- RatedPG /GenreAction, Fantasy, Science Fiction
When you have at least four comic book super-humans – let us reiterate; four – and the movie still feels nothing like a superhero flick, then something is incredibly wrong.
In fact, it would not be too inaccurate to say that this 2015 reboot of ‘Fantastic Four’ features Marvel superheroes as you have never seen them before; that is, at their absolute worst.
Yes, this is the kind of movie that makes hated adaptations like ‘Daredevil’ (2003) look good and ‘Elektra’ (2005) seem bearable.
Because ‘Fantastic Four’ is so desperately lacking in all aspects that not only is it pointless, it is also simply dull.
Looking bad from every angle
Kate Mara and Miles Teller | Photo: 20th Century Fox
This contemporary take on the franchise repackages the famous vigilante quartet as attractive and fresh-faced adolescents.
Boy genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is plucked from his high school science fair by Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) to work with other youthful geniuses – namely Susan Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) and Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) – on a teleportation device.
When the team succeeds in constructing said device, they secretly use it to transport themselves to another dimension, roping in Reed’s childhood friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) along with them. But the escapade goes horribly wrong, and they return with unique abilities that attract the attention of the military.
Where do we even begin to discuss what is so wrong with ‘Fantastic Four’? For starters, the uneventful and half-baked story offers no real entertainment besides an abundance of plot holes for viewers to keep track of.
The bulk of the film is essentially a slow-paced build-up to key events that, when they finally happen, are really not worth the long and uninteresting wait. If this movie has excelled at anything, it is the art of anti-climax.
To further stretch the film to its 100-minute duration, ‘Fantastic Four’ also throws in several inexplicable sequences that only highlight how clumsily written the movie is.
Sure, the simplistic plot might be the filmmakers' way of focusing on the origin story, but the movie instead fast-forwards on so many details and development that we simply do not buy that angle.
Miles Teller | Photo: 20th Century Fox
Surprisingly, the action is where ‘Fantastic Four’ completely stumbles for its comic book genre because it possibly has the least amount of action scenes of any superhero movie ever made.
Churning up lazy fight sequences that make up only a tiny fraction of the movie, one can only wonder where the US$122 million budget went to. Surely not the unimpressive CGI?
And it gets worse. ‘Fantastic Four’ features what is probably the most wooden performance by an ensemble cast since vampires and werewolves fought for the love of Bella Swan.
The actors all seem so preoccupied with getting their lines out that they monotonously blurt endless streams of already bland dialogue while having a blank expression plastered to their faces.
Even Miles Teller – fresh off his strong performance in ‘Whiplash’ (2014) – and the other impressive cast members are not immune to this cardboard acting.
No appeal whatsoever
Try as hard as we might, it is a struggle to identify any real appeal that ‘Fantastic Four’ has for its audience. Fans of the superhero action genre will find neither inspiring superheroes nor sufficient action, and those who do not embrace comic book movies will be in for an even duller ride. The movie’s uneven tone – rotating between eerie darkness and awkward comedy – cannot satisfy anyone either.
Perhaps the only way to find some semblance of entertainment here is to be a hard-core comic book fanatic with a high tolerance for mediocrity. Because ‘Fantastic Four’ simply does not have any truly redeeming qualities.
By this point, labeling the movie as boring and redundant would just be stating the obvious.
The sad thing is that ‘Fantastic Four’ is the latest in a long line of misfires to bear the Marvel signature (besides 'Elektra', 'Punisher', 'Ghost Rider', etc).
But on the bright side, the (inexplicably planned) sequel cannot be that much worse, right?
'Fantastic Four' opens 6 August 2015