Marvel’s First Family made it to the big-screen (though they came close one time before). It features a possible instance of super-villain full-frontal nudity in a PG-13 movie. And it also includes maybe the most egregious and shameless scene of product placement in more than a century of Hollywood history.
Let’s set the stage. In the film, the Fantastic Four receive remarkable powers during a trip to outer space. When they return home, they initially try to keep their abilities a secret. But after the Thing’s girlfriend dumps him at first sight of his monstrous new body (after running out into the street in the middle of the night wearing nothing but a negligee, because that’s how women behave), he wanders to the Brooklyn Bridge and inadvertently causes a massive traffic accident. The Fantastic Four rush to the rescue and save the day, but make themselves overnight celebrities in the process.
Over the objections of his teammates, Johnny Storm (future Captain America Chris Evans) decides to capitalize on his newfound fame by competing in a motorcross event at the X Games. Johnny’s extreme sports career flames out in spectacular (and literal) fashion, and the rest of the FF show up to chastise him for exploiting his popularity to attract women and make money.
That’s a nice, altruistic message, and exactly the sort of idea a movie like Fantastic Four should propagate. There’s just one problem; Reed, Sue, and Ben yell at Johnny for selling out while standing in front of an enormous wall of commercial billboards. So while the heroes argue in favor of selfless sacrifice, the viewer’s eye is constantly drawn to the background, and its ads for a variety of soft drinks and fast food.
Above is a gallery of just a few of the most egregious moments.
So remember kids, don’t sell out. Also, this message about not selling out was brought to you by Crrrrrazy Energy Drink. Crrrrrazy Energy Drink: IT WILL LITERALLY GIVE YOU CRRRRRAZY HALLUCINATIONS!