“Fantastic Four” has always been one of those groups that isn’t quite up to par with the rest of the Marvel Universe (this can probably be attributed with its association with Fox 20th Century). Coming into the movie, all I hoped was that this version would be better than the 2005 version.
Unfortunately, my expectations were not met, which was rather surprising considering I had low expectations going into the theater. This new version seemed to be a step backward from the previous film.
The movie centers around an interdimensional machine Reed Richards (Miles Teller) invents in the sixth grade with help from his best friend, Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell). The machine is later expanded with the help of Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), his children (Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan) and Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell). In fact, so much of the movie focuses around this one machine that the audience probably becomes bored and wants nothing more than some action to happen—action that doesn’t come until the very end of the movie.
While working on this project, you would expect the team to be, well, a team. However, they are far from one. One of the few redeeming qualities of the 2005 version was the effective portrayal of the dynamics between the team members. The team worked together to tackle their problems and learned how to control their newfound abilities.
In the reboot, however, the team barely has a dynamic and isn’t even composed of all the members. Ben is not a part of constructing the project, and Sue wasn’t even there in the alternate universe, but somehow manages to get her powers through some residue left from the mission. When it comes to learning to control their powers, the movie jumps forward one year and skips this process altogether, a process that should have brought the members together.
When the action finally arrived, it seemed like it lasted only seven minutes. The movie tries to show the group as a team, but it is clearly forced, and the last-minute humor that is thrown in is far from humorous. While the action is occurring, the audience can’t help but cringe at the video game reminiscent CGI, and wince when The Thing says “It’s clobbering time,” a phrase we learn earlier in the movie Ben’s brother would say before beating him.
As far as Marvel movies go, this is one of the worst rated. Perhaps it is from the lack of qualities that are usually prominent, from witty one-liners to a sense of action and accomplishment. Or perhaps the “Fantastic Four” franchise is one doomed to continually fail and should stop being rebooted.
Film: “Fantastic Four” (2015)
Director: Josh Trank
Release Date: August 7, 2015